If you’ve been blogging for any length of time, odds are high you’ve had that special kind of regret that comes from posting something to your blog and then immediately wondering if you should have done that. Sure, it’s possible to run back and delete a post if it’s really that bad – but what if you’re not entirely sure what the “right thing to do” was?
As in healthcare, prevention is key. A lot of bloggers, myself included, have personal rules about what they will and will not blog about. For example, I always pretend a potential employer is reading my posts. I always ask – is this something that might impact someone’s decision to hire me? Others take the “stranger on a plane” approach – would you tell whatever you’re blogging about to a random stranger you were sitting next to on a plane?
I find rules like that will cut down on the kinds of things people don’t necessarily want to hear about or see in the first place – pictures of me in a bathing suit, for example, or those times when I’m upset about something and might say something I don’t really mean.
Of course people can sympathize – who hasn’t acted emotionally and wished they had handled a situation differently later? While the ease of access to social media can be a bad thing in that it’s easy to overreact and quickly put out angry tweets and blog posts, it’s also a good thing because you hopefully have the opportunity to go back and recover the situation. Most of us are human and have made our own mistakes and we’re likely to forgive people who say they’re sorry. Especially if you learn from your mistake.
Yesterday I posted about my mother’s health and my decision to move back home. It was an emotional post, and a lot of what I shared was pretty personal. These emotions were something I really needed to get out, and I was struggling to come up with a blog post so I just did it.
A few hours later I wondered if I had done the right thing. A lot of that stuff was more personal than I really thought I should have shared with the general public. As it turned out, I was right to worry but not for those reasons.
I didn’t stop to make sure before I posted that everything I shared had already been shared with the people who needed to know it first. I woke up this morning to a text from my brother that said, “No one told me they found something else on mom’s scan.”
Well, looks like I’m out of the running for big sister of the year.
So I apologized profusely and explained everything again: It’s too soon to worry.
When my Mom was first diagnosed it was easiest to just post everything to the blog because it was one place our extended family and friends could come and get the most up to date information. It was easiest for us because it meant not having to worry about missing someone.
This time, I didn’t stop to make sure she was okay with me sharing this new information, and that she’d already told everyone who needed to know first. In this case, she didn’t want to share anything until she knew exactly what was going on. It could turn out to be nothing – or at least nothing that requires sharing with the entire world.
This was also a good reminder of my own rules – Did I really think twice before posting? Nope. Will I be extra careful to get permission from people before sharing their personal “news” on my blog? Of course.
What are your rules for avoiding blogger’s remorse? Do you have any stories about posting something you wish you hadn’t?