Thoughtful Thursday: Editor

April 23, 2009

Thoughtful ThursdayWelcome ICLW visitors! As promised, a pregnancy-free post.

Last week we talked about whether partners, family, and friends read your blogs. For those who do have loved ones read their blog, they often experience self-censoring, and many wish they’d never told certain people about their blog. Many people keep their blogs secret on purpose, to allow themselves freedom to express themselves.

This week’s topic assumes that someone IRL reads your blog. If that’s not true, you can think about the extent to which this happens outside of blogging.

Do the loved ones who read your blog ever make attempts to edit the content of what you write? For example, has anyone ever read about themselves on your blog and asked you to remove something? Has anyone ever preemptively asked you not to blog about something? Did you comply with the request, or stand your ground?

This has only happened to me once, but it was a doozy. I can’t get into the details because I agreed not to blog about it, but my husband and I had a heated disagreement and he forbid me to blog about it. It’s infertility-relevant because it happened to be on the day of my egg retrieval for IVF #2, which obviously adds a special dimension and extra emotions.

It is the only time he has ever forbid me to do anything. He has since un-forbid me because he doesn’t want to forbid anything — he’s not a forbidding kind of guy.

When I later asked him about it, he said that he didn’t want to come across badly — which he would have. I don’t entirely understand why he cares that people he’ll never meet and who don’t know his name would think negatively about him, but it was obviously important to him.

What about you? Has someone ever stepped up as editor, either before or after a post went up? How did you react?


20 Responses to “Thoughtful Thursday: Editor”

  1. Carrie Says:

    I have never had someone censor me, but I am sure it is coming. I mostly talk about myself (terrible narcissist) so I don’t unintentionally blog about other people’s lives.

    One thing happened lately: I gave out my blog to a few friends, and they told some of my other friends about it. I wish they had not- I sort of chose who to share it with by their sense of humor and how well they knew me. I feel like a tabloid when it is shared without permission.

    Good thoughtful Thursday!

  2. Heather R. Says:

    No, no one has told me to change a thing. I did have a picture of a woman holding ducks in front of her breasts for National Cleavage Day and my mom called to ask whose chest that was.

  3. fattykins Says:

    Ok I lied, I have a blog that I use to update extended family about the goings on at my house. Once in a while dh will read it and “edit” me…usually when he thinks I have said something mean about him. It annoys the heck outta me.

  4. Kristin Says:

    The only one who ever asked me not to blog about something was my oldest son. I did respect his wishes.

  5. WiseGuy Says:

    Okay, I am going to twist your question a bit to make it answerable for myself….

    None of my IRL champs know about or read my blog…so there is no chance of any censoring because they really have no idea about what name calling that I do. (which I don’t).

    But there is one more thing here…I never talk about the IRL contacts with their complete names, it is either titles or initials.

    Now, if there were any genuine issues raised with the content of blogpost, I may suitably modify or remove the blogpost.

    But I will share a sore point which I faced regarding this …

    You see, one of my aunts wrote a book. She has deep faith in Goddess Durga and she recapitulated in the book about her experiences and how there have been divine messages to her and premonitions, which she thinks are the result of the goddess’s benevolence.

    We all (all my cousins, me, her children, close family) were aware that she was writing a book of her own life, with the Goddess in picture. But none of us were shown the manuscript before it went for publishing.

    Consequently, today the book is published and carries information about her children and references to me and my brother, which have not been swallowed well by some of us. If we were, in our real names and photos discussed, did we not have the right to see the script atleast once?

    One of her sons took deep umbrage at what was mentioned about him. He had issues with depression and other stuff that was served in black and white in the book. Now my cousin is doing well, but the book has made some of his history accessible even for those who had no prior idea about it.

    And me? My DH teased me that my aunt loves me lesser than my younger brother. My younger bro was referred to multiple times in the book, and I got scanty references, though I have been eternalized in the photographs.

    How can somebody do that?

    Jeez! You make me think.

  6. WiseGuy Says:

    I have mentioned on one of your previous TTs that my bro is precious because he is considered a miracle baby….born after my father survived a life-threatening disease induced coma.

  7. It is possible that this could happen to me. The chance is pretty low, but it is there. If it did, I think I would have to kindly decline the offer to censor MY blog. But then again, if it were to come to my husband, I might feel differently. Hmmmm I guess I don’t know the answer, after all. Maybe I’ll find out one of these days.

  8. Hillary Says:

    My DH is the only one IRL who knows about my blog, and he asked me not to post too much about him on the blog (mainly anything negative, lol). I feel like the blog is about me and I respect his wishes…although he is definitely very closley entwined with all that is me. ๐Ÿ™‚ But I also feel like my blog only displays some snapshots in time, and I don’t want to negatively portray DH in those snapshots. It is an interesting topic!


  9. Cara Says:

    Oh yeah – my mom has opened many a conversation with “Now Cara, do you really think…”

  10. jill Says:

    This isn’t likely to happen to me since no one in my “real life” reads my blog. My husband knows of it but chooses not to read. I definitely self-edit regarding details I think he would not be ok sharing, which are not many. If he did read a post and objected, I would talk to him about it. If he still felt strongly about it after we talked, I would remove it or not write further about it. His feelings are most important to me and I’m lucky, he’s a reasonable guy… well, most of the time! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  11. I like my blog to be a ventspace for the cluttered shit that’s in my head. It has no real structure or form or real meaning, like yours. Its just me ranting at no one in particular. And the fundamental key to this is not being censored.

    If someone IRL found my blog, depending on who it was (I do have a couple of IRL readers), I would have to work seriously on making it a private one. And I have no idea how to do that.

    You made a comment about what your DH would do about the doctor/bitch, sorry receptionist scenario. Well, I wrote a letter (its what I do best, complain in writing!). DH read it and didn’t like what I had to say about not condoning what he said. It’s a lie of course, meant to placate the useless, tender nerves of the dumb receptionist, but I refused to edit the letter because the point was mine to make.

    I’m curious about what DH forbade you to do? I know that my dude has issues when I post stuff and he says “hey, that makes me sound like an a-hole” and I just say, “well, I call it like I see it”.

  12. staciet Says:

    Yet another interesting topic!

    I have not been asked after the fact to change any posts, but my husband has asked me to not post about certain things because it makes him uncomfortable. If he has asked, I won’t blog about something. That is especially important for us/him because I do have someone in real life who reads my blog.

  13. Lauren Says:

    How odd that you should start this topic the month I began reading your blog (through an online friend of a friend). Just this week I deleted an entry from my blog about religion bc I knew we were coming to see my in-laws and I knew it would cause tension(but only half as much as if the topic were politics!). Also I put a link to your blog from mine (for my own convenience)and now wonder if I over stepped my boundary as a complete stranger….want me to remove it? My blog is about my journey from infertility to IVF to preg to the very mundane life of our now trio.

  14. Photogrl Says:

    I’ve never had that happen…most likely, because no one IRL reads my blog.

    I don’t really know how I would react. I guess it would depend on how strongly I felt about what I posted, and who it would affect.

  15. Kymberli Says:

    No one has ever asked me to change anything, but once, my sister posted a LONG comment in response to a post I wrote in which I said some things about her. I do not regret saying those things and the post is still on my blog. She read into the post the wrong way, and took offense to the truth that was told. She also managed to miss the fact that I was also *complimenting* her choice of giving Frank and me guardianship of her son. I chose to delete her comment because she was sharing too much about herself. I never would have posted all that she chose to reveal, and I was sure that once she had cooled off, she wouldn’t have wanted her in-the-heat-of-the-moment response to remain. I think only one reader actually read her comment because I got to it pretty quickly.

    I do, however, censor myself. There are many things that I DO wish I could share about the dynamics of why I have guardianship of my nephew, but I choose not to do that out of respect for my sister and my mother. I don’t exactly agree with the way my mother handles my sister and I surely don’t agree with most of what my sister does, or rather *doesn’t* do. Both my mom and my sisters read my blog, and I wouldn’t want to publicly air out conversations and issues that I’d rather deal with privately.

  16. Nina Says:

    I get around the problem by passwording sensitive posts and refusing to give out the pw till I’m ready. Had to do that this week. My sister and a girl at work are the only people irl that read my blog, and they both understand that there are some things I just can’t discuss and look them in the face.

  17. Mel Says:

    I do ask before I write about people unless I have (1) changed enough details that it’s not obvious or (2) they are a fellow blogger and I am writing about something they wrote about…a referencing of sorts. There have been a handful of times that I couldn’t write about something I wanted to, but I also respect their desire to not see me process the situation in a public manner. I did have someone once complain to me that I didn’t write about them enough on a family/friends site we used to keep. It was sort of a strange situation to have someone tell you that you should write about them more.

  18. c lo Says:

    Yep. My parents have asked me to not blog about certain things and have told me that they believe certain things to be “forbidden” topics for blogs.

    I don’t agree, I’m a really blunt honest open person.

    But……I realized………I also don’t want to be that person who makes excuses for saying hurtful things. If someone is asking me to edit myself in my blog, it’s always been because, at the core, my words have been hurtful to them, even if that wasn’t my intention.

    I regularly go back and edit my blog now. Often I write things out of emotion and realize later it’s not something the world needs to know. So yeah…..I don’t think self censorship is a bad thing.


  19. Great question!
    I have a few people in real life that read my blog – and others could easily find me if they tried. So alas I self censor. I think of a blog as very different from a diary or journal – much less private and definitely for an audience, so it doesn’t bother me that much that I can’t spill my entire guts on the page – got to save them for another place I guess.
    I wish I had a password protect option for when I want to blog about something really private, but I guess the internet is not a very private place anyway!
    I don’t really trust the privacy that may or may not exist to really GO THERE if you know what I mean.
    Happy ICLW!

  20. In a word: No. My friends and husband don’t ever try to censor me. Once my sister said, “Please don’t mention me on your blog, Ernessa” and I said, “You know me, and you know you’re going to get mentioned.” So that was that. I will say that I don’t put my friends or fam’s personal business on blast unless I have permission. And even then, I don’t mention them by full name, unless they also write for my blog. Usually I just mention them in passing or in a positive light.

    Funnily enough, a friend said over lunch the other day that she was upset about appearing in my wedding photo for our alum mag (which they finally got around to publishing 2 years later). It was a group shot, but apparently she goes out of her way not to have pictures of herself “out there.”

    I’m now investigating whether she’s an international spy/woman of mystery. That would explain the picture phobia…

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