Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Blogging, privacy and being outed

Last year I wrote a post about losing my anonymity, and my concerns about my blog name becoming known within my friends and colleagues. My anonymity was something important to me, largely because I didn't want my ex-husband to find it but also because I wanted to restrict the number of people from my real world finding about about it. Even as an increasing number of people found out that I had a blog, few of them knew its name.

I suppose it was inevitable that sooner or later my blog name would be 'outed' as it were and - finally - I think it's happened.

I'm off work today with a bad cold and a chesty cough (if I were male, it would be called man flu) and earlier this morning whilst doing some blog admin and checking my stats. I noticed that someone at the ISP from work was logged onto my blog. I kept refreshing the stats, and they were still there. For nearly two hours.

I could see all of the blog posts they'd read, and it felt really unsettling.

The thing is, I really like my colleagues - all of them. After a few tricky years with a psycho headteacher  (who's thankfully long gone) we are a happy team - friends even -  and they've been a tower of strength over the past few years when I've dealt with my own personal crises.

And just to be clear, I have never discussed work-related issues on here - even in the darkest days of the psycho head I never shared it on here. Too risky. I mean we've all heard of people who have lost their jobs because of that sort of thing. No, the nearest I come to the is when I write about some of the funny things the children say - and even then I change the children's names.

But my blog has always been my personal space and now the content will be compromised.

Why? Because I'm not sure I can be as open about some things. Over the past few years I've touched on so many very personal feelings and experiences, most of which I wouldn't normally discuss with a colleague, not even friends in some cases. But the blog is my way of getting it off my chest and receiving advice and support from my online friends.

I'm really not sure what to do. Do I continue as before and pretend I don't know they're reading it? Do I censor the private stuff and keep it very general? Even then, there's all the older posts where I talk about the personal stuff.

What would you do? Any advice would be very welcome.