The Daily Post recently suggested utilizing social media to draw in more readers.
I’m not doing that.
Here’s the problem with my Facebook friends: They know me.
Crazy, isn’t it? But see, I’ve tried that before. Or actually, I didn’t try it. People just found me.
Several years ago I joined a now mostly defunct social networking site that had a blog feature. Joining was a way of connecting with my young relatives. Blogging was just something that found me.
I never realized I had so much to say. But the blogs just poured out of me. I was a new mother so I wrote quite a bit about that. I told old stories from my life. I explored my shaky relationship with my mother. I touched on some sensitive family issues. I shared food porn. I mused over politics. I made friends with some wonderful, wonderful people in the blogosphere.
And then…they found me.
I already had a handful of real-life friends who read my blog. But then social media started becoming attractive to more and more people, and the cat was out of the bag. Family, friends, and colleagues started creating profiles and amassing friends lists. They friended me. They read my blog.
And then my writing started to change.
I don’t think I turned out bad writing. It’s just that my writing became less than honest. I didn’t put it all out there. I held back, always conscious of my audience. I didn’t want to offend anyone. I didn’t want to reveal things that certain people did not need to hear. On that site, I could have adjusted some settings so that only people on a certain list could read my blog, but then people in the blogging world who were not on my list would not be able to just stumble upon my writing.
It was quite a conundrum. And then, use of that site slowly dropped off, and before long, I could sense that this wonderful community was reaching its conclusion.
And for a few years, I fell silent. And then came WordPress.
And it’s starting again. I’ve become part of this little community, and found some kindred spirits from all over the world. I am finding more all the time, and they are finding me.
I have, once again, found my freedom of expression through blogging. But this time, I intend to remain free…free to explore things that are on a need-to-know basis with certain people in my life. Free to contemplate, for instance, whether to end a long-term friendship (more on that later, maybe.) Free to unashamedly expound and pontificate. Free to talk about my step-mother (she’s crazy, I tell you). Free to make a complete ass of myself if I so desire. And those who choose to stick with me through it all…those people make up my community, friends and family in this little corner of cyberspace. And I love them for it.