Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Don't be bloggin' idiots y'all

Yes, I write on a personal blog. I don't blog under an assumed name, and I have what is essentially a personal blog. But I have two simple rules:

1. I don't write intensely personal details on my blog: No marital issues, home life problems, personal family issues, bitching about in-laws, venting steam about specific people, which I might come to regret anyway.

2. No blogging about work. Period.

And silly me, I thought everyone must do the same. Apparently not. Kids post racy pictures and writings on social networking sites where professors and other classmates can see them.

Okay, so they're kids. Adults wouldn't do this right? WRONG!

First there, is the flight attendant who blogged about her job and got the ax. Never fear though, she is hawking a book deal. Maybe she'll land on her feet.

Then, the teacher who wrote about wrote on myspace.com and is now on administrative leave.

There's the Golman-Sachs trader who logged 550 hours on facebook and was dismissed. The stories go on.

Do most people not read their corporate policies? No one deserves to be fired...but use your gourds people.

Then there are the personal repercussions. A young woman who bitched about her in-laws online was found out, apologized on her blog...and then apparently stopped blogging. There are other such stories.

If I am not comfortable announcing something from a loudspeaker it doesn't go on my blog. Of course, there are times I might camouflage an event or a feeling, which can find its way onto my blog but mainly I don't talk about work or my personal life in any great detail.

If there is something and I *have* to write about it I'll keep a journal. But a blog, no matter how private and personal is just NOT. Anyone can stumble upon it and if there's stuff I don't want out there, it won't be out there.

Whatever I have is not worth risking over a mere blog. A lot of my experiences, thoughts and feelings might make their way (in some subversively camouflaged way) into my other writings but I would never put them nakedly and openly online.

My blog is important to me. I can go back three years and see where my head was during that time. I leave crumbs which I can use to reconstitute past times for myself but which remain hidden for most readers. So, yes I blog for myself but the fact that I press a Publish button does mean it's for public consumption.

I do have a problem with anonymous bloggers being outed and harrassed. But bloggers also need to be smart or then willing to take on the consequences of being targeted by low-life trolls and stalkers.

Some might call this hypocrisy or being a coward. I call it being smart and holding on to what I have.
And that includes my privacy and my sanity.


Bina said...

I have to ask what brought this post on... specific incident or just something on your mind?

And belated happy birthday!!

dipali said...

Absolutely, Jawahara.

Jawahara Saidullah said...

Nothing specific Bina. I just read a news story about the flight attendant and then my niece told me about her professors having to tell graduating seniors not to post stupid things on facebook and on blogs because employers check for that.
And thanks :-)

Glad you agree Dipali

cube said...

Sage advice.

temporal said...

you are real?

as in livin', breathin', dancin' singing' real?


i always thought you were unreal

(yes, me baaad)

Jawahara Saidullah said...

The greatest trick the devil ever pulled off was convincing the world she did not exist ;-)