Self Censoring

When I started this blog, the idea of it being anonymous was that it’d be somewhere I’d just type out any old ramblings without a care in the world.  It’d be somewhere I can say things without being too worried what anyone thinks, after all nobody reading this knows me in real life. 

I never factored in that people would keep reading and I’m humbled that people do keep coming back and reading my nonsense.  So some of you will know that I do continue to post nonsense ramblings!  But as time has gone on, as anonymous as I try and keep it, why do I find myself self-censoring myself more than I’d like to?

I read a lot of blogs and it’s easy to build up a picture (or an idea) of what someone is like through the words you read.  My idea may be wide of the mark, or it may be spot on, but I still put personalities to the people behind the words (he/she is funny / sounds like they’d be a good laugh / a bit mental / speaks their mind / is a dickhead / similar personality to me etc etc, you get the idea). 

Therefore I suspect some people have put a personality to me too.  Therein lies my problem.

I’ll probably never ever meet a single person who has read this blog, so I shouldn’t care what I type about (or worry about what people think of me), no one knows me and it’s my blog, so I’ll type as I please.  A ‘you can’t please all of the people all of the time’ type attitude.  But I still have a little voice at the back of my head saying “you can’t type that, people will get the wrong idea” or people’s attitude towards me would change if I mentioned this or that.  So I stop myself and in half my ramblings I only type half the story.  Something that I never intended to do in the first place. 

It’s stupid really because it’s just my words on a screen.  It’s not like anyone reads this, then would come up to me in the street and call me a knobhead for what I’ve written…hopefully not anyway! 

Unfortunately, tabloid newspaper fans, there isn’t going to be some kind of front page headline where I suddenly announce that I’m a Filipino cross dresser (no offence to Filipino cross dressers). 

But I did wonder if other people limited what they write about?  Does it bother you what people, who read your blog, think about you?  Or do you just think ‘fuck it’ and type away anyway? 

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18 thoughts on “Self Censoring

  1. Blogging is definitely a way of being able to say what you “want” without normal constraints; it seems that the Internet has enabled us to become anonymous in these “expressive” (and many other) ways. Writing should be personal in this piece of virtual space, as it is one of the few opportunities we get to be absolutely honest.

    I don’t think we should have to restrict ourselves to some things. Self-censoring? Does not sound that appealing to me.

  2. Since I am not that bothered that people know who I am, I guess I am forced to do a bit of self Censoring. If I don’t Mrs B certainly would. I use the BlackLOG as an extension of myself and try as much as possible to say or act as I would in person.

    I’m guessing here but I suspect that if you create a hidden identity for blogging, while it probably starts out as freedom to say want you want, it eventually start to develop a personality. The personality will start to dictate rules of behaviour and I believe starts to reflect your own personal values (which to a certain extent are shaped by our environment). In order to protect these values you start to censor what you write. Blimey that was a bit heavy for a Friday morning….I’m going for a lie down.

  3. Most people I know read my blog so I have to self-censor it but I don’t really mind. There has only been one time when I got caught out and that was when I ranted about HR departments (in particularly at my work) and then I found out that some members of the management team (based in the US) had read it. Actually everyone was cool about it and told me that I should have told the HR person directly when there was a problem but that’s not my way of doing things. I was just happy to have a rant on my blog and get it off my chest. Nowadays I’m more careful writing about work.

    Does that mean you won’t ever have a ‘blog party’ for all your followers in years to come?? 🙂

  4. I don’t think I censor anything that I write about myself on my blog, but I am careful with what I write about other people. And I don’t like to write about work too much (uuh, when I had a job that is) just in case.

  5. say “Fuck it” and type….
    I used to care about my blog material… and now I just write for me… do the same, it’s fun.

    of course I did just come to that conclusion

  6. I definitely find myself self censoring, and I don’t know why. I think the best blogs that I read are the the uncensored ones and yet I still get all uptight and british about revealing too much.

    The whole idea that blogging is anonymous, and therefore enables you to bare all, simply isn’t true. If nobody ever read / commented on your blog, perhpas it would be easy to be more brutally frank. However, being English, the second you realise someone out there is reading what you write, my inner censor comes to life and ties me in knots as to what to write and how to write it….

    I’m so glad I’m not the only one who notices it though…

  7. Why do you think I refused to reveil my woman-ness for so long? I didn’t want preconceived notions of what I am like based on sex. I’ve also not discussed my age or whether or not I have children. It’s probably not important but seems so to me. My blog here on WordPress is not known to my family or real-life friends though. It is very freeing to have a blog seperate from real-life. That way if I feel like talking about a forbidden topic or use colourful language, I can.

    • Thanks for all your comments, sorry for the late replies:

      peeled oranges – Hi. I agree with your points, it’s just the actual act of being able to not self censor which I find difficult sometimes. Easier said than done (for me at least).

      BlackLOG – I think you’ve hit the nail on the head.
      I do only post what I’d say in person too (yes, I’m full of whit and sarcasim in real life too!). Although outside of a certain circle of friends I don’t dicuss some things (which I have censored on here). I’m quite impressed you managed that on a Friday morning.

      Michelle – It’s good to rant now and again regardless of who it’s to.

      Blog Party: I’ve already ordered the cocktail sausages and the sticks of cheddar cheese with a pickled onion stuck on 🙂

      bevchan – I try and be careful not to describe anyone in too much detail. Agree with not writing about work too, too worried about it coming back and biting me on the bum!

      Woolly – I’ve offered advice on other blogs before where I’ve just said to type for yourself, not for others. I agree completely with the consensus of ‘fuck it’, but it seems I’m quite the hypocrite!

      Welsh Girl – Yep I agree. The whole thing of revealing too much is what gets me. I’m quite private/quiet in person, so maybe it’s that side of my personality stopping me from revealing more – even though the anonymity shouldn’t stop me.

      S. L – You’re in the ‘type what you want’ camp then. I should just stop being a big girl and man up!

  8. I hope cocktail sticks with cheddar cheese and pickled onions are presented 70s style to look like a hedgehog 🙂

  9. I “self-censor” a bit from time to time: a bit of it is to not offend a few readers, but most of the time the crap is just mean-spirited or may sound like ranting. I just look at it for a while and then turn it into something else … which is usually funnier.
    Work/Relationships/Religion/Politics on less than a very general level; I don’t like to mention. … and there’s so much other trivial drivel to write about! hee hee!

  10. I know what you mean. I try not censor myself too much but I’m always aware that some people I work with know that I blog so I’m very careful not say anything too harsh about bosses and colleagues. Hell, I need the job!

  11. OMG – YES! YES! This is so true. It’s why I started a secret alternate blog because I was self-censoring my first anonymous blog and making myself crazy – than it got ridiculous trying to think of posts for two blogs – plus, as soon as I got my first comment (from you) on the secret alternate blog, I started censoring again (ex – why would a young guy in England care about the ramblings of a mid-american 40-something housewife?). So I quit the secret alternate blog.

    I have gleaned from comments that I have readers who would be offended by cursing and people who would applaud it. I try to do what I think – but as you so eloquently said – it’s so freaking/fucking hard!

    • smalltownsmalltimes Hi, if its the one I’m thinking of, I do actually remember leaving that comment on your blog many moons ago, I didn’t know who you were, or where you were from, I’d just stumbled onto your blog and liked/agreed with your post – hence the comment.
      I can barely maintain/think of posts for this blog nevermind two of them!

      I’d like to stop self censoring (and I hope I will, before I make mountains out of mole hills), it’s just finding the way to do it – hint at things with the softly softly approach, or just come right out and say it.

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