Thursday, May 14, 2009

I have another question.

Bloggers, do your real life friends read your blog? I'm not talking about your college roommates or your family or your friends scattered across the world. I'm talking about the people in your social circles. The people you sit in PTO meetings with, the people you worship with on Sundays, the people you scrapbook with, play Bunco with, work out with, and run into at the grocery store.

Lately more and more of the people in my social circles ARE reading my blog.

More and more of my conversations start with some variation of this: "Hey Meredith, I was reading your blog today and..."

It's definitely an interesting phenomenon. Friends who read what I write here know a LOT about me. I even heard one friend quote something I wrote back to me. It feels kinda WEIRD.

So tell me. Are you an anonymous blogger, or do you give your blog address to everyone you know? I'm super curious to hear your answers.

(I'm unplugged today---love the Blogger auto-post feature---but will check back in later this evening when my to-do list is complete!)

40 comments:

Tracey said...

Yes, all my family and friends have my blog address!

stephanie@{Olive Tree} said...

From what people have said to me, I think I have only three in-real-life friends (that I see several times a week) that read it and my sister. I don't know that I mind if others read it, but I think I would start to feel a little conspicuous if they did.

Carpoolqueen said...

There are a handful of friends (5-6) that read it and I forget they do until I go to tell them a story and they say "Oh, I read about it in your blog."

I used to drop it in casual conversation to my local friends that I blogged, but I don't anymore.

Melissa @ Breath of Life said...

I think some of my friends might. I have my posts publish to my Facebook profile, and many of my "real life" friends are networked to my blog through FB. Still, I rarely have anyone tell me they've read something on my blog.

Moriah @ Please Pass the Salt said...

The majority of my real friends and even general acquaintance read it. A lot of that actually has to do with the address being on my FB page and not necessarily me telling them my URL. (Or word of mouth, stuff like that.)

I do have blog cards but mostly have used those at conferences, not giving them to my friends and/or people I just randomly meet.

And also, links from other real-life friends, I've been 'discovered' that way by people I already knew.

Lori Motl said...

More real life friends are starting to read it. Mainly on the days I post to facebook. Almost none of my family reads it!

Jeanie said...

From what I can tell...my Mother in Law and husband read it but not a lot of other people.

Ginger@From The Cocoon said...

Several of my real life friends do read my blog...and that's ok...occasionally someone from church that I don't know as well, will repeat something that was on my blog...that kinda throws me a bit & sometimes acts as a filter for what I write...I mean, I do have to SEE these people!!

Tiffani said...

Only Michele...

My young neighbor behind me reads mine but she doesn't blog herself.

That's it.

I have a couple of IRL friends who started blogs but dropped them quickly and don't update but they still read my blog..I don't really see them often enough for them to mention it to me though.

I feel like I've totally rambled and not answered your question!!!

I hope that makes sense!

Becca~TimeWellSpent said...

We put my blog add. on the Christmas cards as a way of letting people know how to "see" us and the kids. In reality though only 1 or 2 friends read, and that only sporadically I think! Once in a blue moon one of those friends might mention seeing my blog. Out of my close friends that's totaly okay since they see and know everything anyway.
I'm always a little perplexed when it's my mil, who lives in another state, and doesn't read. If I have my grandchildren living far away someday I really hope there will be a blog I can go to to see them grow.

Michele said...

Yes. Sometimes I like it, sometimes not. I feel a little bound by this b/c I never want to hurt anyone's feelings and sometimes there are things that are going on that I want to blog about I how feel about them personally. . . but b/c IRL friends read my blog this keeps me from blogging about my feelings. . . does this make sense?

In fact, I've been thinking about posting something on blogging freedom and declaring it by saying I never, EVER want to hurt others feelings, but my blog is my journal and I want to be able to look back and see how I've grown, matured, etc. . . . and, one day, when my kids read it, I want them to know that I struggled with things just like they do. . . sorry for a comment that was more like a post -ha!ha!

snoodlings.com said...

The people in my social circles here do not nor do most of the people in my social circles in Louisiana (with a very small exception). None of K's family read it until....K sent them a link to it and I kind of wish he hadn't. There's nothing there that I don't want any of them to read, but I also don't want to feel like I'm measuring my words because of who might read it. Not that I would say anything that would hurt any of them in anyway. I've always preferred to fly under the radar and having them read my stuff makes it more difficult to do so.

Elizabeth said...

You and I have talked about this before, and it's been a real struggle for me to deal with who is or who isn't reading my blog. Family knows about it, and I think most of them read it, but NEVER comment, so I have no idea what they think about it. Friends from Arkansas read it, but they rarely comment either. Lately a few college friends have found it and commented, and I'm ok with it. I only recently told two local friends about it. They are new friends, but I felt like I could trust them. So far, it's been fine. But I did ask them not to tell anyone else about it. It makes me uncomfortable to have acquaintances reading, although close friends are fine. It's hard to explain. I go back and forth with how much I want to share. On the one hand I love my blogging relationships and feel like I can be totally myself. On the other hand, people who know me are not objective and it can, and has, caused problems.

I wish that I had started blogging anonymously. I think that I would be much more free with my words, and less censored when it comes to things that are really important to me. Right now I worry too much about what friends/family are going to think or how they feel about what I write.

Lauren Kelly said...

I know of a few close friends that read my blog but I e-mailed my blog address to everyone I know, and so don't know who reads and who doesn't read, and some might read but just never comment!

Jacquie said...

Several of my real life friends read my blog. I figure most of my readers have never met me, though.

chickadee@afamiliarpath said...

more and more of the people i know are reading. the strangest thing was when my husband's work people started reading. i try not to think about that.

it took me a long time to be open about my blog to my real people. now all my family knows and most of the people i go to church with (that care or have a computer) and all of my homeschool mom friends.

and that about covers my social circle.

leigh said...

My family and friends read. Although I've seriously considered starting a blog just so I can vent. Not even my husband would know!

Robin said...

No one here reads it and only a few in Alabama read it and usually only if I send a direct link to a post.

I am kind of like Amy and like to fly under the radar but I also don't get stressed about who reads it.

Gretchen said...

I actually didn't know I had any IRL friend readers until I closed down my blog very briefly, and received emails from these unseen lurker friends.

I prefer not to give out my URL to certain fam mbers, not because I write about them or issues with them specifically, but because it's nice to feel freer to express myself sans walking into judgement at the next holiday dinner.

But...I'm learning discernment in blogging anyway. Hard, slow lesson, but important, I think.

Lindsay said...

I read your blog because I am one of your face to face friends though it has been awhile since I've seen your face. lol. Also finding Facebook a great way to keep in touch with you and yours.

The Harper Family said...

Yes, most of my IRL friends do read my blog as well as most of my family.

Mollie said...

Funny thing, a lot of my friends read my blog- but the family does not as much. That is who I started it for!! haha
Yes, I have been to lunch dates with 2 of my friends- Our conversations were- "the other day on facebook, did you see" or "yeah I saw that on facebook!" Hello!! We hardly talked about our kids or husbands!! funny huh!!
Great post as always! I enjoy your blog!

Angie said...

I was a closet blogger for the first 18 months or so. My own hubby didn't even know about it... it was more like a (not-so-personal) journal and record of what my kids were doing. Random people I my online or other friends I learned had blogs soon learned about mine, and then one day I told my hubby and family... and it felt weird. Not because I ever shared anything super personal, but now it was "out there."

Well!

Most of my "real life" friends didn't know until JOANNE spilled the beans when she was our MOPS speaker one day! So now, most everyone I know reads my blog, and I'm regularly surprised to learn of a new reader. Just the other day, someone I hardly know mentioned something they read on my blog and I was stunned. It's kind of weird.

I don't think it changes what I write - I'm pretty transparent - but it is odd that people usually know a whole lot more about me than I know about them. A false sense of intimacy and friendship, for sure. I've found that at times it's a good conversations starter when someone mentions something from my blog, but other times, it leaves nothing to talk about because they've already read about it. You know?

But, I never give my blog address to my friends - or anyone for that matter - unless they ask. They either find out from my FB page or other friends or... who knows!

It's a strange new world, isn't it?!

Amber said...

I was just talking to Steph about this today! I know my close friends read, but I'm FLOORED when someone in the community comes up to me or emails me about my blog. I have found out that I have several blog stalkers...right here in Arkadelphia...and it is WEIRD for me. Very weird. Especially when I see them in WalMart...and they smile and grin and I immediately realize it is because they just read that I was pulled over by the cops or that I have mountains of laundry piling up at home. Just weird, I tell ya. Weird.

Stephanie said...

I just started this blog life and I started it anonymously. I wanted/needed a place to vent about the church and other people in my life. My hubby also requested that I be anonymous - for his own job security. :) I have since let a few friends in on the blog world - ones that know me from the inside out anyways, so it wouldn't matter that they knew my thoughts and feelings. They also aren't in our current church and know that church-life has its fair share of frustrations. I think when we move to a new ministry position, I will let a few others know the blog address so they can keep up with our lives and the kiddos. I will be HORRIFIED if my mother-in-law ever became a reader. She friended me on facebook, and that has been a strange adjustment for me. In real life, I'm a pretty quiet, private person, so I think some people would be totally surprised if they found out that I had a blog. Maybe - someday - I'll have to spill the beans, just for the shock factor. :)

Kellie said...

Yup, my IRL's read my blog. From my mom to my neighbors. Although I have noticed that those who live life with me are not as consistent in reading, and they rarely comment.

Once I get my "regular" blogs read and erased from my queue, I am going to come back and read the rest of these comments...I think they will be interesting. Good Question!

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

My best friend reads, and another one of my good friends stumbled across my blog recently but as far as I know those are the only two who know about it. Initially I had my blog url up on Facebook, but I took it down after a little while - I realized that I didn't really want everybody that I knew to read. Not sure why, I just prefer it that way.

Andrea Frazer - Pass the Zoloft said...

Many people I hang with read my personal blog. I try to keep it on the downlow at my son's school. But last month someone found out I wrote a sex and marriage blog for Good Housekeeping and my cover was forever blown. Kindergarten fathers will never look at me the same again. And it's not always good. Have you read Gretchen's post about turning 40 and not being as "wash and go" as you once were? Um, yeah, that's me. Sigh....)

Holly said...

A few do!

And some of those are ones I met through blogging and then in real life, like you.

Hope to see you today for the wax museum!

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

I am out. Several of the moms at preschool and a neighbor or two read my blog.

Megan L Hutchings said...

Even though I see and talk to my best galz several times a week, they still read my blog :)!

I am private so I think that is why my number of readers is not as much as some.

Gina said...

People who know me IRL read my blog. I usually don't know it until they ask a question that relates to a post- without telling me that the read my blog. I'm left scratching my head wondering how they could know that. I usually figure it out later. I'm slow....

Kelly @ Love Well said...

Some do. Most don't. I don't advertise it, so the only people who know it exists are people who a. I trust enough to know about it or b. those who hear through the grapevine.

Personally, I enjoy it more without the pressure of everyone I know reading.

Jillian, Inc said...

I think many of my friends do read, but not all of them. They rarely comment about anything I've written, though. And lots of my family members (and in-laws) read. I'm just waiting for the hubby's exwife to find my blog. Then it might get interesting (though I never write about her) (thought goodness knows it would be some good blog fodder). The end.

Anonymous said...

Meredith- this is weird situation I think you are hitting on. I read blogs and read my sil's blog. We were very close until she started blogging. We aren't near as close now- not really because of something re: just me, but just she flat prefers blog people now and kind of dropped everyone else. But I love her and we will always be there for each other but it is strange....I'm constantly stuck between "why don't you know this??" because she's written it her blog -- so I feel like I have to read or its like I don't care since its her main way of telling things. OR I have to go to some family thing knowing she's said she doesn't want to be there, etc. because she's already said so on her blog. Anyway, its just hard! I love reading blogs but its hard to be friends with someone in real life when their blog isn't "real"...just completely different person on the blog than in real life. Its impossible for it not to change your relationship with them because of it. I just flat know too much now. Its been one of the most difficult times in my life. I get the "its my journal" and getting it out and all, but I don't understand the fact that these are published, written statements that everyone is reading....thats just a fact-- so the its my journal thing only goes so far with me. Anyway, it is a quite curious "state" to be in......nothing tragic but it is different. Sorry for being so wordy!

Julie said...

My mom, sister and sister-in-law read my blog.. but as far as friends in my church and community... nope... not really. Occasionally I'll hear someone say that they read, but mostly it's people from days gone by or blogworld....

It's kinda weird that way. But that's another story for another day.

Hope you are doing well. My oldest is moving to Monument in July. Maybe I'll be out there for a visit one day and I can see your beautiful face again!

Have a blessed day!

His Girl said...

first, a dance of joy, for I am all caught up on your blog *dancing, dancing, dancing*

okay, now back to the question... I do have a handful of irl readers, but I often wish I didn't. I keep thinking I am going to start an anonymous blog for the purpose of talking about more sensitive topics.

shannan said...

Hello,
I only give my blog address to people I know. I however found you through a friends blog. you are not on her persay but through another blog she follows. very confusing i know. I love your blog and I am thinking of using the Iron on Friday idea for some fun t's for my kids. If you have a moment I have a question about how to print the Letters out.
How do you select just one letter? I saved the zipfile and unzipped it. I am not very smart with the computer but I can throw down with the sewing machine......Lol. Thanks for any help you can give me.

Nina Diane said...

family and friends read my blog..it's not that interesting anyway so I really don't care who reads it :)

*carrie* said...

Mer,

Loved this question, as I've been thinking about this "issue" a lot lately. I agree with a lot of what Elizabeth and Angie said in their comments.

I frequently find out people I know IRL are reading my blog, and it really bothers me. Sometimes I wish I didn't have a blog because I don't like that so many people are "keeping in touch" with me in a very one-sided fashion. Which is one of the reasons I'm also not a fan of Facebook.

I've been debating about telling a local friend about my blog, but I don't even know how to bring it up since I've been blogging for two years already!!