Blogging is an opportunity to share so much of your interests and your heart online, but is there a limit? Allow us to share some thoughts on the importance of setting boundaries as a blogger.
The Importance of Setting Boundaries as a Blogger
It’s rare that we do this, but I feel that it’s an important topic for us to discuss because it’s one that has come up both in our conversations and in conversations online. Honestly, it’s something that even together we’ve talked about and one of the reasons why I rebranded.
Blogging is an industry that is very personal. As much as we sometimes like to share things that are ultimately very positive, we’re still sharing aspects of ourselves with people who we may not know in real life. In many cases, we’re opening parts of our homes, our struggles, our closets, and even our pantries with others. It’s one of the great things about blogging – it’s the ability to connect with people you otherwise would not have in hopes of encouraging or providing new information to them.
But what happens when those lines get blurry? When as a blogger you find yourself at the other end of hate websites, making comments about everything from your figure to your parenting skills?
I’ve seen this happen to other bloggers, which is primarily why we’ve decided not to share certain things online. You may have noticed, we do not share any photographs of my nephew, my niece, our baby cousins, etc. The truth is we have quite a few boundaries surrounding the blog that we felt were the most authentic to use.
When we spend time with family and friends we don’t share photographs taken on our blog. If we’re somewhere visiting a certain place or hiking, we try not to show their faces as much as possible. There are certain topics we aren’t comfortable discussing online, so we don’t. There are certain parts of our house we do not show. There are certain moments we don’t feature or write about online.
Before posting anything on Instagram stories, I always ask my husband if he’s okay with this going up. If he says no, I won’t post it. When we’re out on date nights, we put our phones away and any images or videos I take of food are posted after the date is already over. We don’t photograph every date or place we go to, so it’s usually discussed beforehand that we’ll be featuring it on the blog.
Some of these probably sound excessive, but they are boundaries that we felt were necessary for ensuring that our loved ones feel protected in the midst of us sharing some of our favorite things and places on this blog. It also has helped a lot by providing us with a clear focus on what we should be sharing and what we shouldn’t.
I will say there isn’t anything wrong with sharing these things. There are bloggers I follow who I thoroughly enjoy their rawness, humor, and their willingness to bare their soul. With that said, we still blog about what we want and what we’re genuinely interested in, but we have boundaries of what we’re willing to share. For us, it just wasn’t healthy or conducive to do so in such an industry where everything you post can be criticized.
I had to think about whether I would be okay with those things being critiqued or made fun of? The answer was “no” so we decided to keep it off the blog.
IS IT INAUTHENTIC TO SET BOUNDARIES?
I think something I’ve struggled with since we made that decision was whether it makes us inauthentic. If we’re only sharing our favorite travels, or budget tips, our home decor, and other related things, but we never talk about the bad day we had or the things we’re journeying through, does that make it fake?
I think authenticity is something that’s good but has quickly turned into something that feels like there’s only one way to do it when it’s not. If anything, authenticity is subjective because what’s genuine for one person may not be for the next. For us, authenticity means doing things that feel true to us and one of those things includes not sharing certain things that we feel are crossing the boundaries we’ve placed for online sharing. In fact, I’d say that for us being inauthentic but would be sharing things we’re not comfortable with for the sake of appearing “authentic”.
For some people, being authentic means sharing their heart openly and willingly. It means walking their reader through their struggles in hopes of spreading awareness to an issue or encouraging others. I love that and I think there’s space for that on the internet. But there’s also room for people who don’t feel that doing so is something they’re comfortable with. Choosing not to share those things publicly is not an absence of authenticity and certainly does not mean that we do not still struggle with things. It’s just that we’ve decided it is better for us to keep those things off of the internet and off of our blog.
“Whatever your boundaries are, I think every blogger should have them to help eliminate burnout or a medium where you no longer feel safe to share.”
BOUNDARIES ARE IMPORTANT
Boundaries are important with blogging because when you’re doing something that’s incredibly personal, you have to set limits with yourself about what are and are not willing to share.
Are your kids off-limits? Family members? Friends?
Are there certain time periods of the day or week that you do not share online?
Whatever your boundaries are, I think every blogger should have them to help eliminate burnout or a medium where you no longer feel safe to share.
While it was difficult for me to leave my old blog behind and completely stop sharing my more personal posts, I actually feel much freer having done it. Before oddly enough, I was always nervous about posting certain posts because I knew there was a possibility people who may not have the best intentions for us could be reading it, but now I don’t feel as nervous. Essentially, deciding to create a space together and set clear boundaries for that space was one of the best decisions I’ve made since I started blogging.
The same can be said if you’re not a blogger, but use social media. Boundaries are important and very fruitful to ensuring that you maintain your mental health and your in real life (IRL) relationships.
Do you have boundaries for social media and internet use? What are some of your boundaries?