Blogging Lifestyle

Sunday Ramble: How personal is *too* personal?

March 1, 2015
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It’s been a while since I’ve had a Sunday ramble, I have written the odd one but never quite to the ‘publish’ stage. This is going to be a bit of a tricky one to put into words, but here goes.

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When I first started my blog, I aimed to be an anonymous blogger. Back six years ago, blogging wasn’t as common as it is now and so being ‘anon’ was possible and something a lot of bloggers did at the time for want of maybe keeping their blog world away from their real world. Over the years, the line between the blog and the real world has blurred to the point of no return. It’s basically impossible to be a blogger and be anon these days. But I have always wanted to keep a bit of a line between my own personal life and the life I live online (hence some of the ways I’ve been holding back with my wedding photos for instance) or why Vlogging my life isn’t really for me.

But then on the other end of the scale, I love writing posts like this – where I just type as I think and put the thoughts that are whizzing around my head on to ‘paper’ (screen). It’s like my own little form of therapy. It’s a chance to let out a load of random ramblings and more often than not after writing one of these posts I feel like I do after a good chat with a friend. I personally get a bit of an ‘offload’ from it, and it’s nice to feel like the more personal posts give a bit of insight into who I am – beyond what I think about the latest nail colour or lipstick. Plus, when you write anything that then people take the time to comment on and tell you they agree or could relate to it – that’s also a really rewarding feeling.

But then, where does the line lie between sharing those personal things and knowing the boundaries. Or even having boundaries?! There’s something that doesn’t sit right with me about the idea of anything that’s truly personal to me, being seen to be used as ‘click-bait’! If I blog it, it’s either because it will potentially help me (selfish as that is) or because it will possibly help others. But some just see personal posts as luring nosy folk to read! I promise that will never be the case with me.

Honestly, I don’t know the answer and probably never really will. All I know, is that there are some things I will write about without a thought. There are others that make me pause and consider before I hit publish.

Part of the joy of the internet is and always will be how unfiltered it can be and how you can be the other side of the world to someone and still read about anything from what they wore that day to their deepest thoughts and feelings. But still, there are some things that in my view are nice to save for the real world!

Let me know what you think – is there such a thing as being too personal on your own blog? Or do you think the more open the better? Have you ever read something on a blog and had that moment of thinking ‘crikey, that’s a bit TMI/personal/intimate…’? At the end of the day, each blogger has their own personal rules and boundaries – I’m just really interested to see what other’s thoughts are on the subject…

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13 Comments

  • Reply Dream Days March 1, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    I do sometimes think that people write very personal posts and worry that it could be damaging to them in some way (like employment prospects) but then the flip side is that I really enjoy writing more personal posts. I’m comfortable with the amount I share, and it does vary a lot between bloggers.

  • Reply Hanni March 1, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    If what you share online will effect future job prospects or your relationships with others then I think it is best to avoid it. xxx

  • Reply Louise March 1, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    I struggle with this all the time Jen – especially since moving from beauty blogging to parenting blogging where my children are involved too (and didn’t choose to be). Half of me thinks I should share more family posts with pictures of what we’ve been up to, and the other feels fiercely protective of those moments and wants to keep the posts about me rather than them. I don’t have the answer but you aren’t alone in thinking about it. The internet is one big crazy place.

  • Reply teresa March 1, 2015 at 7:34 pm

    Hi J… I think that sometimes blogging becomes too personal…. I only write what I would be happy to share verbally and are with you on the Vlogging life…. i think that the celebrity selfie lifestyle is quite sad, & narcissistic and devalues the good work that bloggers do.
    i think that as long as you are happy with the boundaries that you set, then don’t be pressurized to blog anything that you arent comfortable with…. nothing wrong with blogging in draft, for the posts that you don’t want to share
    have a lovely evening
    Teresa x

  • Reply Serena March 1, 2015 at 7:45 pm

    I like posts like these, but I’m aiming to keep my life personal on my blog. It’s hard because sometimes I want to post about something personal – like living away from home, but I feel that makes it too personal. I think it’s easy to want to share everything because sometimes I run out of ideas for posts, but I’m trying to keep my blog beauty related for now as I am not comfortable with people knowing where I am or who I am. But then again, blogging is really personal because you’re putting out your thoughts and your opinions and people will know about your skin type, your preferences, etc. I feel like the “big bloggers” tend to share more about themselves as more people will want to know details, but I think you’re right that it comes down to what each person feels.

    Dusty Foxes Beauty

  • Reply Arina March 1, 2015 at 8:04 pm

    I love to read personal posts! I personally believe that as long as you wouldn’t mind your employers, neighbors, and friends knowing about it, it is probably safe to post. I love to read about other people’s fun weekend hiking experience, or how funny their dog can be, little things like that. I feel like it enhances the community aspect of blogging, but it isn’t anything that could harm their loved ones or their career prospects. I’m always uncomfortable reading posts about how much someone dislikes coworker X or posts about disagreements with friends and family.

  • Reply Kat March 1, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    Since I’m new to blogging, I blog anonymous at the moment, largely because i’m not yet ready to share my blog openly with the people I know. Maybe in a year when I have more experience, I will be happy to share my blog with people I see day to day. I’m quite happy to share somethings about me as I hope to develop a relationship with my readers and make some friends, but I think sharing things that may be irrelevant might be a bit to much. I loved seeing your wedding photos, since you where talking about the dress and the style I felt it related well to your blog.

    http://katsbeautytales.blogspot.co.uk/

  • Reply Sabrina March 2, 2015 at 1:02 am

    Interesting post! I think it’s usually best not to share anything too personal on blogs or the internet in general. I had a think and the most personal blog post I’ve written (on my other blog) was about breast cancer as my mum died from it a few years ago, but apart from that I can’t think of any particularly personal things I’ve shared on my blogs. I think it’s good to reflect on your life experiences if you’re writing about something your passionate about, but you have to be careful because you wouldn’t want to accidentally upset anyone or negatively effect your job prospects with what you’ve written.

  • Reply nueyork March 2, 2015 at 1:30 am

    Being an anonymous blogger is what gave me the courage to start blogging and not hold back. Writing personal posts is easy when no one knows who you are, and no one that you know might stumble across something personal that you’ve written. I really struggle finding that line as well, as much as I do love expressing myself and writing about more personal topics.

    nueyork.blogspot.com

  • Reply Inma March 2, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    This is such a complex subject and one that I don’t think many of us have found the answer to! I often wonder how much to share – after all, there are people in my workplace who read my blog and I don’t necessarily want them to know what is in the depths of my mind or my heart, but at the same time sharing a bit of personal information helps your blog to be more genuine and authentic, and for your readers to relate to you, therefore helping it succeed.
    I wonder if this is something that is at all related to age. I am in my thirties and when I was a teenager Facebook and other social media didn’t exist, so I didn’t grow up sharing a chunk of my life with others, so perhaps that makes me a bit more precious about it… I don’t know!
    I really enjoyed this post – thanks for sharing your thoughts on the subject!
    Inma x
    sunshineandglow.blogspot.com

  • Reply Alice March 2, 2015 at 8:33 pm

    Here’s the thing… I’m actually trying to make my blog and Youtube channel *more* personal as I think most of my content is informative without much personality behind it, but this is the sort of thing I keep worrying about! I guess I’m just a private person and I’ll always be a bit guarded about how much I share on the internet… oh well, at least this is something other people struggle with as well and it’s not just me.

    • Reply Jen March 2, 2015 at 10:24 pm

      I think that’s my exact problem too – am trying to make it more personal but through combination of being private and also thinking it’s highly likely nobody really cares to know about me I tend to hold back!

  • Reply Abigail March 3, 2015 at 11:45 am

    I’ve tried to do a mix of the two. My blog has photos of myself, but nowhere do I post my full name and my Instagram is separate. Only one of my friends even knows that I blog, and they found out by accident, because the rest of them would find the idea of me doing a beauty blog a bit silly and a waste of time. Furthermore, my major is university is quite technical, and so this blog work might seem very strange to potential employers. Therefore, I feel okay posting more personal posts because no one from my personal life is reading and I avoid identifying details.

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