ETHICAL BLOGGING

The Gentle Reader will have noticed that in the pages of this blog, I often  quote random chunks of conversations. Thus prompting the question, who are these people with whom I am conversing? Do they know that our conversation has been featured, albeit anonymously and facelessly, in thenewcomer weblog, a blog read far and wide by handful of followers and  people needing know more about male beauty, batman and benedict cumberbatch etc, as discussed?

My tendency to rewrite everyday conversations and daily interaction as blog pieces has led me into trouble twice. First, when I was still in the first months of blogging, girlishly and enthusiastically handing out my blog address to every Tom, Dick and Harry who crossed my path. I had sent out my blog address to my new classmates at Dalhousie- this was fall of 2008. A few weeks later, one of my new classmates told me in a serious voice she needed to talk to me. My heart sank. She thought I had written about her in my immortal piece about Canadian curly-wurly girls. She was upset. In fact I hadn’t.  I managed to talk myself out of it, and we went on to become very good friends. Nevertheless, my horror of confrontation is such that that single incident was enough for me to never, ever let my blogger identity  be known to my real-life friends and acquaintances. Who knows when I may want to blog about them? I cannot let my freedom as a blogger be compromised by social niceties.

I have kept the secret, more or less, though I have been more careless at times with it. One occasion was when drunk at a party with “Clara”, the inspiration of the immortal poem “Ode to Clara“. I blurted out “I have written a poem about you”. Her eyes widened. “Really?” I suddenly realised what I had said. I pretended to be far more drunker than I was, and turned the conversation to cats. It worked. But she gave me curious glances every now and then, whenever we met, until thank god she was transferred somewhere far away from Halifax and I will  never have to see her again.

But, yes, fellow bloggers, what is our ethical duty? Do we disclose to our everyday interlocutors that we are dangerous bloggers, lurking among the unsuspecting  populace, and everything you say or do is fair game for our relentless blogging machine? Or perhaps after the deed has been done, we send a brief note- hey you, I blogged about your mother’s photos with her boyfriend,  and you, over there, not only did I blog about your awful break-up, I also blogged about my dream that your evil ex-boyfriend is going to rape you. And you remember the time you burped? Somehow, I feel this will not go down well. At the very least, people will stop talking to me for ever and ever. It may also impact the Princess’s social life.

It is a question which plagues celestial beings such as LADY GAGA and ADELE- witness their tribulations at the hands of random former ex-dudes, claiming that they are their source of “inspiration” for their hit songs, and thus  needing to be paid off. However, I doubt that my musings will ever reach the fanatic popularity of those works of art, and thus I am safe from being sued by the social acquaintance who philosophized on Cuban prostitutes and salsa-dancing in Halifax, or the evil Mom who gave false choices to her child.

And so, I guess I will continue doing what I am doing, as one does, while feeling vaguely uncomfortable about it, yet not enough to actually stop. Perhaps somewhere, someone is blogging about me, and that will even out the score.

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3 comments

  1. My Nova Scotian Home

    This exact reason is why it’s been a few weeks since I’ve written in my blog. I used to blog since 2001 at a place called Open Diary. I was pretty much anonymous there and said what I wanted, vented about work and family, etc and felt free to do so. It’s a great community atmosphere there. Since I stopped writing there and moved to WordPress and have given my blog location out to family/friends/clients I feel trapped at times wanting to write but hung up on the appropriateness (or lack thereof) of what I wanted to say in such a public venue and whether so and so would see it.

  2. thenewcomer

    Hmm- yes, on the one hand, you want to attract readers to your blog, on the other, you don’t want them to Know It’s You. Difficult decisions. Good to know it’s not just me.

  3. FoXy

    This is the exact reason why I’ve changed three blogs so far, and why I’ve deleted my best posts in my last blog -which I tried to be anonymous but some nosy audience could actually track me down.

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