I kind of got "outed" the other day. As I was talking about Iona and its sheep at lunch here at seminary, a woman who reads but doesn't officially belong to the RevGal list looked at me and said, "You're on RevGalBlogPals."
That got me thinking about some of the stranger aspects of blogging.
For instance, my kids know I blog (one of them reads it --hey, Chicago Son!) but none of my real life friends do, except for online friends, who count as real (!) to me whether I've met them or not. If my daughter reads it, she hasn't told me. Same for my husband. My son mentioned it to my father once and I nearly passed out, having just written something of an extended and passionate piece focused on an obscenity.
I'm not sure why I would think at this point in life that my dad would raise an eyebrow at my language. But he is my dad. I suppose that in reality he would get a laugh out of this paragraph.
I often ruminate about personal matters in my blog. I write a lot about the losses that have framed my life, but mostly only with respect to myself - and even in that respect, I leave the really tough ones out. Probably the biggest exception there was the series I did as my stepmother died from cancer, but I knew neither she nor her family would see it. I took care not to be exploitative as I tried to articulate my issues with her fruitlessly aggressive medical care.
On the whole, I try to be discrete where other people are concerned. Other than the occasional picture (no names) of my kids and their friends, I don't identify people and I don't shout my locale my from the rooftop. If I were getting divorced, you would not hear about it here until it the dust had settled. (No, I'm not.) I tend to stay away from the more controversial aspects of politics and theology and social issues, although I doubt that my locale on the spectrum would be a big surprise to anyone who reads me for long. (Do I need to clarify? In my community, pretty middle of the road. In the country as a whole, that seems to mean quite a ways to the left these days. It's not a secret. I'm just not into the mean-spirited debate into which blogging can degenerate so quickly.)
I guess what I am thinking about is: to what extent does this offbeat genre reflect who we really are? You get what you see with me, but obviously I censor considerably. Would I write differently if I knew that all my friends were reading? Everyone here at school? My former students and colleagues? Do I write about certain topics, or take certain approaches, with specific online friends in mind?
All questions worthy of reflection, and a good deal more interesting than the present active indicative tense in Greek, which is going to fill the next four days of my life.