The following post is from Kat of Inspired To Action:
Facebook, Twitter and blogging are incredible communication tools for moms. We tell funny stories, share cute pictures and write as we would with a dear friend.
Except we’re not not all dear friends. Sure we probably have a several close friends that read our updates. But more than likely we also have plenty of vague acquaintances, and even a few strangers who read the details of our lives.
The words we write don’t evaporate like a conversation over coffee. They linger – in Google, on blogs, as downloads on people’s computers and in the memories of others.
1. Know Your Purpose
Why do you write about your family?
1. Do you have a Facebook page, Twitter account, or blog just to keep the grandparents updated?
2. Do you share your family stories in the hope that it will encourage others?
(Sometimes hard stories need to be shared to benefit others. Just be sure everyone understands the potential ramifications of posting it online. Maybe no one will read it. But it’s just as likely your boss and grandmother will read it.)
3. Are you doing it solely for posterity, to record memories for your children?
4. Do you have an online business and write about your family to be more personable?
Take a few minutes to truly consider your purposes for writing about your family and identify exactly who your intended audience is.
Your purpose and audience will help you create appropriate information sharing boundaries.
Note: I’m not implying we should be fake or shiny, happy people. I am saying we need to be thoughtful about the long term ramifications of what we share and with whom we share it.
2. Set Boundaries
Decide how many details you’ll share about your family.
1. Will you use their names, make aliases, just write their first initial, or use some other method?
2. Will you post pictures of your home?
3. Will you share when your out of town?
4. Is your husband ok with you sharing his stories?
3. Write For Posterity
What image are we creating of our husbands and our children?
You might just be sharing a funny story with your readers, but you are just as likely sharing the story with your husband’s friends, your son’s teacher or your daughter’s classmates.
And don’t forget that older versions of our children might read our words someday. Write words that will make them smile.
4. Get Permission
It’s vital that our loved ones know that their words and stories are safe with us.
We do not want to sacrifice their pride for a laugh.
1. Love always protects
I value honesty and I’m not afraid of sharing my shortcomings and failures. But when it comes to writing about my family, I take one phrase very seriously: Love always protects.
Again, I’m not talking about trying to look like you have the perfect husband and the perfect little children. But your family is sacred. They have been entrusted to you. Let your words, online and off, build them up and encourage them.
Don’t share a potentially embarrassing story about your husband unless you ask first or have a previous agreement. And if your children are old enough to know what Facebook, Twitter or blogs are, ask them before you share their stories. You might be surprised at the things that embarrass them that you just think are cute or funny.
2. Pictures are forever
That bathtub or droopy diaper picture might be cute now, but what will your future 12 year old think when someone shares it with everyone at school?
That picture of your 6 year old crying and having a fit might be funny today, but does HE want strangers, grandparents or friends to see him like that – at his most vulnerable?
5. Vent Somewhere Else
The internet is not the place to vent about your family.
Have coffee, chat online, or email a friend. Share your frustrations in private – for the sake of your loved ones, who might very well read your words someday.
If they wouldn’t like you saying it in person, don’t share it with the whole world.
There Isn’t a Blanket Answer
Every family has a different culture, but these are questions every mom needs to evaluate for the personalities and temperaments of EACH member of their family.
If your kids are too small to choose what they want you to share, a good guideline is to imagine what they’ll think of each post if it was printed in their Jr. High newspaper.
We will all have different standards, limits and rules regarding what we’ll write about.
Make sure your family is 100% on board.
Use You Power and Presence To Build
Words are powerful and rarely neutral. As a wife and mom, this is especially true.
Write in such a way that if your spouse or child received a book of everything you’ve written about them online, you would be proud to read it to them.
Do you have guidelines for what you share online? Have you ever cringed when reading someone’s update or blog post?
|Kat blogs at Inspired To Action, a site dedicated to helping moms develop the habits and skills they need to effectively manage their homes and raise children who are prepared to change the world. Kat loves music, running, technology, Jesus and Tex-Mex food. Not necessarily in that order.|