I Was De-Friended On Facebook Because of My Open Salon Blog
Not long after I started blogging on Open Salon, a very good friend of mine sent me a message to inform me she was de-friending me on Facebook. She was concerned her teenager might open her computer, see the Facebook link to my blog, and read it. She thought the piece about my mom and politics—I Love You Even Though You’re A Liberal—was insightful, smart, and interesting, but she suggested that my entries about hooking up and oral sex might be better left to a private journal, or other non-public forum. She claimed she wasn’t judging me, she just didn’t want to be put in an uncomfortable situation where she’d have to explain my sexual experiences to her son, especially since he’s at an age where he’s beginning to explore his own sexual identity.
I love my friend implicitly. I value, respect, and appreciate her opinion. Being a parent, I completely understand her desire to do what she thinks best for her son, so I didn’t take the de-friending personally. It wasn’t like she was de-friending me in “real” life, but still, it was difficult not to feel I was being judged on some level.
Now, there was a time in my life when receiving a message like my friend’s would have given me serious pause. I would have obsessed over it. I would have questioned my judgment, doubted myself. I probably would have yanked those posts just to placate my friend. After all, good girls don’t talk about their sex lives in public.
But I’m done living my life according to other people’s opinions, morals, expectations, or rules.
My friend brought up what I thought was a valid point: whether or not I’ve blocked my daughter, or any other kids from my Facebook, Salon.com is a public forum and anybody can access it. You don’t need to go on Facebook to find me. If you Google me, my Google profile pops up on the first page, along with a link to my Open Salon blog. Believe me, I seriously considered the consequences of going public with my writing. For most of my life, I’ve been a role model for my peers, for the teenagers I spent years mentoring in my church’s youth group, for the countless children I have mentored in the public school system, and most importantly, for my daughter. What would they think of me if they read my blog? Would I disappoint them? Would I cease being a role model? Would they think less of me? The truth is, the only one who really matters to me is my daughter.
So, what about my daughter? She knows all about my blog. We had an open discussion and I explained I posted some NC-17 rated stuff and therefore, my blog was off limits. How do I know for sure she won’t get sneaky and read it? I don’t. But she’s a good kid and I trust her.
About a year ago, I came across this quote from John Updike that really resonated with me:You can’t write out of fear of offending anybody.
I’ve spent too many years allowing fear to keep me from living my life on my own terms, from speaking up for myself, and from being who I am. I’m not going to let one person’s opinion inhibit me from expressing myself. I’m not a one-dimensional human being, therefore, I’m not a one-dimensional writer. I have a lot of things to say, and occasionally, they may be of a sexual nature. If what I have to say makes anyone uncomfortable, they simply don’t have to read my blog.