An interview I recently did with writer and TV producer Joel Schwartzberg got me thinking, how open should my blog be?
Schwartzberg recently wrote the book The 40-Year-Old Version: Humoirs of a Divorced Dad, which contains a series of essays he wrote on the topics of divorce and fatherhood and how divorce made him a better dad. The book also includes a controversial Newsweek article he’d written earlier this year, in which he said he suffered from male postpartum depression after the birth of his son several years ago. To be certain this is a topic you don’t hear much about, or maybe never heard of. His honest recollection of panic and crying on the floor with his son earned him derision among some. At both Newsweek and the conservative site, Townhall.com, many readers had harsh words for Schwartzberg.
Really harsh words – questioning everything from his sexuality to his fitness as a father. He was also propped up as a poster child for what’s wrong with liberal men.
With so many people on the web quick to eviscerate a stranger in such a vicious manner, it makes you wonder why anybody would share their deepest thoughts and fears with the public. Perhaps there’s some wisdom in keeping some things personal.
Where do you draw the line between public and private?
In some cases, if not most, bloggers blog for attention (myself included). However, sometimes they blog for other reasons – from making people aware of issues (as was Schwartzberg’s case, though his medium was in a news magazine, not a blog, but you get the idea) and other times, people are simply looking to connect with others going through similar situations.
But with so many angry people looking to inflict their misery unto others, it makes you wonder – why bother?
Maybe we’re better off playing it safe, not writing anything that makes us look weak, shows us in a bad light or invites criticism.
While I have written several extremely honest and revealing things in both this blog and in a newspaper column I had, there is a line I draw. I don’t write anything that makes people in my life look bad and I don’t thrust anybody into the public spotlight that didn’t ask to be there. And I try not to write anything which might prevent me from future employment (bad news if I look for a job at Target, eh?)
But perhaps I should censor myself further? Maybe I should read my blog through the lens of someone who is my exact polar opposite and try to avoid saying anything which will invite scorn, ridicule or hate?
Hell, maybe this post is too introspective and just another horrifying example of what’s wrong with liberal men?!
Maybe I should censor myself a bit more. But I won’t.
Truth is, people will always find a reason to hate that which they fear, don’t understand, or secretly loathe within themselves.
True, people can’t hurl stones at you if you don’t put yourself out there. But living your life in fear of their stones only gives them more power over your life.
So, how open are you in your blog? What sorts of things do you feel people should keep personal?
(Notes: For a somewhat related story about someone dealing with haters, check out Writer Dad’s most recent post about his wife’s PTA problems. And the Thomas the Train post I keep teasing will appear on Wed.)
Like this post? Please consider tweeting it and telling others about it.
Want BloggerDad delivered to your email every time I post? Well, you’re not alone. Join the literally tens of others who have already subscribed for free! Email not your thing? That’s okay, you can also subscribe via RSS.
Content is copyright 2009 BloggerDad.com. If you are reading this on any site other than www.Bloggerdad.com or your personal RSS reader, then you may be reading it on a site which steals content. And a site like that is probably up to all kinds of no good.