Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Dangers of Blogging

I have been at this blogging thing for a little while now. I don't work at it every day, but I do take it somewhat seriously. I share personal thoughts and reflections, some silly things and a lot of my heart. That is, I regularly share what I think is crucially important to me, to my family and to the world.

A good deal of that sharing has to do with my faith. It is important to me that my faith is communicated clearly and in a compelling way. I try to talk about faith issues as they relate to music, movies, popular culture and life in general. Faith should not be separate from normal life, but faith should be normal life.

Then it hit me last weekend: Blogging is dangerous. I have identified some serious dangers with blogging, at least in the way I do it.
  • My opinions change over time. When I share my opinion, I am giving you what I believe with all my heart. The problem with this is that as I grow- emotionally, mentally, and in faith- my opinions change. I change. In fact, I am not the same person I was 10 years ago. I have grown a lot. And that is exactly the problem. My opinions get posted online and they are out there forever. Know that I am being honest with you, but that my thoughts might be different than they used to be, and they might change in the future. I hope that doesn't make me dishonest.
  • There is a great danger of being misunderstood. I am absolutely clear about what I write when I am writing. I know what I mean to say, and I try my best to say it. The problem is that I may not always be able to effectively communicate my thoughts. Furthermore, it could be that you may not have the same context that I do, and therefore are unable to understand what I am saying. All of this can potentially lead to problems.
  • Sometimes I may be too emotional in my entries. I try to avoid strong feelings. If I am especially passionate about a subject, I give it a couple of days to settle in my heart and brain. Then I write about it- while it is still important, but not so emotional. Everyone knows the feeling of writing an angry email only to think better of it after it is sent. Blogging makes that a possibility every day. And the possibility is that the whole world will be offended by it.
  • There is a loss of privacy. If you read these entries, even the generic ones, you learn things about me. I am less private because this information is available. At any moment of any day someone can find out things about me. I know that I do this by choice, but it is a little disconcerting nonetheless.

I do not plan to stop blogging. I am not even sure that I will change how I do it. But, now I am aware of some dangers. I will be paying attention to my own writing.

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