My husband and I started this family blog back in 2007, before social media became a worldwide phenomenon. Our children participated and posted their own experiences and thoughts on their individual pages. Sometimes we would make them post about a family trip (oh how naive we were back then). Over the years the other family members lost interest and my husband has his own blog, so this blog more or less became mine alone. But then social media took over the world and it consumed my life.
In December 2020 I had enough with Facebook and Instagram–and mostly Zuckerberg and the concerning downsides of social media (and let’s not enough get into Twitter’s new owner)–and decided to get off all social media once and for all. I have been off since then and I haven’t missed it. Not even a little bit.
But I wasn’t really off of social media. I started watching YouTube videos. I watched a lot of them. I also write in a journal, making observations about the world around me. There was one YouTuber whom I thought had some pretty interesting ideas so I sent him an email with similar thoughts that I had. I took these ideas from a spiritual journal that I keep.
Several months later I received a reply from him. He asked me if he could do a video on the contents of my email. He thought that I had some very interesting ideas. I consented, thinking that he would just talk about my ideas. Nope. Not only did he make a video of my email contents, he actually read my entire email in the video and then made comments throughout concerning what I wrote. I honestly felt like I had just given him a bowl of pearls which he ate piece by piece, regurgitated, and then spit out on the floor. I had never felt so violated in my entire life. I felt that I had to make a comment on the post trying to explain what I meant in my final paragraph about a certain topic because the YouTuber got wrong what I was trying to say, and therefore there were viewers dissing me in the comments.
I had no idea that my personal thoughts that I shared privately with this YouTuber would be read to the world. I had learned my lesson. I assumed that this man would treat my email like other people treat correspondence between two people, with respect and privacy. Nope! I guess he feels that whatever you share with him is fair game.
It occurred to me the other day that I do have a vehicle to share my thoughts on my own terms. This blog! Duh! For some time I had made all posts on this blog private (there are nearly 600 of them), save a few that I thought were okay to share with the world, because since the onset of social media online privacy has become a pretty big problem. I wanted to respect the privacy of my family.
I am resurrecting this blog and it is becoming mine alone since my husband already has his own and all my children have flown the coop. They have their own lives now and can control their privacy on their own terms. I have determined what I feel is appropriate to make public from the very earliest days of our family blog experience, and I will write new content from this point on. I will take back my voice and share what I want, how I want, and when I want. I will not give that power to someone else again.