Life Behind the Screen

person

Who are you behind the screen? What do you choose not to share with your readers? I would assume that for most of us, there is a lot that we do not share. It is the world wide web after all. Why would we want to share everything?

Today, I learned a valuable new fact about a fellow blogger. Someone that I’ve “known” for almost a year and read their blog nearly everyday. It was at that moment that I fully realized that they have a life behind the screen. A life that no one knows about, but them. I find that fascinating, because that applies to most of us.

We pick and choose what we will write about. Although there are a few people who write about deeply personal subjects, most of us do not. The majority of posts from bloggers are rather generic, focusing on opinions, day to day activities, humorous events, observations and random thoughts.

What people don’t normally write about are the personal issues that they face. Although it would benefit us emotionally to write about these topics, most of us choose not to.

Why is that? Is it the fear of judgment? Not wanting to gain unneeded attention, or sympathy from readers? Or, is it simply because not everyone needs to know?

As for me, I fall into all of those categories depending on the topic.

How do you decide what you will and will not write about? Do you have a life behind the screen that none of your readers know about?

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65 Responses to Life Behind the Screen

  1. LOL, I tend to over share – but I totally get what you are saying – that moment when you realize there is another dimension and level to those we “know” 🙂

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    • mewhoami says:

      I appreciate those like you who over share. It’s good to know people who aren’t afraid to be themselves. I open up about most things, but there are some areas of my life I doubt I would ever share.

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  2. amommasview says:

    I evaluate what I want people who know me personally and follow my blog to know. There is a group of people who I stupidly invited to follow my blog on Facebook. And I just don’t want them to know certain things about me. Because they do know me but also not well enough. And I don’t like them enough to share everything. I wouldn’t mind sharing certain things with my other followers, the strangers who decided that they like my blog. But, well, I made a mistake and now I am no longer truly incognito for those I want to be…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I tend to keep my shares at surface level. Sometimes I’ll dig a bit deeper. But the internet is full of a lot of scary people, so I like to keep our names and pictures and specific details off the internet. 😉 Great post!

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  4. The real me says:

    I am careful what I post due to my ‘special’ followers. But would otherwise be happy to share more. I think my blog gives a general outline to who I am but I do deliberately neglect to mention details of my life style not that I am ashamed but it can be interpreted completely wrong and will never give out details that would link directly to children in my family. They have been targeted by those ‘special’ followers and so I wouldn’t even mention their names.

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    • mewhoami says:

      Special followers do make it difficult to share all that we would want to otherwise. It’s hard to say what people in our real life will feel about what we write and how they will look at us after we have written it. Like you, my blog gives an outline of who I am, but certainly not the whole story. It’s good that you don’t give out details of the children. Some things are best let unsaid.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. candidkay says:

    I could write so much more if blog were anonymous, but some of the things we write would hurt those we love and they’re not our stories alone . . .

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    • mewhoami says:

      You are right about that. There are some stories that are not ours to tell. We should always consider the feelings of others before writing anything.

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    • markbialczak says:

      I think you balance your blog and privacy very well, Kay, as a former newspaper guy and constant reader of your writing. I don’t think you need to change a thing, and please don’t go anonymous on us. I think your sons should be, and will be, proud of you when the time comes to be involved in your blogging world, if they’re not already.

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  6. markbialczak says:

    I’ve always posted under my own name. I had no fear of this when I started blogging because I began writing in the newspaper business, stories and reviews and columns always under my own byline, no anonymity every considered. But those were about sports first, and then for most of my career, music. Now I blog about many things in my life, and yes, there are times when I do not go into all of the back story and details. I don’t want to in some cases, and there are, of course, other people’s feelings involved to consider, too.

    Mostly, though, I, too, would consider myself and over-sharer in the grand scheme of the blogging world, Me Who. I don’t hold back much.

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    • mewhoami says:

      The way that you started out would make it a tad bit more complicated. That’s where, if it were me, I’d think about starting a separate blog. Then again that would add even more complication, wouldn’t it?

      I agree about other people’s feelings. There are many things that we shouldn’t write because they involve more than just ourselves. We never know who could be reading what we write and who it could get passed around to.

      I think it’s okay to be an over-sharer. It makes up for all of us under-sharers. 🙂

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      • markbialczak says:

        I’ll be frank about our world, but I won’t embarrass my family or loved ones. That’s where I draw my line, Me Who. I trust my judgment that way, and they will have to also, I guess. This is a very interesting post, Thanks for making us think.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. tric says:

    I have shared a lot about my life and emotions, events and happenings. Some of it has helped me through some awful times and the support from the wordpress community over the past sad year was amazing.
    Apart from the post I wrote when my friends young boy ‘the young warrior’ died, the hardest post I ever shared was the one about allowing my daughter go to a guitar lesson and sit in the room alone with her male guitar teacher, at the age of 11, which is when life changed for me forever.
    By allowing her to go and by posting about it I felt I had bashed my way through another fence and I have had no regrets.
    Remarkably though there is still a lot of my life people do not know about.

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    • mewhoami says:

      You are one of the rare exceptions to this and I appreciate your open and honest posts. It’s bloggers like you that help the rest of us know and understand that we are not alone when we go through rough times. Thank you for that. We do have an amazing community here.

      I am happy that you were able to share your daughter’s experience as it related to your own. I imagine that that was very freeing for you emotionally. That is the wonderful thing about blogging and being open.

      It’s interesting how our lives can be so complex and full that even though we share as much as we do, there are still those private areas left untouched.

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  8. Doobster418 says:

    I blog anonymously, mostly because I don’t want the people I work with to know my deeply held personal convictions and opinions…and I do blog about deeply held personal convictions and opinions, as you know. I also post only very limited information about my family members, since I don’t feel it’s my place to reveal much about them on the interwebs. If they wish to do so in their Facebook and Twitter accounts or on their own blogs, that’s their choice. They are, after all, adults. But otherwise, I’m pretty open and somewhat unfiltered with what I post about on my blog.

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    • mewhoami says:

      Mixing blogging with work is normally not a good idea, so that’s understandable. I personally think that blogging anonymously is better, since we can blog more openly. You do share some rather personal thoughts and opinions, and a good variety at that. As for family, I agree with you. There are some stories that we should not tell, as they pertain to more than just ourselves.

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  9. DailyMusings says:

    So interesting- I think I reveal alot about myself in my posts. I find sometimes it is easier to share what I am thinking or how I feel about something by blogging. If anything it offers me a place to reveal my true feelings without worrying about being judged.

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    • mewhoami says:

      That is certainly one of the benefits of blogging. On here we can express ourselves freely. It’s not so easy to do that around the people we see everyday. I agree with you also, that it is easier to do through writing.

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  10. unsimplelife says:

    Interesting. This isn’t something i have given much thought to since i started blogging. I have some pretty personal posts up. There are some things i wouldn’t share i guess, but i try to take the approach that if i think one of my experiences will benefit someone out there, then it is worth exposing a little of myself.

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    • mewhoami says:

      I can see your point and agree. There are many people out there who need to hear stories similar to theirs so that they know that they are not alone. Our stories can help others who are either in the same situation currently, or to avoid it altogether.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I probably appear to share a lot. Even to people I know in “real time”. But quite frankly I hold quite a bit back. I do wish I had remained more anonymous, not for my sake but for others (family and friends). It’s one thing to reveal “me” it’s another thing to reveal others who may not wish to be revealed or associated with my writing/blog.

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    • mewhoami says:

      Even though you do share a lot, many of your personal posts are abstract. Although we could all take a guess at who you are talking about, there are many times when we would never know for certain. I do the same when I write about people close to me. I agree with you about being anonymous. It does take some pressure off.

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      • Thank you for this MeWAI (is that lazy of me to shorten your name?). I like that you see it as abstract. I often times wish it to come across as such. Not just for my sake, but for the sake of anyone who might be reading along and connecting because I don’t specifically make it ‘me’.

        I do think I would say things differently if it was completely anonymous though. But I also like the voice that I have found by trying to write in a balanced tone. I’m still working on it. But it makes me be more considerate, and kind.

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  12. Reblogged this on galesmind and commented:
    Interesting point. Yes there are things I don’t share. There are others deeply personal that I do. I write poetry and sometimes that has a mind of it’s own. I think that is what makes blogs interesting that little peek into another person’s mind.

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    • The real me says:

      She also stalks me each day and posts a whole lot of abuse under different names whilst posing as an innocent grandma

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      • You my dear are a lunatic. I could care less about your ravings but if the make you happy have fun.

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        • The real me says:

          You getting out if my life would make me happy. ….not too much to ask now is it?

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          • Deal stop following me all over WP please.

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            • The real me says:

              Are you going to remote all the lies you and your friends posted about me? Are you going to stop visiting my wp and fb ect. It your friend going to stop phoning my workplace?

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              • You ate crazy I am no longer going to respond to you on other people’s work. I am sorry you are so desperate for attention. Real Me or Abbe Lee Noble your name on Facebook.

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                • The real me says:

                  I didn’t eat anything. And I don’t want attention I want like I said last night. …you out of my life and business

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                  • I apologize to the writers of this blog for both of us. Your work shouldn’t be a showcase for narcissistic paranoia.
                    I fed into it and for that I am sorry. You want people to go away stop stalking them and tagging them. You are not on my blog yet you tag me all over yours and follow every post I make. I have reported you to Word Press for violating their terms of service. Now I am done with you. If you want people to leave you alone stop stalking them. Easily done.

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                    • The real me says:

                      Oh my goodness. People only have to read up to see who followed who. You subscribed to me not the other way round. I guess this proves the point I made when I first came to this blog. . . . And to the blog owner yes I do apologise but…. well you only have to read my posts to understand.

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                    • assassiness says:

                      The vast majority of bloggers and followers subscribe to the practice out of interest in shared stories and opinions. Some obviously use this medium to further their prowling skills to gather fodder to repost maliciously. From what I have seen of you and your activities, you should know what a narcissist and a stalker is, given that you appear to be a first class example. Practice what you preach.

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                    • Another name? Abbe tsk tsk get a life please. Stop following me all over the place you know you aren’t going to provoke me into a fight which is what narcissists like you want. Go blog about something good for a change instead of attacking people on other peoples blogs.

                      Like

    • mewhoami says:

      Thank you for the Reblog! I agree with you. I too enjoy that little peek into another person’s mind. There are such a variety of people out there with so many stories to tell. It is quite fascinating. Even though I’m not a poet, I do see how it can be very freeing. Thoughts flow and words fall onto the paper (or screen) almost effortlessly. Much can be said, without actually saying it, when writing poetry.

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  13. luckyotter says:

    Because my blog is primarily an online diary or journal for recovery (from narcissistic abuse), I pretty much tell everything about myself on my blog–except my real name. I don’t want certain people I know IRL to find me or my blog. Behind my made up name, I’m free to be myself much more so than I am IRL. The only thing I won’t admit is who I have a crush on.

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    • mewhoami says:

      For situations such as yours, I believe that it’s wonderful that you are so open an upfront. There are so many others out there who are dealing with abuse or have before and they need to know that they too can get out of that situation and overcome. Oh no, crushes can never be exposed. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Another thought-provoking post. Like most, I tend to keep things rather general….I have a healthy need for privacy in all areas, but especially online I find myself very nervous about who might be reading……

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    • mewhoami says:

      It is the world wide web, after all. Anyone could be reading. I try to think of that each time I post something, and that certainly adds a degree of unwanted pressure when writing. Privacy is important, now more than ever. Funny then, that we blog isn’t it?

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      • What I see in both my sons’ generations is privacy isn’t valued as it was before. I don’t know…I kind of think people will be sorry down the road, but as for me, I’m maintaining what little privacy I can. Concerning the humour in us blogging, yes, I do see your point, but then a need for privacy and a need to impart and be heard are two very different things, yes?

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        • mewhoami says:

          I agree, that eventually people will regret the many tidbits of information that they have shared. Like you though, I rather blog and be able to share my thoughts and opinions than remain silent and unheard.

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  15. LouiseH says:

    Dear Mewhoami, This post topic has been on my mind too. I don’t even do FB, twitter, et al. So I tend to go for the abstract, plus I’m treating my current blog as a laboratory to learn a few WordPress bells and whistles. I am cautiously entering social media. As I know more, I’ll know the boundaries of what to mention about myself. Thanks for prompting me to consider this issue more specifically!

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    • mewhoami says:

      I’ve found that writing in abstract can be just as satisfying as writing openly, with one exception. People don’t know exactly what I’m talking about and therefore can’t comment accurately with suggestions and/or words of encouragement. It’s good that you are entering with caution and taking the time to learn what to do and what not to do. It can be a scary thing to put your life out there for all (and anyone) to see. Thank you so much for your comment!

      Like

  16. Fay R Kesby says:

    It is true that in any social situation – blogging, work, family, friends – we present a certain face and carefully choose what we say and what aspects of ourselves we show, even if we do it subconsciously. There are posts I make where I discuss something, such as my recent one where I (jokingly) bemoaned being single at christmas that I would discuss with friends but not family. I like to think I am fairly open, except when it comes to work and things that would upset people I know. It would be hard not to be open as so much of my poetry is deeply personal!

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    • mewhoami says:

      That is very true. Even in real life, most of us only show a portion of ourselves to others. I’m not a poet, but I’ve seen how it can be deeply personal. There is something about poetry that opens the mind and the heart to flow with feelings and thoughts that would otherwise remain hidden away. I’ll have to head over and read your Christmas post.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Glynis Jolly says:

    I’m like you. I don’t want the sympathy, judgement, attention and so things just don’t need to be known about me worldwide. I know that any bloggers mask who they are so that they feel more comfortable writing on the web. I thought about doing that several times but just could wrap my head around it completely.

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    • mewhoami says:

      I can certainly see why people would want to mask themselves. It does open up a whole new range of options on what a person can blog about. To be anonymous or not is an important choice to make. I suppose it depends on what the person is trying to get out of blogging.

      Like

  18. NotAPunkRocker says:

    I accidentally outed my first name earlier this year, so some people can probably find me easier now than ever. I have no other outlet in my life to work through some of the things I write about so I figured almost everything is “Free” to discuss. I won’t give my son’s last name and he did give me permission to write about his depression and suicide attempt since it was about more than me (obviously).

    Like

    • mewhoami says:

      True, you can’t hide so well if your name is out there. Thankfully for me, there is only one person in the blogging community who knows my name and even then it’s first name only. This is a terrific outlet to write and I think that it’s great that you are willing to be so free with your post topics. Also, it’s good that you asked you son’s permission before writing about him. I believe that if we are to write details about others, then we should always get their permission first.

      Like

  19. April says:

    How did I miss this post? Other than my last name, the names of my kids, husband–where he works, and a vague description of the area I live in, I’m all out there, except for a few items and relationships. Other than the relationship issue, I think I’ve covered all my bases 😀 I tried blogging anonymously, but too much of me was in my writing. I post with my name because it made me laugh when someone called me momof3isnuts. Much of what I share, I’m hoping someone will read it and not give up hope, or to help someone understand what it’s like on my side of the fence, and that I’m just a normal – um – mom of 3, who is nuts. Even when I blog during my darkest times, I continue to cling to a speck of hope that things can only go up from where I am.

    My photo is current–taken in the last year and a half. The ravages of the last couple of years are all over my face.

    IF someone is out there in the world trying to stalk me through my ho-hum writing, I don’t fear it. I’m hoping, other than photos, that I’m not divulging too much about the lives of my kids. My daughter is a regular reader, and I think she would tell me, since she’s so blunt. I’m probably more quiet when with others in real life because I would rather listen–this has led to false impressions that I am shy. Shy is one thing I’m not.

    Anyway, in my opinion, unless we are writing a dreamy fiction piece, I think our writing tells a lot about how our minds work, or what we have on our minds.

    😀

    Like

    • mewhoami says:

      Some people would be honored to have the nickname momof3isnuts. 🙂 For situations like yours, I think it’s important that you are as open as you are. People need to know that they are not alone. I suppose our openness really depends on what the aim of our blog is.

      Unlike you, shy is one thing I am. I love to listen, but don’t like to share. Writing is great for that. It’s good that you have your daughter as a reader. Sometimes it’s good to have that extra eye, plus I’m sure she feels special being able to read you inner-most thoughts. That’s a little scary too though. You’re right about our writing being so revealing. I love it, as I highly enjoy learning about how peoples’ minds work and their thoughts.

      Like

      • April says:

        I’m not shy in the sense that I spill my guts to everyone I come in contact with. In my *normal* mind state, I’m not afraid to speak up. In a group of people, if something said doesn’t make sense to me, there HAS to be someone else who doesn’t understand, and I’m not afraid to stand and ask, and ask, until I understand.

        I spill my life on here for my husband. NOW he understands that how I act when depressed or anxious is something I fight hard to recover from. He knows I’m not out to destroy our marriage or hurt his feelings. You know…it’s me, not you. 😀 It has been more effective than 20 years of yammering has.

        Like

  20. suzjones says:

    I’m an over-sharer. That could be a good thing or it could be a bad thing. As you know I pulled photos of the T(w)een from my blog because of suspect search engine terms and the number of hits on some blog posts. I do not name my family and although I put my name out there, it is difficult to find the names of my family members as Jones is my maiden name. There are some bloggers who know the town I live in but they are in the extreme minority.
    As to what I post about. I know that my ex reads my blog on occasion (as does my ex-MIL) so I am careful what I post. I am open that I was in an abusive relationship but that is all that I will say about it.
    Some days it’s a fine line that I tread.

    Like

    • mewhoami says:

      I do remember that concern about your Tween and I would have done the same thing had I been in your shoes. It can be a scary world out there. I must agree that being an over-sharer has its pros and cons. It’s great to share and can be so relieving and even helpful to others, but how much is too much? Not giving out too many details about family and location, I think is a good policy to have.

      Your ex reads your blog? Now that would put an interesting spin on things, I’d imagine. It would limit what you can post and would make it a little odd knowing that he’s reading. But, then again I suppose that would depend on the relationship the two of you have now. I probably wouldn’t mind my ex reading my blog either. I don’t know though. That’s a bit tricky.

      Like

  21. Staying anonymous lets me write about anything. What fears me most is people finding out my identity. Then, I would need to hide again?

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