My friend, Jeri, has written a post, "Blogging the Fine Line," about where to draw the line on sharing information on a blog. She was prompted by a NYT article (I was only able to read the first page) by Emily Gould about oversharing in a blog and a followup article by Christina Hyun that looked at how oversharing might affect future political hopefuls.

It made me think about questions I've gotten from non-bloggers that essentially address two questions "Why?" and "Shouldn't you be more careful about Internet predators?" I won't go into the answers for the first, but the second I usually point out that I don't have my last name on my blog (I used to have a link to my professional site, but I took it off) and when I talk about friends, I don't use their last names either. Those that do have last names here are those who have chosen to do so on their own. In my mind, that preserves a lot of anonymity. Also, although I do blog about some personal things, I don't post anything I wouldn't comfortably talk about in a group of friends. If someone (friends judge almost as quickly as strangers) wishes to judge me based on the things I say here, so be it. We are always being judged by those around us, just to varying degrees. I have been attacked for things I've said here (and I admit, it has changed the degree to which of openness I discuss things certain issues here); that's just life.

One personal thing you will rarely see me post about here is my dating life. There are two reasons for this: one, I have been single all my life and have heard every piece of dating advice there has ever been -- I don't want any more, thankyouverymuch. In addition, some people have been judgmental about my process. It's not their process, so it must be wrong somehow. I really don't want any of that either. The second reason is that I find the beginnings of a relationship to be very personal. Personal for me and for the guy as well. I'm sure some of you remember how long it took me to admit I was seeing someone last year. It was unfortunately short. I was learning a lot about myself before it was cut off, and then, of course, I got to learn a lot about myself in a different, not as fun, way.
So here's the last piece of info you'll have about my dating life for a while:
I just signed up on match.com (again) and meetup.com. My last playmate decided to play with someone else, I took a break to take exams, and now it's time for me to find another playmate.


Janiece said...

Good luck, Anne, and I'll not bore you with additional dating and/or relationship advise.

Because I'm not qualified. Clearly.

Anonymous said...

Anne - I think you do a good job of balance. I like that you tell interesting stories about your life - reveal a little about you as storyteller - but don't overdramatize or overshare. For what it's worth, I've only known you for the past six months or or so online... in that time you've portrayed yourself as a strong, independent single woman who's confident enough to go forward alone or with a partner - whatever life brings. And I wish you the best in that department!

Unknown said...

I have always found your blog to be well balanced re TMI (which is to say, not TMI).
Damn the torpedos. Full speed ahead (said the germ to its compatriots as they made their way past the antibiotics). (Sorry, that image jumped out at me from something I saw and drew in my childhood. I was ambushed.... sheesh!)

Anne C. said...

Janiece, I have to disagree on the qualifications issue, but ultimately, it's not about qualifications and more about the fact that I'm stubborn and contrary. :)

Thanks so much, Jeri! That's very sweet. I'll have to remember to come back to it when I'm feeling discouraged. :)

Damn the torpedoes is pretty much my standard operating procedure nowadays. Thanks for being behind me, Brenda.

And thanks to you all for giving me some feedback on the TMI issue.

Mummy Grabill said...

It's funny - I don't find your blog TMI at all. If I didn't know you personally I think I would feel just as Jeri does, that I know more about your personality and who you are, but not that I know your stats, 411, or whatever. I think you do a great job of communicating who you are, without giving away who you are. Besides, there are MUCH easier targets out there for predators. MySpace is ripe with pickings on that front (unfortunately!). I have a MySpace page and choose to keep it "private" so that only my friends can see it (much like my blog).

I'm surprised sometimes at what people choose to make available to the general public on their MySpace page - but I think ,like anything else, this is another cultural shift that we have to learn how it will play out in our society. I think your blog is on the safe end of the spectrum for sure. :-)

Nathan said...

I don't think your blog gets anywhere near the TMI line. And you should hold back whatever you want...especially the unsure world of new relationships.

(But I think it's be great if you told us about any particularly horrible first dates.)(entertain me blogger-girl.)

Random Michelle K said...

As far as single-woman, I'm with Nathan, and all for dating horror stories.

If nothing else, warning your dates ahead of time should make them behave.

I also don't think you post TMI. But I do understand your worry about it. I blog under my full time, on my own website, and if you search for my name, my blog is the first thing to come up.

So everything I write, I try to keep in mind that it will be associated with my name permanently. That's a really scary idea, especially when I write on topics that are very political or very personal (such as mental health issues).

It's a very fine line to walk, deciding what should be shared and what should be kept off-line. My criteria for personal things are 1) will it affect anyone other than me and 2) will posting this help someone else (i.e. writing about mental health). If the answers are no and yes, then I'll often post it.

vince said...

I'd agree with Jeri about you appearing to be a strong, independent single woman who's confident enough to go forward alone or with a partner - whatever life brings.

I don't think your blog has TMI. But I would say that what's too much info for one person might not be for another. It's about revealing what you're comfortable revealing and what purpose, if any, your blog has. SF Author Jay lake has been blogging about the cancer that almost killed him, and is doing so quite graphically. He has done so in part to help dispel the mystery and shame that often accompanies having cancer. And he's using it as the basis of a non-fiction book he intends to write about it.

I do love the pictures and stories of faraway places you blog about. And the tattoo was cool, too.

And the food. I bow before the food posts.

As far as dating, I've always felt it's pretty much no one else's business about who you date and how you go about the process. Even with in-the-flesh friends that I've felt (rightly or wrongly) were making a big mistake, I've learned that big people get to make their own choices, even if they turn out not to be the best.

So all the best of luck, and give 'em hell (in the best possible sense, of course.)

But horrible first dates can be entertaining. At least to others :-)

Anne C. said...

You are an optimistic fellow, aren't you Nathan? ;)

Well, I will tell you that I was "winked at" by a 59 year-old fellow looking for a woman 18-35.

Shawn Powers said...

I think you do a fine job of balance. My opinion may not be very valid, however, because I tend to whore my name around wherever I go. My career has quite a bit to do with that though.

I'm in complete agreement with the Grabill family, especially for myself. There are much easier targets for predators. My 3 girls don't have myspace pages, because they are the ideal creepy target for freaks. The market on mid 30's, slightly balding geeks isn't that popular right now. ;)

(I gotta add, that every time I see, "The Grabill Family", it reminds me of the first blogging chaos that Nathan started. The confusion factor for y'all was awesome!)

Shawn Powers said...

Oh, and dating? Well, my earliest memories are in 1999, when I was married to a pregnant woman, and father to a 2 year old. I have zero dating advice, even if you were looking. :D

Anne C. said...

Heh. How did I miss Michelle and Vince's comments when I posted about the 59-year old fellow?

I'll consider posting bad first date stories, we'll see.

I agree, Shawn, and am considering the next phase of my blog be my full name.com. Again, we'll see. :)

Jim Wright said...

Personally, I think we should all log into Match.com, and then give Anne like really awesome reviews, or conversely we could give her really crappy reviews, or creepy reviews, or slutty reviews, or and etc. We could rotate reviews, or even argue over who "Gets her next."


Anonymous said...

Or reviews from women. ;)

The whole concept of 'reviews' or 'comments' on a dating site re: the people listed is so crass it made me chuckle.

Anne C. said...

Hee! Now that would be hilarious. I'm tempted to put my match.com profile up for your entertainment. :)

Dance like a monkey, blog-girl!

belsum said...

Heh. This fits in nicely with my post today. Good thing I didn't read this one first, eh?

I can't give dating advice because I've been married for centuries. But I adore relationship gossip. :-) That said, I definitely employ the I-won't-say-it-if-I-wouldn't-say-it-to-their-face rule. Safer that way.