Tracy S. Morris

Quirky Mysteries, Screwball Fantasy and Sassy History

On why I think I’m not meeting full blog potential

Written By: Tracy - Apr• 24•08

Last fall I started this thing as a way of hopefully journaling my writing process.  Now, a half-year later, I think it’s made of large amounts of fail.  Part of the problem, as I see it, is that I’m not of the blogger mindset. 

I have a lot of friends who LJ, and they’re pretty comfortable with the whole process. I’m not.  Not really. Part of the problem is that I’m not really that comfortable with folks knowing everything about me. 

We live in the culture of TMI.   Where 16 year olds take naked photos of themselves on their phones and send them to their boyfriends, nineteen year olds put drunken party pictures of themselves on their My Space pages, and then can’t understand at 25 why their potential employers don’t want to hire them after a google search reveals said pictures, I’m just not that comfortable putting personal information out there. 

It freaks me out a little when my husband’s business associates Google his name, and then ask him about my books. It’s not that I don’t want them to know about them (I’d like them to buy them).  But it’s the thought of having total strangers look me up and judge.  

Back before I met my husband, I had one or two guys who I had zero interest in try to impress me by telling me how much they knew about me after a simple Google search.  Instead, it freaked me out. (No, I don’t want to date you.  But here is a lovely restraining order.)

I’ve been told that my grandpa was a hard person to get to know.  He kept a lot of his thoughts and opinions to himself.  I used to think it was because he saw a lot of mentally-scarring things during his wartime experiences.  Now I think that’s just the way he was.  

Sometimes, I think I’m the same way.  When everything is said and done, I think that even my family, who know me best, may not know everything about me.  

And I’m comfortable with that.

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8 Comments

  1. Yes, that’s really me in the icon…

    I didn’t know about this journal until I saw the link in .

    My personal philosophy regarding online personae is probably partly born out of the fact that I’ve grown up around computers. While not active on any, I remember the time of BBS’s and 14.4k modems being the fastest on the market. 😀

    My LJ is a mix of personal and fanfic. I started it because of RL friends that had trouble keeping track of me in med skool. Some ppl know what my real name is, but I usually use my Hyacinth Girl moniker for e-mail/LJ or Eustacia Vye for ficcing. I’ve gotten to know some other LJers as friends, but I limit who gets my actual contact info. I don’t actively hide stuff, but I don’t make it readily available. My LJ is public so friends of mine who aren’t on LJ can read it, and so fic is available. I rarely friendslock or private lock, but there are some entries where I have thought it was appropriate to do so. My Hubby can access it any time he wants, but he knows I tell him anything worth mentioning anyway. Someone truly industrious could probably comb through my journal, piece together hints and Google where I am and who I am.

    I also don’t link other places back to LJ and vice versa. I have a MySpace (hate that place with a passion) and Facebook (better at controlling who has access) but LJ is where I’ve been the longest and it’s what I’m most comfy with.

    And strangely enough, the familiarity with the online world wound up being a topic of discussion with one of my supervisors, and she thinks I should start a) a study in the field and b) make it an area of future expertise.

    Long story short, common sense and judgment should be the filters of choice. Unfortunately, people in general don’t have this.

    • Tracy says:

      Re: Yes, that’s really me in the icon…

      I have neither My Space or Facebook. I’ve wondered if I should delve into either. Particularly since you can now post to LJ from Facebook.

      My hubby has one or the other, can’t remember which. But when it’s late night and he’s board, that’s usually what he’s doing.

      I’ve just never explored either. I’ve got my picture as an Icon on my blog, and I thought really *really* hard about doing that.

      • Re: Yes, that’s really me in the icon…

        I resisted getting either for a long time. MySpace bugs me on many levels. I already had a journal, so I don’t need their blog feature. They have a messy login page. I don’t like how it looks, even if you can tweak the html to make it look nicer. I finally compromised for the sake of my friends who kept insisting I needed one, and put the settings so that you need to know my name and/or e-mail in order to friend me. That got rid of all the trolls and losers on there.

        Facebook I finally got this past year since most of the other residents I knew and one or two ppl from college had one. It doesn’t have any true blog feature on it, but it does have limiting factors in place so trolls can’t randomly friend you. I like its security features that way. It has other meme-y things on it, but it’s fairly stalker-free as far as I can tell.

        Unless there’s a pressing need (which there hardly ever is) you don’t have to go onto either site. Unless you want to find out what former high school or junior high classmates are up to, in which case Facebook is the better option. 🙂

        • Tracy says:

          Re: Yes, that’s really me in the icon…

          I think most of my friends LJ. My family barely e-mails. Occasionally, I’ll hear of such and such actor or musician with a myspace account, and I’ll wonder if it’s worth it.

          This may bear further investigation.

  2. muses_circle says:

    I think it’s totally okay that you choose not to share personal things online. I think, in the end, it’s a matter of deciding just what you’d like to put out there in cyberspace. Besides, why do something if you’re not comfortable doing it?

    • Tracy says:

      That’s true. But I also grew up with a paranoid mother who used to tell me stories about axe murderers who would hide in the backseat of unsuspeciting young women at gass stations and then chop them into tiny bits.

      So I have a bit of a paranoid complex steming from that. I’ve also bookmarked Snopes.com so that whenever she sends me stories about LSD-laced temporary tattoos, I can tell her that it’s not true.

      • muses_circle says:

        Yeah, I can see how that would tend to make someone less likely to want to put personal information out there.

        Snopes.com is a wonderful site, because I do the same thing with my mother. Funny how she has since stopped sending me as many of those emails.