My good friend LN was questioning putting too much "out there" on her blog. She used phrases like "pray about privacy needs"and "devoid of self-preservation instincts" and "how much self-disclosure is good?" Then she asked for my thoughts.
I responded to her via email, but I went back and re-read what I'd written and thought that it might be worth posting here. So below is my response to her. Here's hoping it may be useful to others, should they stumble across it.
I totally understand. The unfortunate thing is, it really doesn't matter anymore. If someone wants the information, they'll get it. However, that being said, you can see that I have no filters on my blog, either. I do, though, try not to disclose major pieces of information - such as the exact names of people I talk about or places I go or if I am at home or on vacation; what have you. Those who know me, who know who and where I am and what I am up to most of the time will already know these things, and those who don't already know you - don't need to know. But they may just be interested in the story or whatever you've decided to talk about that day. I think that while it is important to be as careful as you can, there is a point that it can get ridiculous and become more of a pain than it's worth. At that point, then YOU don't want to do it anymore either. And I think, why put so much of yourself into something if you can let someone else ruin it for you.
I think if you want to be open, and talk about things as they come to you, then you need to make sure you feel comfortable with it. You can make it where only your friends or your followers can see what you write - and therefore you know those who read your blog are actually interested. You can also make it so that no one can read anything unless you invite them or unless they have a specific password - but at that point are you hindering your readers to such an extent that they'll just stop coming to "visit" you?
I personally like to be able to say what I think when I think it. To construct my sentences to my liking and use words that please me. To have that little bit of open and free expression and hope that I can brighten someones day if they stumble across it. I've had visitors all across the globe, either on purpose or by accident or at random. So at this point, after having the blog for longer than [Kiddo] has been alive, it doesn't matter anymore. I have nearly 600 posts now. My life, thoughts, words, deeds, writings, stories - whatever - are already out there. I'm careful, but I'm not obsessive about it.
Ultimately I think it's a choice. If you want it to be searched and found and read by "the masses" security settings will stop that cold. If you want to be more selective with your readers and followers, security settings are there for that. The beauty of this is that you can customize your blog to fit your needs. It needs to be what YOU want it to be, not what someone else thinks it should be.
Just my 7 cents.