Say No to Family Blogs

Today’s blog is from a listener and is a follow-up to a call she made to me on my radio program, but it could apply to any family:

I spoke with you…about my discouragement with my family relationships that have resulted from me blogging on my private family blog.  I was extremely shocked by your passionate response that I should shut the blog down and cease to communicate with others in that manner.

While at first I battled my defensive justifications as to why I should still blog, I wanted to thank you for helping me to look at the matter in a completely new light.  As I have pondered the situation, I have discovered some important elements I had not thought of before, mainly ‘Why Blogs Are Not Great Ways to Maintain Relationships:’”

1.  We don’t usually communicate in that way with people when we speak face-to-face.  In regular conversations with our friends or family, there should be an equal give and take.  You share; they listen.  Blog posts are typically one-sided conversations, where sharing ideas and thoughts don’t happen.  Yes, you can comment, but comments are typically short, on topic, and do not typically result in a sincerely valuable conversation.
2.  It’s not personalized to the individual to whom we are speaking, and can therefore come across as insensitive.

When I talk to someone face-to-face, I filter and screen my topics and thoughts according to the closeness of the relationship, as well as what their life situation might be.  With a blog audience (even a private one), my relationship closeness still varies widely.  In real life conversations, I would be more aware of what I share and with whom I choose to share it.  In addition, if I’m talking to a friend of mine who has struggled with infertility, I probably wouldn’t go on and on about how much I love being a mother and raising a baby.  She’s been trying to have a baby for several years, and is quite discouraged about that.  It would be rude and inconsiderate of me to do that.

Even though the topics we blog about may be neutral and positive, because we are not considering the personalized audience, we can often unknowingly offend people and likely even damage existing relationships.  Because we may not be considering the closeness of our relationships, we may be sharing things that are better left enjoyed and shared only with those closest to us.

Thank you for helping me see a different side.  I’ve taken an early retirement from blogging, and already am excited at the freedom I feel, and the prospect of maintaining and strengthening my relationships through good old-fashioned one-on -one personalized communication.