Is Your Blog The Other Woman…Or Man?

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blog cheating

I literally had to catch myself before the words were out of my mouth…

I was driving home after a crazy busy day that started with an early morning blog post about entrepreneurial ADD. Shortly after hitting the publish button, I headed out for the day, before the rest of the family was even up and found myself swept along until finally, I blinked, and it was time to head home.

So, I picked up my wife and as she shared the events of her day and things started to circle around to my day and what was going on in my head…

I had this irresistible urge to just tell her, “go read my blog!”

It was almost like the knee-jerk reaction many of us have as kids when we call home and regale one parent with the details of our lives, then, when the other one gets on the line, we cringe at the thought of having to re-tell the full catastrophe yet again.

Thankfully, I am pretty good at pausing before I speak long enough consider the intelligence of what I’m about to say (trust me, not always). And I realized the arrogance of it, then told my wife what I’d almost just said and we both had a good laugh. But, it got me thinking…

How often does sharing what’s on your mind online stop you from sharing it “again” with those closest to you in the “real” world?

Has anyone else experienced this?  How have you handled it? And, have you ever shared things on online, BEFORE you’ve shared the same thing with those closest to you…or never even gotten to that second step?

Is it cheating? Or, at the very least selfish or disrespectful? Or is it fine?

Dunno, just working all this out. What do you guys think?

Let’s discuss…

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16 responses

16 responses to “Is Your Blog The Other Woman…Or Man?”

  1. Lara Kretler says:

    Jonathan, you’ve nailed it here. Sometimes my husband will say “hey, you didn’t tell me about X” and I’ll respond with “yes, of course I did!” but then later realize I blogged about it but didn’t tell him. Doh! I think it’s only fair that our significant others should hear about things first, directly from us, before we blog about them! Now I try to bounce things off him first and get his thoughts before I blog about them. Often I’m even able to incorporate some of his ideas into my blog (and give him credit, of course), which makes him feel great about it.

    At a recent presentation during Podcamp Ohio, Daniel Johnson, Jr. joked that there should be a 5K to raise funds for the widows and orphans of social media. My husband is all for that idea! 😉

  2. I share the interesting things that pop on my blog; like how “kittens” has been my top search term for the past month, or the nasty comment drama. For the most part, though, he is the sounding board for much of what I write – so he doesn’t need to really go read it.

  3. I don’t know if I like what you’re saying man, mainly because it hits too close to home. Fortunately my wife will point this out to me and come over and close the laptop for me if it goes on too long.

  4. Robyn says:

    A fair number of bloggers are introverts and we have a tendency to think that because we thought it, we said it. So creating a post is actually the second time we’ve “said” it. Talking about it again probably seems like redundancy to us when we’ve already moved on to the next idea. Lara has come up with a great solution for that. My late husband (another introvert) and I used to check in a couple of times during our work day, so by the time we got home, we were already pretty aware of what the day’s issues had been.

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  6. This happens to me all the time. Friends or family will ask me how my day went, or how a particular audition went (I’m an actress), and I find myself having to tell the same story I just blogged, often retelling 3 or 4 times. Sometimes I do just want to say “Read my blog.” but that’s a rude thing to say to someone who takes an interest in what’s going on with me, so I refrain.

  7. The Internet is an easy thing to get pulled into. It does take on a life of its own.

    There are things that happen to me online that are very difficult to even explain to the people in my ‘actual’ life. So yeah – I can relate to not thinking of actually telling them, however stupid it is – or to asking them to read the blog.

    I recently became a giant squid 🙂 – anybody here want to guess what that means?

  8. CSI Seattle says:

    With the crazy schedule that my wife and I have, she reads my Blog just to know what’s going on in my life. Although, I don’t Blog to often about my day to day activities, it’s sometimes about as close as we get.

    Jonathan, wait until they day your wife reads a sexy comment left by one of your female readers. Then you have to answer the question, “Well, who is she?” Been there, done that…

    A little off topic, but maybe not.

    Brian

  9. Whoa, what a great question. Since I am not married at present, I do not have to worry too much about this. I do have friends who read my blog just to see what I am up to lately and I have found myself more than once saying, “read today’s post” just so I won’t have to “retell” something to a “real ” friend. ( as opposed to a virtual friend.) Hm. Now I wonder… are our offline friends ever jealous of our online friends?

    Great thought provokers here lately … Well as usual actually.

  10. Lin Burress says:

    My family really doesn’t read my blog regularly so I haven’t found myself experiencing this very much. It is interesting though since blogging does take quite a bit of time so it’s a good reminder to make sure my hubby and family is getting the attention and time they need and deserve.

    My family used to read my blog when I first started cuz they were worried I’d be talking about them and wondered what I might say. I’m too smart to unload the dirty laundry using names etc. It’s funny though, cuz I actually do discuss personal situations that occur in the family, but if I use any names it’s never a real name. hehehe

  11. Jonathan Fields says:

    @ Everyone – hmmm, looks like a lot of people who blog have shared a similar experience. Funny thing is, as far as I know, nobody in my family reads my blog, but I sometimes think they’d have a better sense of what I am up to and where my head is if they did.

    But, again, I really don’t want to just say “read my blog,” because like we’ve all pretty much said, that’s not the way you treat people who take a genuine interest in your life.

    Thankfully, because I control my days, this isn’t so much a problem for my wife and I, on most days we actually connect all throughout the day and often we are in the same place for the better part of them. But, this is likely more of an issue for me when it comes to the bigger family and friends.

    I also think this phenomenon is not limited to blogs, but also to any online social hubs where many of hang out and share thoughts, stories and laughs.

    I wonder if there is a line to be drawn, where spending too much time sharing your life online detracts from your willingness to share it in person (often with those you are writing about)?

  12. Eric says:

    Balancing your work online with your personal life is one of the largest challenges facing those of us in the blogging community. Like people who unnecessarily bring their work home at the end of the day, we often have issues defining the boundaries between our work and our personal/social lives-in the life of a blogger, both even share the same house!

    Is sharing online rather than in-person cheating? I think you can see it that way. When I was younger, one of my mentors gave me wonderful advice, “be here, wherever that may be.” It sounds cryptic, but it was powerful. He was urging me to be fully invested in whatever surroundings of community I was in-while at work, focus on performing your job and filling your responsibilities. While at home, focus on being with your family and brushing off work-related issues until you’re back at work.

    It’s hard to share the same story more than once in a day, so it’s important to decide where and how you want to share before hitting the “publish” button. I still have a hard time with it, though …

  13. HRH says:

    Yes. It has been hard since my husband refuses to read my blog because, and I quote, “I live it”. So often I just want to say, “Go! Read. I rarely throw you under the bus. I am too tired to retell it!”

    Funny.

  14. Looks like you hit close to home for a number of people. My situation is somewhat different.

    I don’t have a husband or significant other to cheat on. My family and friends have minimal interest in my blog. Every now and then I warn them that they should check it periodically to see what I’m saying about them, but that doesn’t send them scurrying over.

    One day when they finally read it or have someone tell them what’s there, they’ll be shocked. It serves them right, don’t you think.:)

  15. I saw this in my feed list earlier and chewed on it a bit before responding a bit more philosophically.

    “I wonder if there is a line to be drawn, where spending too much time sharing your life online detracts from your willingness to share it in person (often with those you are writing about)? – Jonathan Fields.

    Yes, yes, yes, a thousand times yes!

    Except for the people who have no families or significant others, I thought blogging the way it is going is a business / marketing venture, not a substitue for real social interaction.

    In a direct contrast to most people, why, if you have real flesh and blood people around, do you feel the need to share information, feelings, experiences with total strangers for any other reason than a business / marketing reason?

    At what point has blogging become so important that it is a substitute for real human interactions when you have real humans with which to interact?

    Why would anyone want to be that close with electrons traveling through cyber-space except for business purposes?

    It’s one thing if there is no one else there, but to give away that much of yourself through blogging suggest there are other issues involved to me.

    Connecting through electrons instead of real life should be a warning sign that perhaps blogging is trying to fill some space your family, friends and real life human interactions should be fulfilling. And why aren’t they? Why allow strangers a bigger part of you than your spouse, your family, your friends?

    Not sharing that part of yourself that you are openly sharing with any stranger with an internet connection would be, IMHO, placing yourself on a very slippery slope.

    I don’t read blogs that are odes to people’s navel gazing. I really don’t care what you think about how your day went. I’ve had my own day to deal with. I really don’t care to read about your half-baked philosophical ramblings you had while you were standing in line at Starbucks.

    I’ve gotten my real friends to understand, “No, I am not reading your MySpace, Facebook, or whatever other Johnny-Come-Lately social network blog.” I’m simply not interested. If we can’t have real conversation, then I’ll see you when I see you.

    The blogs I subscribe or read regularly are because they offer information on a topic I find of interest. I read this one because it sometimes has thought provoking articles.

    I don’t have a personal blog. The only blog I have is for my company. Only things pertaining to what I am doing at my company are on that blog.

    The only people who I feel would be interested in my personal life and opinions are the people who are in my personal life, not strangers. And if I ever felt a need to connect on-line to the point where strangers know more about my “head space” than the people in my life, then there is something missing with my real life relationships that needs attending.

  16. Cath Lawson says:

    Hi Jonathan. That’s an interesting question. Sometimes, once you’ve committed something to paper, it’s easy to forget you didn’t even tell your nearest and dearest about it. I get round this by getting my husband to check my posts for typos. He also gives me a mark out of 10 for each post. Trouble is, I nearly always get an 8.