Thursday, February 25, 2010

Boundaries, Of The Non-Cricketing Kinds.

'How much is too much', is something I have always wondered about in relation to my blogging. How much can I write, what can I write, are there any boundaries, are there things that should be kept away? These questions keep popping up in my mind time and again. I read all kinds of blogs, once that talk about everything personal, and some that speak about almost nothing personal, and then some, which seem to play hide and seek about the personal bits. Of all the blogs I have read, I don't think any chronicles, every move or thought of the blogger. And yet some blogs talk a bit more than other

So what are the taboo topics? I don't really know. I know what I write, I write with honesty, but what I don't feel comfortable about, I just keep it away. The blog has its therapeutic value to me, and yet, more often than not I don't spill, when I really need to get something off my chest. I did it once recently, but I think I made the post too cryptic for anyone to get the real picture, from that post. That was possibly my way of drawing the line.

There are some blogs which talk in depth about the life of bloggers, so much in fact that when I read them, I know for sure I could never be so open on my own blog. Not because I don't want to write about it, but because I fear that I would be read by someone, I don't really want should know so much about me. Somethings that come straight from the heart, can be shared with people who have no practical/real-life connections with me, but the ones who do, they may just use it in ways, that will hurt the exact place from where the post came. And hence I always try to keep my real life separate from the blogging one, not absolutely and completely possible, but I don't go around advertising my blog to people I know either. In fact besides the GP, I have not really mentioned to anyone in particular that I blog.

While there can be no absolute rights or wrongs about what one says in their blog, nor are there any rules about what is permissible or not in blogging, everyone ends up setting their own boundaries I guess. While one bloggers may openly talk about certain aspects of their lives, others may never touch upon it, and yet both may claim to have personal blogs. So what is it that stops us from writing about somethings? Have you ever had the urge to write about something, but then refrained yourself from doing it? I know I have, not once or twice, but many times. I have sat down to write something and then have not. Infact recently I have written a whole post, not just a draft, but an entire post, even spell checked it and everything, put in the links, but am not publishing it, because I don't feel comfortable doing it. The reasons for not writing or publishing posts have varied, sometimes, it just a rant, which felt stupid to let out once I had actually written the post, at others, something too personal, and at yet other times, I have felt constricted, just because I never know who may come across and read the post, which I maybe comfortable sharing with friends, but not everyone else.

Some people say its best not to wash dirty linen in public, or that somethings should remain personal and stuff, which is very prudent and sensible. And possibly the way to go. Just as an example, I keep wondering, how come none of the married Indian women I read, never say a negative word about their in-laws. I have seen loads of bitching happening on chats, but nothing ever spills onto the blogs. I would like to believe, no one would like to publicly berate something that is dear to their spouse, and additionally I admire the resolve not to get petty, and keep their blog a space free of rants. And this is just one example of how we draw our boundaries, there are a million other things.

Each blogger has a different set of rules set for them. And thus while many may seem very very open, there are certain aspects of their personal lives which simply never, ever get portrayed on the blog. And in many ways the boundaries that we set on our blog, defines a bit about who we are as people too. As a blogger, I am sure you have yours too, so what are your boundaries? Have you ever written posts that were never published, or do you know just what you will never put on your blog, and so never bother to write that stuff? Where do you draw the line?

On a separate, but blog related note, I want express my admiration for two mommy-bloggers, who have recently blogged about issues they are having with their children. Instances of impolite/rowdy behaviour, very typical and to be expected at their kids' age. Ladies, you know its you, and though I have not said it on your blog, let me say it here, I really appreciate you for writing that and putting it up on your blog. Firstly because its not easy to say one bad word about your own child, and openly to the whole world at that, additionally to express points in your mothering graph where you accept defeat or helplessness. And most importantly, the reason I completely admire those posts is, that for every other mother, who will definitely be in a similair spot some day or the other, those posts will give hope, and let them know they are not alone. Those are tough spots, and open acknowledgment is rare, I just want to say, its really wonderful of you to have put those posts up.


The Soul of Alec Smart said...

Hey, I tagged you for the IWD contest. Sorry for the (horribly) short notice!

Smitha said...

GM, You have been tagged -

Momo's Ma said...

hey, u got guts to be open abt not being open. very sensitive person. since i am still new to blogging, i often find myself writing and rewriting stuff cos i feel i am not sure if i want the world to know abt it. tho im mostly writing abt my child, there are still things/ events/ people, i dont wish to incorporate and maintaining a fine line sometimes may be difficult.

The Soul of Alec Smart said...


Here's sheepishly admitting that I'm now reading this post clearly for the first time. Last night, just rushed through it.

I really like the part where you said that sometimes it's a relief to see someone writing about the not-so-candyfloss part of their lives, so you don't feel that you're the only loser who has this xyz issue.

But I do think that being anonymous or not is a huge factor of how open you can be or you can afford to be. I know, a lot of posts sitting in my drafts can ruffle a few feathers in the personal sphere, so I just let them lie and keep contemplating another blog. On the same note, I haven't really made the effort of deleting old posts writing more unabashedly, when I was not "discovered" by people I know. (That could be attributed to laziness too :D)

The other thing, I feel, is this need to create an alternate reality that I associate with blogging. Lots of people - and I don't mean this in a bad way - use their blogs to step away from the mundane. In the process, they cut out the ugly bits and keep the good ones that they'd like to revisit.

Your posts always get me thinking, and I end up posting these loooong comments. In short, I blame you for the lecture above.

MRC said...


As you said, it's a personal limit. In my case, the loose guidelines that I follow are not to write about something that is not exclusively mine to share (without permission from everyone concerned), and anything that would not be discussed with/shown to casual acquaintances of me and my family.
Also, I steer clear of writing about things which I dont know enough about to have an educated opinion, and hence my blog is all about "Bits and Pieces from MY life"

D said...

I avoid writing about anyone else on my blog except people whom I'm very, very close to because I know they wouldn't mind if I mentioned them. And also because if someone else were to write about me on their blog without my permission, I wouldn't like it if they didn't know me too well. That's the boundary I've drawn on my blog.

And the posts you think are cryptic aren't always so. Sometimes, I just don't say anything in reaction because I have nothing to add. But I think I know where you are coming from most of the times.

Passionate Goof said...

Soul AS n Smitha - Thanks.

Momo's Ma - I know exactly what you mean. And whats there to have guts, that is the way it i with each one of us isn't it?

Soul Of Alec Smart - I happily take all the blame, and glad to see you getting active on the blog-scene again.Please do keep the long cpomments coming, I enjoy reading them. I do agree anonymity contributes highly to our ability to write and express freely. And I really love the people who keep their blog a happy place, its so much fun to read na?

MRC - Fair enough. Not sharing whats exclusively mine was the main reason i did not publish my last post.

D - A very sensible boundary, exactly what you stand for. :D Oh, I am sure i am not that cryptic to people who know me, or read me regularly, but for those who are not friends, prying or just trying to get stuff to use to their benefit, they get nothing right!!

Trish said...

Wowww..I was just thinking about this today..and you wrote about it.My blog is mostly like an open book..because thats how I am.But that holds true only for what I think,and feel..and when writing about our immediate family,as long as I am comfortable about it,I write it..I dont want DH to come n accuse me of cribbing about him in public..
And you know how u said,howcome no one cribs about ILs on the blogs,I wonder too..I generally dont post a rant or cribbing post,till I can avoid it..simply because,the blog is my happy corner..and I want to keep it that way..:D

sraikh said...

What I want to know is why no one says anything bad about their spouses on the blog.

I share quite a bit, dont I?

I have gone back and made a few posts private.
One of my rules is that if I can share it with a friend,then its fair game for my blog. I try not to write about XYZ unless they do something to piss me off..

Passionate Goof said...

Trish - I agree completely with what you say about your blog. Yes no one does about ILs, I think one reason could be the fear of being snooped on, has happened to me, loads of drama-shaama. And the second is because people want to keep their blog free of negativity, just like u, possible na. Also a select few, may feel its very middle-class/LS/non-elitist to talk about their ILs. And I think there are few of each.

Sraikh - You crib about NK??? When, all I hear is about your funny convos, and how cute he is. Its good that you have privatised posts you don't feel comfy about sharing. I don't crib about the GP, often, because when I am mad at him, I am plain mad,blinded by rage, and if I post on it, it will be a one-sided rant, which I feel maybe unfair. At other times, I have cribbed about him, loads of times.

Reflections said...

Loved the post GM...dont really have much to say coz I'm busy nodding at everything in ur post:-)

But to answer one question I dont have a single draft lying in blogger. Everytime after publishing a post I'd think I'll start on the next post the next day but it never happens, then finally after a week, uncomfortable pokes from friends & fellow-bloggers push me into writing the next one.....bahut laid-back hoo;-(

Pixie said...

I usually don't rant about K on the blog because it will be only MY side of the story! :P
Whereas, in erality both of us will be at blame.

I have written a post about the in-laws.
I don't write about them because its painful to me and to K and frankly, there isn't much to tell since there is not much interaction