I’m coming off a creative rush over the last year. I’ve been on the constant output of creativity for my business -The baby line. The bedding line. The baby swaddles. The Penny Paper Co. product line has grown. Even a new business. Each one has different energy, excitement, processes, manufacturings. It has been a wild year and I’m thankful that I’ve been offered opportunities like these. But the creative rush is also a manic one sometimes. Creativity can be all consuming.
I’m sitting here in my bedroom, drinking a cup of tea, listening to the sweet snoring of my Oscar as he’s passed out in my bed with a little fever that I think he picked up at his Saturday morning art class. I thought, while I sit here (I promised him not to leave his side – except for my evening bath) I would take a moment to write. I’ve been struggling with this online space for awhile and tip toeing around it. The blog has changed over the years – starting out (12.5 years ago!) about my business, then it broke off into 2 blogs – one business and one home. Things change, as they do – the blog was way cooler then because we were doing renovations and decorating then I had a baby and talked all about mom stuff. Now I’m entering a new phase in my life where the house is pretty much done (with the exception of some decks, finishing the studio, and maybe a total gut of Oscar’s room in a few years) but nothing that would warrant constant updates on the blog about decor – as much as I love decor.
I’ve been sitting on this post for some time and have resisted blogging about it because if I’m going to be very honest, I’ve tried to step away from talking about the landscape of blogging / social media as I find such posts, somewhat self-righteous and tedious to read ( mean, everyone and their mama has written about the death o’ blogging). I have no authority or grand vision of it all. But I do like to use social media – both for business and personal use and as such, I’m witness to conversations that peak my interest, and spark ideas and yet I feel like voicing opposition to people’s visions of social media, improper so I thought I’d take to my own personal blog to share my thoughts on the landscape of social media, and why I think we’re all in our own bubbles.
On Oscar’s half birthday I was sitting with my Mom after dinner – watching Oscar play in the other room with my brother and sister. I watched him with his hilarious mannerism, having full out conversations. I turned to my Mom and said “I think it’s time that Oscar was no longer on my blog.” I’m not sure why I said it, but when the words came out I realized that I had been thinking it for awhile. My Mom kindly responded that she agreed, that maybe it was time for Oscar to just be, well, Oscar. It wasn’t a huge discussion and within a minute we were back to talking about other things. The drive home that night I wondered what had changed. Why had I felt comfortable for two and a half years of Oscar’s life to post pictures, and suddenly, almost overnight, I decided I wasn’t?
Although we live in a world where sharing a lot online is becoming normal, I’m relatively uncomfortable with sharing online. (Which is funny, seeing as I write a blog) But I’m not as comfortable elsewhere as I am here – Facebook I limit my friends, and am on the verge of deleting my account. Instagram I have one follower (my account is set to private). As news broke last night about Instagram changing their user policy I’m in the process of deleting Instagram as well. I’ll never use FourSquare and I freak out when an App wants to know my location. Perhaps it’s because I’ve grown up without the Internet, and then watched it evolve that I’m still relatively uncertain about it all.
I appreciate I am likely in the minority – We’re in a a world where online sharing is increasingly normal. But I do wonder if we’re all just insta-sharing without thinking about long term effects. Which led me to wonder about Oscar, and his place on my blog.
Although I don’t write stories or post pictures that I feel would embarrass Oscar in any way – I can’t predict the future as to how he will feel. How would he feel if his childhood was public? The simple answer is, I don’t know. So with my trepidation about sharing online mixed with ongoing concerns I have with online privacy and how images are used, I felt that it was time to just draw Oscar’s time on my blog to a close. It’s also because sharing photos and stories of Oscar is so ridiculously easy – that I’m mindful that I don’t fall into a trap of it being my “go to” post when perhaps, nothing else is going on.
I’m not cutting Oscar out of my blog – I am going to try to be more respectful of him from now on. You may see his sweet feet, or the back of his head. Or, I may post his photo later on, but right now I think I need to just take a break. I’ll still talk about Oscar, and talk about projects we do. But I have to figure out a way to do it in a way that fits now with my new comfort level.
Ps., I’m a little sad that the sharing of his photos has come to an end because I love, love posting his pictures. I’m a proud Mommy. 🙁
ps., I feel it also necessary to really stress that my decision to do so, is in no way a reflection of how I feel when I see others post their kids on their blogs. I feel as though each person has different comfort zones and we should each respect that. Should you feel comfortable posting pictures, then that is totally fine with me. My comfort zone shifted, rather quickly – from being ok with posting his pictures to almost immediately feeling as though I couldn’t do it anymore..
A few weeks ago I was talking with a girlfriend and the topic of blogs came up. Although many of my friends don’t have blogs of their own, like me they like to read a few favorites and it occasionally sparks interesting conversation. During one conversation a friend remarked that a blogger had gone from being one of her favorites to one that she really disliked. Her frustration was that the author’s writing style and content had changed.Obviously that conversation made me reflect on my own blog. But it also made me reflect on the relationship between blogger & reader. Seeing as you read at least one blog, you may be interested in this conversation, how it evolved in my brain and some info about my blog content….
Many blogger start off with a theme such as weddings, baby, or renovating and over time their content ends up shifting. In some cases, bloggers do dramatic changes like focusing majorly on monetizing their blogs. Although content changes are natural (and totally acceptable) The problem with these “shifts” is that when they happen the relationship between reader and blogger is at risk of being jeopardized. And in the case of my friend – she found this particular bloggers content change frustrating and the relationship was, well, over.
I came to the conclusion that the relationships between bloggers and reader to be much like real friendships – overtime lives/interests change and if you’re good friends you’ll continue to find what the other has to say interesting. On the other hand it’s possible that a a “friendship” may not withstand a shift in in blog content.
So how does this relate this to my blog? If you’ve read my blog for awhile you’ll know that since 2008 I’ve written about things that have love or have inspired me. But for the last year my life, and therefore my blog content, was dominated by a major kitchen renovation. Now as I wrap up this renovation I’m feeling mentally clearer to be inspired by other things and want to document them. But – here is the tricky thing …. The shift back to writing about my other passions after more than a year of talking about kitchens has me feeling awkward. So because of the conversation with my friend and realizing that there is a interesting relationship between you and I, I felt it important to address that I’m shifting back to writing about totally random stuff I love and feel inspired by. Because that’s what my blog is all about.
Anyhow, such a silly post but I thought that it needed addressing that my content is shifting back. And I hope that perhaps you will still find this little blog interesting. 🙂
Here is to fresh starts. 🙂