Ever since Kerri posted about the play that she, Nicole, Shannon and Julia went to a couple weeks ago, I’ve been thinking about the whole concept of Internet privacy and boundaries and how they play a role – if any – in how I blog. Anyone who reads my Twitter feed has probably seen a couple of casual mentions about starting a new and different blog. It isn’t the first time that I have attempted to step away from the diabetes spotlight since I started blogging about it almost three years ago. My ill-fated attempt at creating an comprehensive blog for myself did not go as well as planned. The reason I think that happened is because I had already established a rather diabetes-heavy audience and switching to an entirely new topic (my life in college) didn’t gel very well because most of the people who read my blog were not in college and I often felt a bit boring.
So an audience disconnect was one problem.
Another problem that I’m mulling over is the fact that there are things that I want to write about that I’m not necessarily sure I want the entire world to know that I’m writing. I became “Internet famous” at a rather young age. I was sixteen years old when I started my first website, I was seventeen when I started hosting Teen Talk, I was nineteen when I started this blog and I was twenty when I started Diabetes Teen Talk.
I went to prom, graduated from high school, started college, met new friends, dealt with deadlines, had my first job, traveled the country, took finals, met new people, got interviewed, graduated from college, found my first real job and moved across the country all on the Internet.
That’s a lot of my life, and not even including all the conferences, meet-ups and magazine appearances I’ve had.
I’m not exactly an unknown person.
But there are things that I wish I could talk about without having to worry about my parents, my boss, my co-workers, my grandparents and cousins and friends (all of whom read this blog ::waves::).
I feel stuck, in a way. I don’t want to stop writing about diabetes. I love having this outlet and I love hearing that this has helped others, like the mother who wrote me this week, “Your blog gives me hope.”
I mean, how can you stop writing a blog after that?
On one hand I want to write more about my life and I want to write about things without worrying about offending anyone’s sensibilities or having it brought up in real-life conversations or held against me in the future. I have been reading some blogs written by other twentysomethings who talk about boys and sex and work and living on their own and fashion. I want to write about the ten million other things going on in my head because right now, I need a “twentysomething support group” much more than I need a “diabetes support group.” Handling a disease is easy compared to starting a life practically from scratch. I know that I haven’t written very much about my move across the country, but damn is it hard.
On the other hand, however, I don’t necessarily want any of the aforementioned groups to know every last detail about what I’m thinking about or what I did last Saturday night (not that I did anything last Saturday night – this is purely hypothetical…).
Sandra also posted today with concerns about privacy for her son and how to maintain a balance without embarrassing him. With this blog, I’ve always been pretty strict that I don’t talk about anything that could potentially embarrass the person I’m writing about. I don’t write about arguments with my parents, I don’t write about the stupid things my friends do and I pretty much avoid the topic of work at all costs (except for that one post about the holiday party, but that was somewhat diabetes related so I feel that can be excused). Everything is in the context of what we do, not what is said, and I feel that is a pretty safe avenue to go down.
I don’t even know how to end this post because I’m still unresolved. There’s no magical resolution sentence saying, “But I’m going to do this and live happily ever after… the end!”
How do you break out of your shell without anyone knowing?