Yes, just like spiderman anyone writing for the public really do have responsibilities to those around them. OK perhaps not EXACTLY like Spiderman but Im hoping you will catch my drift here…
Bloggers are sharers, we like to write, we find it cathartic, entertaining and enjoyable. Some of us are guilty of over sharing and some of us like to hold back certain things, things we aren’t comfortable sharing with the world. We all have our boundaries of what we like to talk about and what we don’t want to put out there, my rule of thumb is that I don’t blog anything that Id be mortified my mum reading, or things that would upset or embarrass my children.
I think through my posts before hitting that publish button and though occasionally Im on the fence as to whether it is 100% right to discuss, I think I get it fairly right.
Its something I have been thinking about recently as I have been asked to do some work with teenage girls, and at a meeting we discussed how we can work on blogging with them whilst ensuring their safety online and making sure they understand the importance of what their content could do to themselves and others. How they have to take ultimate responsibility for the things they choose to discuss online, whether that is sharing photographs or opinion.
Obviously the subject of my illness can be seen as something impolite to discuss in public, and I write about it because its important to me to share my experiences in the hope that it will help others. I talk in detail about my health, my illness, my surgeries and how my mind processes all these things. Because they are MINE, these things belong to me and I am happy to share them with you.
I suppose the responsibility of a blogger is a big grey area, Im no lawyer and so don’t know the laws around such things. What feels right for one person to talk about is a massive no no for someone else. This week I added another rule of thumb for myself which is I won’t blog about another persons life without theirs or their families permission.
I feel I can talk about MY illness all day long because its what I am going through and I own it. I have friends who have all manner of different illnesses from depression to cancer, infertility problems to other chronic illnesses. I will never blog about THEIR illness, their personal problems, naming them, because it just seems wrong, do you know what I mean?
Equally I would be horrified if I found a friend was writing publicly about me and things that I hadn’t put online. Id be devastated. And so would my husband and family.
It comes back to the fact that bloggers are sharers. When something happens, our brains start thinking about how we can write this down, how we can pour our feelings and thoughts onto the screen. But when you have an audience, especially if it is a big audience, that power has to come with responsibility.
I am all for talking about difficult subjects, raising awareness and bringing things to the forefront of peoples consciences in the hope of helping others, but I do think that we need to be mindful of how this can come across and that we don’t share things that don’t ‘belong’ to us.
Love Sam xx