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Reasons Not to Blog
Employers to Stalkers, Who’s Reading Your Blog?
By JA Huber
Blog stalkers are a reason not to blog. People have been fired from their jobs for blogging about their employer. Blogging is therapeutic but not a venue to air the family’s dirty laundry.
Do you have a blog? Most celebrities, corporate executives and politicians maintain blogs (“Web log”) these days. Even the not-so-famous, such as family pets, newborn babies and yes, I too, maintain a blog. While all the cool kids are doing it, there are valid reasons not to blog.Blogging dates back to the mid-1990s when online diaries were extensions of websites. Today, most users take advantage of free blog publishing systems, such as Blogger, JournalSpace or WordPress for blog hosting or through social networking sites such as MySpace, Yahoo! 360 and Xanga. With more than 60 million blogs in the world (according to a May 25, 2006 article in “The Blog Herald”), one has to ask, should I care who’s reading my blog? The answer is “yes.”
Reason Not to Blog: Blog Stalkers
Many bloggers post in-depth personal information about themselves, including emotional highs and lows, address, full name and personal photos. Posting too much personal information can allow anyone to find you, including an ex-spouse, a current significant other’s ex-boyfriend/girlfriend or a new unwanted fan. These “blog stalkers” may feel a personal connection with you through reading your blog. Chances are slim they will show up on your doorstep, but never rule out the impossible. It may become annoying and frightening if a blog stalker constantly posts hostile, uncomfortable or even complimentary comments on your blog.
Reason Not to Blog: Current Employer
If you think your employer isn’t monitoring what you do in your free time, think again. While blogs are therapeutic ways to vent about what ticks you off at work, your employer may view it differently. It’s also not wise to blog about proprietary company information. The same is true about posting photos of yourself in your uniform in a non-work setting. Depending on policy, your employer may take disciplinary action, including termination. Ellen Simonetti is a prime example. She was a Delta Air Line attendant fired for blogging in 2004 and although she wasn’t given a specific reason, she believes it has something to do with photos of herself in full uniform posted on her blog.
Reason Not to Blog: Future Employer
Looking for a job? It’s common for employers to search social networking sites, such as MySpace, or run names through Google to gain insight into a potential employee’s character. Images of you drunk and passed out on the bathroom floor may not land you the job you want. Same goes about bad-mouthing your current employer on your blog.
Reason Not to Blog: Future Significant Other
Blog posts about your recent struggle with depression, pining over your ex-boyfriend or escapade of a freaky night may turn off potential significant others. Although it was a year ago when you posted that blog about crying all week after breaking up with your boyfriend, a potential significant other may see you as emotionally unstable for a healthy relationship.
Reason Not to Blog: Family Politics
When blogging, flashbacks to childhood and my mother’s voice sings in my ears, “Remember, we always know what you’re doing.” While a blog can be therapeutic, it should not be a place to air the family’s dirty laundry. Some things just shouldn’t be shared and depending on the family politics, a post defaming your family may get you kicked out of the will.
Blogs offer creative and therapeutic outlets for users while being an ideal method to stay connected with friends and family. But remembering the unwanted eyes watching may give you reason not to blog.