How do you set internet boundaries?
For myself, I may have too lax a grip on boundaries. I use my full, real name. I write about what really happens in my life, where I live, what I do for a living. I post photos of myself. Many of the blogs I read are written anonymously or with a nom de plume. Many exclude photos of themselves and have cute nicknames for their friends and relatives. I don’t do any of that. Maybe that’s a problem? I don’t know yet.
When writing about my marriage, it’s been easier. Josh knows everything I’m going to post before I post it- I ask permission first (sometimes he even serves as editor!), but usually can tell what he’ll think is okay and what isn’t. For example, we don’t talk about fights unless they’ve been resolved and we’ve learned something to pass on. If they’re still painful or sensitive for either of us, I would never think to put them online. And even then, the things that do pass through the filter and get approved by us both, are usually put in general terms and without the gory specifics. Now that he’s on Twitter, it’s even easier. I feel he has control over his end of the narrative and (while he already reads my Tweets and my blog), even more direct access to the discussion.
Lately, however, I’ve been more concerned with my son. I originally planned to write strictly about my own story in relation to Little Josh. Here’s what it’s like to be a mom, how I’m learning about parenting, how I planned a birthday party, how having a baby has impacted my marriage, my self esteem, etc. But I posted photos of him, and even videos of him. I told you about his first snow. And I started to feel weird about it all. Am I sharing Little Josh’s story without his consent?
The truth is, this happens all the time these days. But we don’t yet know the effects of being a child that may be overexposed online. THE blog-child-darling, Leta, is only 8. We have at least ten years before we can find out if our voyeurism of her little life has impacted her in a hugely negative way. Who knows. And that said, how can I still speak about my own life in a real and natural way without making Little Josh vulnerable? That’s the real question for me lately.
So, how do you set internet boundaries?