Earlier today, when I should have been working but was instead looking at my phone, a tweet popped up. Cara linked to a post from 2013 about how much of ourselves we reveal to our readers. She comments in the tweet that she has now met other bloggers and so of course many people have seen more than is every revealed online. This had me thinking about the things I write and the amount of myself and relationship I put online.
What I reveal on my blog
On the surface the answer is a lot. Over the last 6 years I have been open, honest, sometimes painfully so. This whole blog started as a place for me to track my own progress through a new affair. One that took me not only into infidelity but a whole different lifestyle. At times, it was the only place I could document my own feelings. This was especially true when my husband found out and I often felt frightened and alone. But actually I rarely went into personal detail, nor did I describe how my lover often left me to my own devices.
I am always careful about the things I write on my blog. I try not to criticise anyone, I don’t speak about work in any detail. Family details rarely appear, though exceptions have been when my dad was dying and frustrations with my mum. For a while I wrote about the polyamorous relationship but then the other woman started to read and so everything became sanitised. Even now, there is little real emotional detail.
I describe our sex life and my submission in some detail, often as an outpouring of post coital emotion. Milestones appear, as much for my own future memory as well as for Master to read. But detail is often sketchy, partly because I have a rubbish memory but also because I am not good at descriptive narrative. This is currently exposing itself in the Smut Marathon competition (more of which on my next blog post).
Perhaps the photos give away the most about me and us. Sometimes I even show my face. But this doesn’t mean that the reader sees or knows everything, how can they.
Everyone here and on Twitter know that MPB is Julie. That is my real name. I chose to do this not because I am uncreative, but because I don’t want to hide behind a massive pseudonym. I am not critical of anyone that uses one, it just isn’t me. But it does tend to lead to me being more open and more like my real self. What you see is what you get. An open book, I find emotions hard to hide. So on Sunday when the Smut Marathon results were published I got into conversations with other bloggers / writers. Participants began to express some of the things they felt are wrong with the process and I joined in. Then someone essentially told us to shut up and I felt ashamed that I had been part of the conversation.
On balance, twitter needs to be treated with the same caution as my blog. We are all people but some of us are prone to speak more openly than others. I’m not sure I should open myself up in that way to people. While I know some of the people on twitter and have met others none are people I can describe as friends. If I can’t say it here, then I really don’t want to say it on Twitter.
Even if you see my face, know my name is Julie that doesn’t mean you can and should see all of me. Some things must remain hidden.