33: Like 32, but...older.

Well, I've nearly made it through my first day of "being 33 years old" and frankly, it doesn't bother me very much.

Certain events in my personal life over the past five years have me really considering my mortality, but frankly, this birthday doesn't even come close to the top of that list. Too many deaths, sicknesses, cancers, miscarriages, etc are above it on the list.

I'm quite happy to be 33, actually.


Which brings me to another issue of late, and it's one that you've probably read about before: the "too much information" factor. I read this entry on blogfathers earlier today, concerning the amount of information we give out about ourselves online (see Dooce), and (in this case) the amount of ammunition we give to those who may wish to visit abuse on our children. And, while I'm still on the fence about it, there are certain things you can't really take back, and certain things you want to share with people you know (or people who know you, whatever the case may be).

There are dozens of bloggers out there who freely discuss their children by name (finslippy, dooce, fussy, ninjapoodles, Jen and Tonic ), and some who do not (cool beans, untitled life, somewhere on the masthead ) -- each with their own reasons, each with their own limits. Some seem to revel in it, while others are just guarding personal information like a fifth-grade secret. And does it really matter? Does it matter to the reader? What about to the blogger?

So, now's your time to chime in, if you dare: what do YOU think about sharing personal information? What is your limit -- short of posting your street address for the world to see.

Also, I think it's nearly time for another "de-lurking week" to visit the blogosphere (*gag* i hate that word)...

Speak up. Don't make me post the icon.

- themikestand

Posted bythemikestand at 4:02 PM  

17 stepped up to the mike:

jenny said... 2:01 AM, March 14, 2006  

God, no - not the icon! Hey - happy birthday! Mine's coming up this weekend (35 - ouch!) - Pisceans kick a**!

If I had children, I would probably share stories about them, but I think I'd be very leery of putting their pictures up. I definitely worry about all the freaks on the Internet.

And I TOTALLY agree with the no writing about work policy. It's just too risky.

jenny said... 2:03 AM, March 14, 2006  

Okay, but your kids are ADORABLE, so I guess I'm glad you share pics of them. :)

themikestand said... 8:09 AM, March 14, 2006  

jenny:
Like I said, I'm still kind of on the fence about things. Maybe it's the "Canadian" in me that thinks there's no harm in sharing?

And happy birthday! I trust I'll read something on your site which will tell me if this one is a traumatic experience or not.

sween said... 10:27 AM, March 14, 2006  

Ahem. Happy birthday.

>:-)

I have once been asked to remove a picture of the Golden Child from my site by my brother-in-law and his wife. They felt a picture of him pretending to drink an unopened can of beer might give people the wrong impression.

Oddly, they were fine with him downing a bottle of Vicodan.

sween said... 10:29 AM, March 14, 2006  

Disclosure: I'm hitting 35 in September.

Sigh.

gingajoy said... 10:50 AM, March 14, 2006  

first--happy birthday. 33 was a good year for me, but let me tell you, it's all downhill from here (I have 17 days of 34 left).

in response to your question. it's actually been one I've been thinking of for a while also. I do not tend to write a great deal about my son (or, indeed, my hubs). this was initially because my old man has this thing called "boundaries" and a "sense of personal space." in a nutshell he asked me not to write about them in intimate detail. maybe it's a guy thing. i, on the other hand, will tell you far more than you ever wanted to know...

at first i bristled. there are times when i really would like to recount the horrors of potty training going on at our place right now, but then i think one day boyo might actually come across this stuff. does he really want to learn that at the age of 3 I was freaking out about his toilet training (or lack thereof)? so, i am challenged to find other things to write about--not that i cannot write about being a parent in the abstract, and especially my experience of it, but i try to steer a little clear of what might be too much intimate information about people other than myself. i think about if someone else was writing about me like this and how i would feel.

like you, i am on the fence. but in the end (in terms of reading stuff) if it's well written, i think it is great. and it's a choice.

Sassy said... 11:22 AM, March 14, 2006  

HAPPY (belated) BIRTHDAY!! I hope you had a great day. :)

As for sharing information...I don't know why I do it. I know why I started using anonymity, but it wasn't for safety so much as just keeping the hecklers at bay. Long story. But, it also might save me my job. I know a girl (one of the hecklers, actually) who got fired b/c she shared too much about her job in her blog, and b/c she chose not to be anonymous, they knew it her, and they fired her. Yikes.

sween said... 11:39 AM, March 14, 2006  

And that is why I have never mentioned my job on my site. Ever. I just don't see the need for the risk.

My job's boring anyways...

candy said... 1:12 AM, March 15, 2006  

Happy Birthday, old man! heh heh...

You know, when I started my blog I didn't think I'd share names, but then it just sort of started happening. There's probably a thousand ways for people to track us down, but I think I subscribe to the idea that if someone really wants to find me or my kids, they will. I can obsess or move along.

So this is me, moving along.

themikestand said... 11:07 AM, March 15, 2006  

Thanks everyone.

And thanks Jason, for posting a semi-scary picture of me from my fatter ultimate days.

Candy: I think I started out the same way, too. Of course I've stayed wary of mentioning work very much. Since I have very few coworkers, bitching about them doesn't seem like a smart idea, or even an entertaining one.

As far as family goes, I think I was treading cautiously, but I don't really feel important enough for anyone to hunt me down. And I'm not worth anything (but a metric buttload of debt), so the whole identity theft thing? Not very scary ;-)

SassyK said... 11:30 AM, March 15, 2006  

Aiee I am a bit late as been studying and also having my birthday. But only just 3-0. Happy belated and am having a catch up read as been a while! Hope all well and may 33 be like 32, but way better.

Jessica said... 11:42 AM, March 15, 2006  

Happy b-day to you - I'll be 33 this year.

My husband and I are always talking about how much better our lives are in our 30's - I can't imagine going back to my financially and emotionally unstable 22 year old self.

Now - about blogging - I share my own bit of personal info (never on my friends without their permission) but never about work. Also, although I post plenty of pics of my 15 year old son - I can't bring myself to call him out by name. Giving his name to the Internet just seems like too much for me. I know it's odd.

coolbeans said... 12:10 AM, March 17, 2006  

Happy Birthday, cat. You are older than me so I could tease you about it forever. Will I? Time will tell.

My husband and I discussed whether I should use pictures or names or both or neither. The final conclusion was that names are Google-able. Pictures are less so. So, for a period of time I had small pictures of my children on my website. At first they were "below the fold" and scrolling was required to view them. Later, those same pictures were used in a banner. But that was short lived.

After some commotion over picture theft amongst the cloth diapering community, I removed the pictures and feel good about that decision.

My children have slightly unusual first names which I sometimes share with regular readers via e-mail. One of my favorite blogging women doesn't use her children's names on her blog but does an excellent job of sharing enough about them that I am not bothered by not knowing. In fact, I think she does a great job of sharing herself without giving herself away. (http://smallhand.blogspot.com)

As far as work is concerned, I do sometimes write about it. When I do write about work, I write about how it affects me as a mother or a woman or how I'm frustrated, restless, bored. General, vague, non-specific stuff that doesn't put the company or its employees in a weird position should they find it. I think we should be able to blog about work and how it affects us in our personal lives. But one must proceed with caution. Exaggeration and accusation must be left out of job blogging to CYA. Unless you don't care if you're reprimanded for what you're writing, of course.

Belinda said... 3:04 AM, March 18, 2006  

Everything I write, even about seemingly goofy, trivial stuff, is with Bella in mind, and the idea that one day she will have this silly blog as a record of who her mother was and what was on my mind at any given points in her life. So gosh, no, I'd never write anything that I think could potentially embarrass or otherwise harm her. I hope I leave things that will help her along her own way, and maybe even live on in usefulness beyond that. Most of all, I want her to know that the overriding force in my life, the honest-to-goodness sunshine in my soul, is HER, and my intense, burning, fierce love for her.

I want her to understand what a miracle she was, and how many times I was told she would never be. I write, in a somewhat oblique way, about the many adversities her parents have faced, because I want her to know that if her life isn't always sunshine and lollipops, that that is a perfectly normal state of affairs and can be dealt with, and at the same time I don't want her mired down in the "heaviness" of what life can have in store. And I guess, like any parent, the ultimate hope is that in experiencing my struggles, hers may be eased, or better navigated.

And I use her first name for the same reason I use ours: Simply put, I could never, ever, in a million years remember to use a "pen name" EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Never. I just ain't that good.

Happy Belated Birthday from someone seeing your age in the rearview of 6 yeras ago. Many, many happy returns.

Matthew said... 1:04 AM, March 19, 2006  

I wrote that post on theblogfathers.com because my wife and I sometimes debate the significance of a post I put on my personal blog. She also is wary of posting pics and I now have to run them by her before putting any up. I was very naive when I started the blog because never in a million years did I think anyone outside immediate family and friends would read about my kids. Now that hundreds of people a day read about them, I'm worried I may have opened Pandora's box. I've already stated their names a million times. I have gone back and done some revisionist history like deleting the town we live in and our last names - but anyone who knows us can find us easily on Google if they type the right names.

I guess I'll just have to come to grips that someday, my children won't want me to comment on their lives and I'll just have to respect that.

Happy birthday, by the way.

Big Daddy said... 9:47 PM, March 23, 2006  

I wasn't worried about posting most stuff. I asked permission before posting stuff from friends [but only first names].

Then I got site meter and that kind of freaked me out. How much information was on there.

Yikes.

Great site. Regards from The States.

themikestand said... 8:57 AM, March 24, 2006  

I just had to thank everyone for their input on web identity and blogging. It really means a lot to me that you spent the time commenting!

And thanks for the birthday wishes, too!

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