Then, if you blog long enough, you will face that moment when you realize that you have gone far beyond your intended audience. Most of us blog to the anonymous masses. We put our innermost thoughts out there for strangers to read. But the moment we find that someone we actually know is reading our blog, it is unsettling. I have had to ask myself if I stand behind everything I say, and the answer is yes. I have had to ask myself if I have said things about others that I would not say to their faces, and the answer is either no - or I need to remove what ever I said.
About two years ago, I realized that I had to change what I write about. I had written about a man I was dating and I ended up regretting it terribly. So I don't do that anymore.
About a year ago, I changed another aspect of what I was writing when a couple of friends from my home group started reading my blog. Since I was no longer an anonymous blogger attending just any group, but people knew who I was and what group I was attending, I needed to be responsible about talking about people - even in a general way. It is different when there are people who know who and what you are talking about. You have to be responsible.
I have a couple of family members who read my blog on occasion. One of them told me he found my blog and read some of it and realized that he was not my intended audience, so he stopped reading. I told him he was welcome to read it. It is, after all, public. I just need to be responsible and have integrity. I can't say irresponsible things and then expect no consequences.
However, it does change what you write. Blogging goes from being a free-for-all, express-a-rama, to being something that you edit, second guess, and edit again.
I started this post to talk about the drive-by commenters. When you are a person who blogs identified as "a sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous," you attract all kinds of people. My very favorite comments are those from people who are seeking information about AA because they think they have a problem with alcohol. And then, the bloggers, ah, how I love them. My blogging peeps. We are a great community. And on the negative side, it doesn't bother me most of the time when I get comments from people who hate AA or think it is stupid. (I have a post entitled "why do people hate AA" and that gets a lot of hits from people searching for "i hate aa," etc.) When someone crosses the line and tells me I am going to hell and saying horrible things about my father, that really annoys me. But I just reject those comments.
The ones I really dislike are the people who have set themselves up as the experts on AA. All AA members are on a level playing field. People sometimes listen to me based on my 24 years of sober experience, and I think that is valid, but I don't think it makes me an expert. It doesn't give me the right to disregard others' experiences. It just doesn't.
Let's be kind to each other today, OK?