Friday, June 4, 2010

Privacy Policy

I want to grow as a writer. I want to sharpen my skills and write articles that are both though provoking and that widen the horizon of knowledge for those that read my work. I would like to challenge those reading my articles to think outside of the square and to challenge both their personal beliefs and those that are set for them by society.

A lot of what I have written so far for this Blog has been about personal issues and events. I have read many blogs which are similar to mine and read many comments about how they are like hanging out the washing for everyone to see.

Don’t get me wrong, I am certainly happy with what I have written to date and have thoroughly enjoyed reading others articles of the same format. Actually reading such blogs have been very therapeutic in many ways as I have found one of two things happen when reading these laundry blogs. The first thing that normally happens is that you relate to their story and realize that you are in fact not alone in this world and that there are people out there experiencing the same type of issues and frustrations, this normally gives you multiple viewpoints of your existing self issues and helps you work through or understand your own issues. The second thing which I have notice happening is a realization that your own issues and frustrations are not actually that bad compared to others, once again this is very therapeutic and allows you to put your own affairs into perspective.

So, having said that I will still continue to hang out the washing and hope to connect with anybody in Blog land that I can reach ….. BUT ….. I would also love to grow as a person and a writer and challenge my readers in any way I can. I would like to step up on my Soap Box and challenge people to think and debate about topics that are relevant to the day, both for the individual and the communities that we live in.

The first such topic that I would like to get up on my Soap Box about is actually a topic which I was asked to think about not so long ago in a reply to one of my own Blogs that I posted.

The topic at hand is about “ Privacy Policies ” when writing blogs. This question was presented to me by Heather Conroy back in April when I posted a blog on Writers Rising call Sticks and Stones. The blog was essentially about teasing and verbal abuse suffered by both myself growing up and my son today. Heather stated in her comment to my article that she had concerns about how much sensitive material I discuss regarding my son and that she personally didn’t publish such items about her kids but rather left that to them when and if they ever decided to share it with the world. Heather then went on to ask me my opinions on the subject of Blogger’s having Privacy Policies and what they were.

Now I must admit that at the time I was naively taken back by Heathers very valid question which in itself challenged me to look within at my own self value in another blog I posted on The Soap Box Truth called “ Open House ”.

Unfortunately the question was never taken up and a open discussion on the topic never achieved.

I would like to redress that missed opportunity and challenge everyone to share THEIR views and beliefs on this very important subject and question.

We are reminded almost weekly in one forum or another of the need to address personal security on the net and how once information is on the net it is there forever, for anyone who pleases and yet we daily pour our souls out into our Blogs without a second though.

I have been thinking long and hard about Heathers question for the better side of the last month and a half and must admit that it raised alarm bells with me regarding how open I was being with my information. I have been questioning the subject of privacy policies and what mine should be and as a result have the better side of a dozen written blogs that I haven’t published because I am still undecided as to where my line in the sand should be.

So without further ado, I’d like to thank Heather for raising the question at hand and open the floor for discussion.

Please share this blog around and feel free to link back to it so that we all can get a good discussion burning.

Dohi & Thanks for dropping by.


YogaSavy said...

When I do my writing and before I press that publish button I will rethink that post. I share a part of me. The more sensitive parts are kept for me to work on.
Sharing information about children or loved ones needs their permission first.

awitchtrying said...

I tend to not write things about my daughter very often. I won't even put her picture up on Facebook but I think that's me being over-protective. That said, when it comes to your personal privacy, that's totally up to you. As long as you're not airing someone else's laundry, you should share anything you feel comfortable sharing. I think there is too much emphasis put on Privacy, so much that it becomes more like Secrecy, which denotes a lack of trust. I write things on my blog that feel deeply personal, even if it's just an unpopular opinion. I do this because I feel transparency is healing. I want the bonds to grow between people rather than the walls. I salute you for sharing you life and feelings with us, it's truly courageous. I'm learning, as I work at becoming a better writer, that the first thing I have to do is to leave the opinions of others with them. I have to be true to whatever expression wants out at the moment. If I decide later to share that, it is with the belief that, no matter how personal it may be for me, it will also be very helpful to someone somewhere.

Cynthia Pittmann said...

Katherine, hello!

I also have been dealing with this issue. As a writer, I have to be comfortable with connecting my name to whatever I write, and I find that as I continue to post on the internet, I become more comfortable with what I share.

I hope that I have wisdom about posting photos and information. I usually ask the people involved (photos/information)if they mind. Sometimes people change their preferences so I have remember to ask them again.

I think that I have arrived to a level of sharing that I can maintain and feel comfortable with, but I've noticed that I have moved from a lot of confessional- styled writing to more moderate sharing.

I think writers need to express what is most profoundly felt- and sometimes that is so personal. Nevertheless, it still needs to be shared.

I've had more trouble with personal journals than the internet- I mean discomfort about people reading them. I think that makes sense because the pictured audience is myself in a journal, and I visualize friends when I write in my blog.

A lot of my published writing is academic and there is no risk of over-sharing there! (The poetry is another story!)

Love your blog here and the monk lessons also.

It's soon to be raining again...I hear the thunder rolling over the hills in Puerto Rico- and what a relief to get the dust out of our air! We've had sand from Africa actually blocking out the sky! Take care and I will be visiting again!

Wendy said...

I have been thinking about this topic. I enjoyed your post. I am still thinking about this topic. I have a limited point of view at the moment. Firstly I would like to add that I have removed myself from all of the other social media. I only blog. This is a personal decision which I think has a lot of validity but it is certainly not one I will try and push down everyones throats. I am going to try and explain this on my blog. Thanks for the post. Cheers Bro, Wendy

Katherine Jenkins said...

Andrew, Good question to raise. I worried about this not only on my own blog, but also in writing my book, Lessons from the Monk I Married. It is a very personal story of my 14-year journey with my husband, the monk. What I came to realize, is that honesty is the best policy and everyone has a different level of comfort with this. I completely agree with awitchtrying. People relate to personal stories. This is how it is. Why is this? Because we all have emotions, feelings and thoughts and by connecting with others on these, we realize that, while each individual's story is different, we as humans are not that different. I decided in the writing of my book, to open that door because I feel many people will benefit from it. Not everyone is comfortable with this. For me personally, it took me some time to realize that opening up my story to the world would serve a greater good, so I let down the walls that protected the small "I" or ego, and decided,instead to share my experience with the whole of humanity, knowing that we are really one.

Heather Conroy said...

I don't think the issue here is what you will or won't share about yourself-it is what you share about others and where that information is shared. Blogging is publishing and writing instantly searchable electronically to an unknown audience. I think that people who are close to you deserve their privacy protected because they don't choose to have their lives public. Also the blogger is in a privelaged relationship with family and friends and their confidences should come before your own need to vent or express in a public way. I'm not sure how people decide what to publish about themselves-but I think that decision is vastly different in pronciple to making that decision for someone else.