The SOPA/PIPA controversy over the past few weeks has raised a few brows about online censorship and (supposed) privacy. It’s one thing f0r the government to block and censor what’s available online, but what about when we censor ourselves ? I’ve been thinking about and struggling with this question with bellacoils. At first, this started as a blog for friends to get information about natural hair and beauty products, but I got bored quickly with that, and felt like I was boxing myself in. When I started to write about things that interested me or personal antidotes, it was relieving! It felt even better when friends would tell me that something I wrote inspired them or made them think about an issue-and that’s what we want to do as bloggers, right? It’s one thing to spew out information, and another to be engaged in thought-provoking dialogue with people you’ll never cross paths with otherwise.

I do a lot of reading in general, blogs included. Some of my favorite blogs come from people who are real and personal, and want to share/inspire/educate others, at the expense of their privacy. I learn so much from these blogs, and sometimes wish that I can do the same. But, I don’t know if I want to sacrifice my privacy or merge my online/offline presence. On the other hand, sometimes I say to myself “Who cares?!?!” I want to live my life as truthfully as I can, good and bad, online and offline-and I shouldn’t be afraid to share those parts with you.

To all my bloggers (and non-bloggers too!) how do you manage your life both on and off the PC? How comfortable do you feel sharing personal information, or do you even care? Is practicing discretion better than being an open book in the blogosphere?

12 Responses to “Anonymiss”
  1. Ms. Nikks says:

    I started out pretty reserved and didn’t even plan on ever showing my face, but as I read other blogs and saw how open everyone else was, I was inspired to give a little bit more. I censor myself on the blog as I do in my ‘real life’. There is a time and a place for everything is kind of how I guide myself and interactions. So I’ll share what I feel comfortable sharing and I’ll keep some things to myself and discuss it amongst friends.

    Time and a place for everything.

    • bellacoils says:

      Indeed, there is a time and place for everything. I’ve learned to become more open over the years to select friends, and it’s relieving not to hold things back. I don’t plan on making this blog my online diary per se, but I do want to be true to who I am-whether you know me on or off the screen. For me, it’s about expanding what I share just a little bit more. Like you said, reading others’ stories inspires you to share a little bit more of yourself as well. Thanks for giving your insight…all of the comments have really been helpful : )

      • kdaddy23 says:

        Marianna said that, huh? I wonder why she did because I’ve always thought that our deepest fear was that someone was going to find out too much about us and use it as a stick to beat us with, which ranks right up there with being afraid that no one will or can understand us.

        This begs a question: How can someone understand something they don’t know? Like, if you don’t tell me how you feel, I can’t know or understand – that’s one of my pet peeves, by the way; it makes me wanna go postal when I ask someone something and they say, “You wouldn’t understand!” I guess not… if you’re not gonna tell me; I’m good… but not that good.

        Is it self-expression when a person is afraid to really express themselves? Any wonder why people feel misunderstood or feel as if no one’s paying attention to them? Sure, there’s being tactful and stuff like that and, again, there are some things within all of us that’ll never, ever, reach anyone’s eyes and ears. But the questions stand: If you’re not gonna say it, who will? If you’re not gonna say it now, when will you say it?

        If we’re so damned worried about what people think about us, what does it say about us when we spend more time trying to hide who and what we are… and because we’re afraid that it’ll hurt us?

      • bellacoils says:

        You pose some good questions…can’t say I haven’t pulled the “you don’t understand!” thing a few times, lol. Communication is an important part in interacting with one another, and a lot of times we miss the mark instead of being completely real with ourselves and others-so “self-expression” becomes a watered-down, PC version of our true thoughts and feelings, which defeats the purpose of expressing ourselves to begin with.

        “If we’re so damned worried about what people think about us, what does it say about us when we spend more time trying to hide who and what we are… and because we’re afraid that it’ll hurt us?”
        Personally, I’ve grappled with this question. When I was younger, I would voice my true feelings and opinions internally because I wanted to be liked by the people I surrounded myself with, and I never wanted to stir the waters, so to speak. Then, I realized that I would say certain things, and people were shocked because it didn’t sound like “me”. Well, news flash, I have a mouth too-but I was too meek to let you know because I wanted your approval. I didn’t want anyone to know too much, and use it against me later. As the years went by, I learned that stifling my personality wasn’t doing anyone a service-especially me. And yep, if I didn’t say it, no one else was going to extend that courtesy for me.

        I’ve learned to let my fears fade in the distance, bit by bit. I’m proud of my progress so far-if I’m going to live for anybody, it needs to be me and Jesus. I’m not going to leave this earth without doing otherwise.

  2. This is probably why I haven’t started blogging. I personally feel to give your opinion, experience, etc, it has to be in complete honesty. That is a very difficult thing to do. We can barely do with ourselves so to do it with others, its like handing them a scalpel, laying flat on a table naked and say “Open me up”.

    • bellacoils says:

      I completely understand your sentiment. I had another blog a few years ago, but was never consistent-and part of my non-consistency was that I wasn’t completely honest with myself. I didn’t want people to know how I truly felt about certain topics, so I stopped blogging altogether. Fast forward to now, and I feel like I’m in a better space, and honestly, a little bolder too. You’re right about the honesty part-in order to be true to yourself, you gotta put the good, ugly, and bad out there-even if it means you’re gonna be under scrutiny sometimes. I’m still learning this whole vulnerability thing, but I look at it as part of my personal growth. How will I ever grow if I’m too afraid to do so?
      Thanks for commenting love! You’ll have a great blog if you ever decided to go forward…you’ll never know how far your words will reach if you never add your voice to the blogoshere. If you ever decide to blog, you’ll have a follower in me : )

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  4. kdaddy23 says:

    When I decided to blog, it had to be an extension of myself or, what you see on your screen is the same person you’d meet in person. I’m not bashful or shy; I rarely bite my tongue about stuff and discussing things like sex, even where it concerns me, isn’t embarrassing – it’s a rush. I’ve been comfortable about such things for so long it’s like second nature to me and, really, at my current age, just what in the hell do I have going on that’s worth hiding?

    So, for me to be true to who and what I am, if it needs to be said, I say it. Sure, there are some things I will never talk about here or otherwise – but everyone’s got those things. Is my sexual preference a secret? Nope; do I feel comfortable talking about eating pussy or sucking dick or any of the other “taboo” subjects? Uh-huh… because if I don’t, who will?

    I might edit my words… but I will never, ever censor myself. So the balance is maintained; if nothing else, I am consistent in my behavior and this is important to me.

    • bellacoils says:

      That’s why I admire you KD!! You definitely keep it real and I love your rawness and honesty. When I decided to blog, I had it in my mind that it was gonna be strictly hair and beuaty stuff, but that got boring. Then, I wanted to write about more poignant things, and I would stop myself. Like I said in a previous post, I’m really learning to live in my truth, even if that means showing a more vulnerable side both on and offline.
      And yep, consistency is key. If someone read this blog and met me one day, I don’t want it to be any disconnect. Ultimately, you are who you are, even when you try to become something/one else.

      • kdaddy23 says:

        You honor me. I don’t worry about being vulnerable because we all are and the more we “hide” ourselves, the more it diminishes us. I don’t worry about what people might say about what I’ll write; if they agree, fine – if they don’t, fine because what I write isn’t about them… it’s all about me.

        Hell, I WANT people to know who I am, what I think, and how I feel. Like someone I admire once told me, “If you don’t blow your own horn, no one else will.” I refuse to be insignificant; I refuse to run and hide or be less than I want to be.

        I will not be afraid to express myself because once you start living in fear, it will always dominate your life.

        And, finally, as Earth, Wind, & Fire said, right at the very end of one of their great songs, “If you don’t understand me, it’s your fault.” At first, I thought they had it wrong because if you don’t understand me, then I must have failed to get you to understand, right? However, if I’ve been open about who and what I am then, yeah, you don’t understand me, it is your fault.

      • bellacoils says:

        I’m not quite at that point yet where I can say that I don’t worry about being vulnerable and expressing myself wholeheartedly without reservations. Like you said, the more we fear, the more we discredit ourselves. I’m still learning why I fear so much when I should probably “blow my horn” more. It’s like that famous Marianne Williamson quote-“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.”
        …and I’m feeling that line from the Earth, Wind & Fire song.

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