Since I am always wondering whether or not I should join the ranks of blogging, I am wondering how you figure out what your boundaries are as far as what you allow yourself to blog about?

I just cant figure it all out? be myself, kids with real names or not, pictures of kids or no, etc etc….. everytime I think yes I am going to do it, I get hung up in the details and am too afraid to start.

Hm, blogging, good question.

There are, of course, a ton of different opinions when it comes to blogging, because what would life be like without a zillion different people all claiming to be Know What’s Right? (answer: boring)

Anyway.

So, on the one end of the spectrum, you have the people who feel that absolutely under no circumstances whatsoever should one put out on The Internet stories and/or pictures about your family. Why, there could be a Pervert looking! Or a Child Molester! Or Your Mother-In-Law!

They have a point: one cannot, even with a password protected blog, control who reads what they write.

Then you have the people who make up nicknames for their children and spouse, and often blur out their faces, so as to be as anonymous as one can be on The Internet (which we all know is never completely anonymous). I know a lot of people who go this route and mostly, especially in the cases of using initials rather than actual nicknames I get confused and click away.

(also, any variation of “Hubs” or DH is slightly more saccharine than necessary)

My brain is raisin-sized on a good day, and I am not about to fill it clear up trying to remember if FJ is Son #1 or Son #2 because life is too short. So my advice for anyone who wants to go this route: please, PLEASE give your kid a fake NAME. A REAL fake name. I can remember a name. Initials I cannot.

After this, you have the people like me, who use their real name, but don’t include everything about their life. Yes, you know my name because I am NOT clever enough to come up with a pseudonym and I do not believe that I am not interesting enough to warrant one. I find the cloak-and-dagger stuff a little silly, so I don’t bother.

BUT I SEE WHY OTHER PEOPLE DO.

I often do include pictures of my children, although not with every post and I do not blog exhaustively about them. Because, while I find them endlessly entertaining, they are just like any other child and I don’t think that their every syllable deserves a post. I, on the other hand, am ENDLESSLY fascinating.

(that was a joke)

So my advice to you, o! aspiring blogger is this: you must blog for the only person that matters: you. Because I have been at this for many years and am still waiting on both fame AND the legions of screaming teenage girls.

Whatever you do, make sure that you are absolutely comfortable with whatever it is that you do, prepared to own your words at any cost, because you never know whose eyeballs they will wind up in front of.

I hope, Gentle Reader, that this helps,

Love,

Aunt Becky

————-

All right, The Internet, dish. I want your take on this.

Throw your questions at me for next week’s round of Ask Aunt Becky. I’m getting some sweet ass questions that I can actually answer. Shocking, I know!

————-

Be sure to cast your vote for your favorite entry in “Aunt Becky Travels The World And Does Stuff.”

Voting ends on the 15th of September.

————-

I have been nominated for a couple of awards, two on my sidebar at the top and one here. They do both annoyingly require registration, but if you’d be inclined, I’d be thrilled.

Seriously, thank you to all who voted. I owe you deep tongue kisses. Or vodka. OR ALL OF THE ABOVE.

Comments = full of the awesome. Like gravy. I can haz an RSS RSS feed .

32 Responses to Go Ask Aunt Becky

  • Nyx says:

    I want in on the vodka. *click* and I use an overly-sweet (toothache variety) word to describe my significant other in my blog: Pookie.

    I do it because I know it damn well annoys the piss out of him. :)

    Anyways, I wish I had a question to stick here. But I don’t. Sorry. I know everything (on most days).

  • Hope/lucy says:

    Dear Aunt Becky –

    I missed a few posts, due to trying to have my own life instead of just reading about yours and for that, I’m truly sorry, and I’m sure my time in Purgatory will be extended.

    However, how does one ask Aunt Becky a question? Can I do it here?

    If so: When going on a 5th date with a gentleman, is it proper for a lady to bring condoms and personal lubricant, or is that just slutty behavior?

    Thanks,

    Hope

    P.S. – Ummmm…I’m asking this question for Lucy, she’s the one who’s thinking of getting back into the dating game. Personally, I’ve applied to two convents: one Buddhist and one Catholic. Each has its pros and cons: the Buddhists make you shave your hair, most Catholic convents don’t nowadays, but there’s a lot of kneeling required and I’m not sure my knees could handle that at my age.

  • Mama Cas says:

    I love your timing on this post. Just last week, I started my very own shiny new blog. So far, I’ve been using initials because I wasn’t sure which way to go. I figured it’s easier to start with initials and change it later if I wanted to. Honestly, the security of the initials makes me happy, but it’s almost driving me batty. I’d rather just type a name. Maybe I should use their middle names?

  • you owe me a vodka tasting deep tongue. i’ll add it to your tab.

  • cara says:

    I have to say I have used real names for everyone in my family. I do however call my daughter Leaky (because if you run her first and middle names together it sound like Anga_Leaky_Lane). That and someday, when this will seriously piss her off. HaHaHa. Being a mom can be fun.

    The only reason I use hubs sometimes is because his nickname – Clintorious (said like notorious ala B.I.G.) sounds way like clitoris.

    I will accept the deep tongue and vodka (but only if its the good stuff – I get wicked hangovers from the cheap shit – even just one drink)

  • The nicknames on mine are a concession to DH who is out on the web in his real persona for work reasons and absolutely *hates* it. He is not at all happy about being searchable & wants the boys to have as much privacy as possible. My real name doesn’t virtually exist on the net so I assume I am doing a decent job of aliases. If when they are adults they want to splash name, addy and beer bong photos all over the place that is their choice.

    Havoc & Mayhem were named easily – other nicks in consideration where Mischief, Chaos, Pillage, Hysteria, Shrieker and Maddening. Sweetness & Light never made the top 25.

  • Maniacal Mom says:

    I use nicknames cuz my ex has a psycho gf who googles me and then gets pissed and takes it out on my kids when they are at their dads. So now I am forced to cloak and dagger but I do blog about my life and if you manage to figure out my name and city what can I say? Life goes on and if you don’t want to know how I feel about something then don’t google me!

  • GingerB says:

    I meant to use nicknames and forgot to, then I meant to go back and edit the existing posts and never got around to doing that. I call my husband Lord Honey because he freaks out about privacy and I often find my self saying to himj “Lord, Honey you have to blah blah blah” so after he named himself that on one of his video games it sorta stuck.

  • Tawnia says:

    I just love you:) I voted for you sister on both places, and now you must vote for me. I will be wanting to cash in on that tongue kiss sometime in the near future :)
    Keep up the great writing, you inspire me everyday!
    Love Tawnia

  • Jenn says:

    I’m right there with you. Initials confuse the fuck out of me.

    I use nicknames but that is to prevent certain people in my life from googling my kids’ names (as one of them is fairly unusual). They could find my blog pretty easily if they were LOOKING for it but I’ll cross that bridge when/if I come to it. (Especially since I use “theflyingrat” as my username for just about everygoddamnthing on the internet.) Other than the names I don’t keep anything a secret really.

    The best advice I would give is that if you can’t/wouldn’t say something to someone’s face then it’s best not to write it on the internet. Because they WILL find it. For real.

  • melanie Kerton says:

    My question made the “go ask Becky” post and its not even my birthday (quite yet) WHOHOO!!!

    I think I am even more “tormented” about what to do since my daughter has a hemangioma (on her face) and while I think she is Gorgeous with a capital G…..and would GLADLY show her off to the world at large… will she hate it later in life, when the hemangioma is (hopefully) long gone???? On the other hand I would Love to use it as an educational opportunity, because I think more people need to see what different birthmarks look like (you know so they can quit accusing me of various forms of child abuse)….but its not worth it at the expense of my daughter right to privacy.

    I think its just the growing pains I feel watching technology evolve, I watch young cousins on facebook posting status updates to 350-500 ppl (seriously how do they have that many FB friends?) and I think THANK GOD social networking wasn’t around in my youth, I can just imagine the stupid crap I would have posted!!!

    Anyway thank you so much for taking the time to answer my question..you have given me more to think about!

  • Neil says:

    I’m for openness, but I don’t have kids, so I would probably fictionalize them a little, even give them fake names, but not crazy ones that are confusing, but REAL fake names like Lisa and Steve when their real names are Susan and Bob. I’m a strong believer in fictionalizing some events. I don’t mean lying or making up stories, but telling real events with a little bit of whimsy so you can always hide behind some of the facts. I also believe that you can uncover deeper truths by exaggerating rather than sticking to the facts. I also think family members appreciate it more when you don’t always tell what happened EXACTLY like it did. If you don’t say that your daughter peed in her pants, but said she fell in the mud, it won’t ruin the story, but your family might be happier.

  • Emilie says:

    I’ve thought about the same thing myself several times. I’d love to have a blog but I have an ex-boyfriend who still stalks me 3 years on, and I’ve just become a high school teacher, so maybe it’s not a good idea.. I could do it if I came up with some really good aliases, but with my legendary creativity, the best I can hope for is some kind of (probably extremely transparent) variation on my real name.

    Ah well. Maybe one day I’ll be brave enough.

  • Belle says:

    Agreed- When people use weird nicknames or initials, I get lost. And run. By clicking away quickly.

  • Carlynn says:

    DH and all the variations of DD and DS drive me nuts. I know straight away I could never be friends with the person, or maybe we could be pretend friends and meet for coffee every week but the friendship would wane at some point.

    Off to vote …

  • Mwa says:

    I’m still very conflicted on this. I have a new reader who only lives 13 miles away, and I’m very paranoid if this is someone I know.

    This is so topical for me, because I’ve written a post in which I look like a complete idiot, and now I’m not sure if I’ll hit ‘publish’ tomorrow morning (I’m a bit of a re-reader and editor, hence the occasional time delay).

  • Krissa says:

    I, quite honestly, should have many, many questions. Unfortunately, I suffer from a failure to recognize my own failures…
    My husband is known as John on my blog, (his real name), and goes by the reference of “DB” around here. It’s a silly lovey-dovey moniker I gave him a long time ago that stands for Doll Babe. However, the beauty of this is in the fact that DB can also stand for Dumb Butt. It is entirely interchangeable and I like to get my full value out of a nickname. ;-)

  • swirl girl says:

    I use my kids real names and likenesses. I only blog the truth (read: poetic license invoked for humorour impact), the whole truth (read: the one time I mentioned something bad about my brother, it got me in deep shit), and nothing but the truth (read: I don’t blog as much as I used to).

  • Nel says:

    You, Aunt Becky, ARE endlessly fascinating!

    Maybe I should use something like “The Daver” instead of “Husband.” What do you think?

    :) I am LOVING Go Ask Aunt Becky.

  • Mama Cas says:

    I wrote earlier and forgot to mention that yes, DH/DS/DD all annoy the piss out of me. Who the F**K calls their spouse DARLING HUSBAND? When my husband does something a little dopey or absentminded, I call him Jack Ass….but I don’t want the children calling their father that, so I’ve shortened it to Jack.

  • I have a fake name for my 13 yo, but I use his real picture. I blog under a pseudo name too, but you could find my real name if you wanted to. I also don’t say where we really live for safety purposes.

    Basically I don’t publish anything I won’t tell someone in real life.

    I use real pictures, tho. Editing faces out of them would be way too much work.

    I have absolutely no idea HOW to edit faces out. Besides, I am inherently lazy.

  • Lisa says:

    Look at the bright side – when they have career day to school you can pass out your post about your hilarious trip to buy a new vibrator! LOL That will totally top the kid with the engineer for a dad – unless he designs vibrators…

    I am not brave enough (or talented enough) to put myself out there, but I am sure glad that I get my daily dose of laughter here!

    Always happy to oblige. At least my kid doesn’t have a father who is a vibrator MODEL. THAT would be worse. Or better, I suppose.

  • Melanie says:

    I must be a bad mom, then. But then again, I really only have people who I know IRL visiting my blog anyway, because I’m not all that interesting. So I suppose I’ll change my ways once I get one of those “you’re a terrible mother and are going to burn in hell and we’re coming for your kid” emails.

    Oh, I don’t think you’re a bad mom, but the harpies are quick to crucify anyone. Trust me.

  • carlynn says:

    I love that you recommended Martha Stewart to me and that you think your projects will fail. You are a housemaker after my own heart. I might just get a little badge printed with Aunty Becky Reads Martha Too to wear when I am house decorating (don’t panic because a) I will never get round to having the badge done and b) I don’t house decorate in reality and c) the badge would be lost when I wanted it).

    I adore Martha Stewart and subscribe to her magazine and she makes me feel COMPLETELY inferior when I try and do her crafts. Although I have some wicked ideas that I am going to steal from her and use. When they fail, I’ll blame her. If they don’t, I’ll claim full credit.

  • SciFi Dad says:

    I go anon, like you described, but I like to think that I do it with consistency and in such a way that the pseudonyms have become synonymous with the real people they represent.

    YOURS I totally get. I know the “names” of your children and your wife and it all makes sense. If you used initials? I’d probably have been frustrated by my own crappy memory and had to click away.

  • moonspun says:

    This is a good answer. And it’s all personal. Whatever works for you. There are people in my personal life I don’t want to know about my blog. That’s why I fictonailize, period. It works for me.

    You have to be willing to own whatever it is that people can trash you for. Because I get trashed frequently. Although never for what you’d imagine…

  • Dot says:

    The issues the questioner asks about worried me a lot, too. I think you have to consider all the possibile results, and then how you’d feel if they happened. There are things that I write about that are very personal, and I’d be hurt if someone trashed me about it, but ultimiately I’m not defensive about them, so I’ll take my stand on them.

    There are other things that I want to protect, that I feel vulnerable about, and I protect them by not writing about them. The same goes for whether to use an alias or real name, whether to post photos of yourself, etc.

    It’s hard sometimes. I have pulled down exactly one entry once. Well, I didn’t pull it down, but I made it private because the hate started and I couldn’t own it properly.

    Luckily, most people are kind, unfailingly so, and the ones that are not are the ones that choose to go back and trash my dog or something. Which, oooo! don’t trash AUGGIE. I might CRY.

  • Kristine says:

    I use our real names, I have enough trouble remembering the real names, I can’t add fake ones. I post real pictures because I figure when we go out to Chick-Fil-A, I don’t know those people either, but I’m not wearing a burka or anything. I haven’t posted my actual address or anything, but if you know my name and my general area, you only have to search like 5 or 6 appraisal district websites before you’ll find me.

    It’s just not worth the extra precautions to me. I also don’t wear a bike helmet when I ride my bike.

    Bwahahaha! You and I, man, we LIVE DANGEROUSLY.

  • Coco says:

    Oh my GOD. I am one of the “Hubs” people!

    I suppose I’ll crack and use real names eventually. Anyone who read the blog that knows me even remotely would know it’s me.

    It’s just leftover paranoia drving the noms de plume now, I suppose.

    See, yours doesn’t bother me. Seriously now. YOU are not saccharine, Coco. You are many, MANY things, but saccharine is not one of them. This is why we are friends.

  • lettergirl says:

    I’m having to be really careful with this, what with the boy-child being recently adopted from CRAZY PEOPLE and all. I would love to share more of his awesomeness with the web. I don’t name either child, though, or run pictures where you could easily ID them. I’ve been mulling a post about this one, too.
    Also, pass the vodka tongue kisses.

    wet, messy *smack, smack*

  • Love says:

    I read your blogs all out of order and I have a good reason because I’ve diagnosed myself with adult ADD.

    My question for you, related to the blogging question:

    Does The Daver ever totally freak out on you about your posts? My husband is having a hard time living with me when I write even a whisper that involves him. We normally get along pretty swell, except when he is featured in my blog. Then he gets paranoid and angry. Does the Daver every say, WTF, Becky?!

    Oh, and I gave him initials, BD (Baby Daddy) so he’ll be happy to know that everybody just leaves my site at the site of them. He’ll like that. What say you, Aunt Becky?

    Oh, you won’t shake ME so easily. I LIKE you. And you can’t confuse me so easily. Muahahahahahaha!

  • Meg says:

    I’ve actually googled myself and discovered that there is a me in Texas and she owns a Realty company, who knew I was so famous :o

    I use real names b/c I am to brain dead to be funny. My children have made me certifiably crazy, I can’t spell and barely have time to pee so their real names make it easier to type on the fly. Hence why my posts lately have been so sporadic and I have a blevy of names to use with me so I can make myself anything…or anyone…or you??

    PS: I can’t drink vodka – allergic But I’ll take Rye:)

    I think I am the only one with my married name, and the only one with my full name but my maiden name, there was a dean of a local college with my name. That RULED.

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