When I first started blogging, I loved it because it was very cathartic. I could say what was really on my heart much like a journal or diary, but since it was public, this sort of upped the ante and made me feel I was being more transparent or vulnerable than I otherwise would be -- so I felt more honest; more forthcoming. That was a good thing for a time, but I also crossed some boundaries.
I still journal quite a bit, but keep it to myself these days. I'm finding more and more satisfaction with that, and also with sharing the insights God is showing me only to a few trusted friends, rather than the whole world at large.
It has been a process of boundary exploration for me. On the one hand I want to break free of my tendency to isolate myself, yet I also have found myself wrestling with questions re: how much self-disclosure is too much. Here is the best word-picture I can think of to describe what I mean:
If I am at home alone, or with my wife, and want to sit around in my underwear, I can do that with impunity.
If company is coming over, it is best (for all concerned!) if I get some clothes on.
If the company is close friends who're staying overnight then maybe as the evening wears on I'll go put on my pajamas and slippers and hang out like that.
But I wouldn't do that with just anybody, and if I always sat around in my underwear no matter who came over, that would be wrong on many levels.
Thinking back and re-reading my early blog posts, I now realize I (inappropriately) spent a lot of time in just my underwear. There was a certain freedom in that, but as I've thought through this I've come to see how staying fully dressed is a much better idea.
I know my blog is not read by tons of people, and that most of the people who read this stuff know me -- some know me very well. But electronic communications like blogs and eMail are rife with miscommunication since there are so many aspects missing: non-verbal cues like facial expression, tone of voice, and body language.
And the kicker for me is this -- even if someone completely understands what they are reading, I have to ask myself why I am posting it. In other words, like other aspects of life, my blog posts and other forms of self-disclosure fall under the biblical principle of "just because I can doesn't mean I should".
If I have something meaningful to say, and I want someone to know about it, I've found it is much better for myself and anyone else if I do that face to face. It doesn't mean that communication will be easy or fun. In fact, doing it "the hard way" is better in the long run than just blogging about it and hoping someone will read it and then know who I really am.
So blogging has a place in my life, but it is not a place for soul-baring. It is still a place for personal reflection, and a window into my life, head, and heart...but as you look through that window I'll be fully dressed. =O)
for more on the perils of blogging and the value of either not blogging at all, or being more selective in what/when one chooses to blog, there are some great links here at Conrad Gempf's blog.