Honesty in Blogging

Posted: May 13, 2010 at 6:00 pm

If you have been reading my blog for any length of time, it has probably become pretty apparent that I am an open book. I don’t hide my feelings; I don’t hesitate to share my thoughts; and I will talk about most anything – nice, ugly, scary, controversial, whatever.

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I have shared specifics of my experience with binging. I have openly discussed facing depression in the wake of a very difficult relationship with my father. I discuss topics related to my faith openly. I tell the unglorious side of things like competing and don’t sugar coat it in the least. I share news right away, when most people would wait a couple more months. And don’t be surprised if some TMI info reveals itself in the upcoming months from the many pregnancy moments I assure you don’t have an “awww” or “how cool” reaction.  I could already disclose that at only one month in, my gas and bloat at the end of the day could either fuel a power jet or help keep the Titanic passengers afloat. Don’t act shocked. I gave ample warning of the TMI coming your way.

So you may wonder where all of this is leading. Awhile ago, Sophia posted about our responsibility as bloggers to consider the material we put out there. People are reading it and it is impacting others. Either for the better or the worse. She shared many useful tips and I would recommend reading her post. There was one thing, however, that I felt was missing. Honesty.

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I think there are many areas bloggers should be honest about to help aid a supportive environment for readers. Here are just three of the many areas I hope we are mindful of and truthful with in our blogs.

1. Having a "perfect” persona. If you consistently cover up or don’t discuss any imperfections and struggles you have, readers could end up with the distorted vision that you are “perfect” or “never mess up” or “always eat/workout/live right”. This type of persona could ultimately lead to others feeling not good enough about themselves. In an ideal world we would not compare ourselves to others, but as bloggers we should know that it happens. If you are honest about some sugar passing your lips, missing a workout, dealing with a negative body image on occasion, being angry or hurt about something, etc you will become more real. Many of us bloggers hope to set examples and help others. Acting the part of “oh-glorious-one-with-no-problems” could provide an unrealistic example and set others up for a sense of failure.

2. Having a platform about a diet/fitness lifestyle and claiming it is the only way. Being part of the healthy living blog world, we readily come across a variety of lifestyles touting the benefits of this or that way of eating or exercise. If you follow any particular lifestyle and openly share about and sing its praises on your blog, that is great. I am not negating that because it is after all what helps to distinguish one blog personality from another and we all have something we feel works great in our eating and fitness lives. What I am cautioning is advocating that your life choices regarding food and fitness are the only way or the best way. That is not honest. Different things work for different people. By all means share how your choices have impacted your life for the better, but be wary of giving your choices the “this is the be-all-end-all if you want to live well” description. There are many bloggers who stand for something, but do it with class that they do not judge others for their ways of living because they know what works for them doesn’t necessarily work for others. I respect that very much.

3. Not sharing openly on topics close to you. If you are going through something, have been through a trial, or have a topic close to your heart, I believe it is best to be shared. I understand some of us have things we simply cannot or will not talk about. It may be too personal and make you uncomfortable. Your choices on what you share are strictly that. Yours. But, there is one reason I support sharing more on certain things in your life. If you open up about a particular hardship you have/had you may be reaching out to readers in a way you never knew you could. You have the possibility of not only giving others support by allowing them to relate to you, but also receiving the companionship and uplifting you very well may need as well. You don’t have to share everything, but do try to be more open to the idea of sharing more about your life than what you ate today.

  • Do you appreciate other bloggers’ honesty? What ways do you hope other bloggers are honest?
  • Is there anything you have been honest about on your blog and were hesitant to do so, but now realize the rewards of opening up?
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26 Comments to “Honesty in Blogging”
  1. Kelly says:

    I LOVED this post!! I totally think bloggers should be honest but at the same time ONLY if they are comfortable sharing and they need to be willing to accept feedback (both postive and negative). I try really hard with my blog to be honest and really put my true face out there! Sometimes it is hard but it is me and who I am! :)

  2. Lindsay says:

    I do appreciate honestly. I know if I am reading someone’s blog it is because I want to see know how they really feel about life and everything it throws out them! I wrote about being insecure that at 27 I just finished my associates degree. I had a serious outpouring of emails and comments that just made me feel so good. I realized it was totally worth it to step out of the box! I don’t have children yet, so I look forward to reading your TMI! I need to know what is eventually coming my way! Great post!

  3. Heather says:

    if other bloggers aren’t honest then i really just don’t want to read their blog…part of blogging and reading blogs is feeling like you’re not alone in the world, that someone shares the same interests and the same struggles as you. i really REALLY appreciate honesty, so bring on the TMI ;)

  4. I totally appreciate honesty when it genuine – no strings attached if that makes sense. I sooo enjoy the fact that you are just you, period, no pretenses and no judging others. Sometimes I get the feeling that people are being completely open, but also judging. I do agree that there are things that are completely off limits in my life that I wouldn’t post. But that doesn’t mean I’m lying at all. I would never post anything that could potentially hurt a family member or friend.

    • Tina says:

      I DEFINITELY agree with this. I try to only post openly about things that affect solely myself and never express something harmful or hurtful about others. And I also agree some things are too personal to post…like I wouldn’t share my sex life on the blog or something. Too personal and it involves someone else. But I do know sharing many other things that are personal bring me many rewards that make it worth it. It is a balance we each have to determine for our own selves, but no matter what being as open as you possibly can, always with honesty, is the best way for us each to blog. :)

  5. Shannon says:

    The blogs I like most (including yours!) are the ones where people show their vulnerabilities. Some people just seem too perfect, and I find those bloggers harder to relate to.

    Its hard to lay out how you are really feeling. I get nervous before I publish a more emotional post. But the comments I get always make me feel better :)

  6. Hallie says:

    Oh this was so great . I try to find a balance in what I share. I’m usually more open in comments LOL…I know my family won’t read those! I don’t like reading blogs that are negative and depressing all the time and I try to write a blog that I would want to read. For me, that means and honesty but also positivity, as much as possible, even when I don’t feel that cheery (which I don’t, most of the time, honestly). But I think even when a blogger says, “I’m going through something I can’t talk about here” I think it at least tells the reader that in fact, no one’s life is as peachy as it seems.

    I wish I could be more honest sometimes on my blog but I worry about being judged! Bloggers like you have a lot of courage and I love that.

  7. I try my best to be honest, I am in no way even close to perfect! I hope my readers see me as a “real” person!

  8. cardiopizza says:

    I’m trying my best with my blog…I’m still playing around with how much I share and what I am comfortable with! It’s defintely a lot to consider! I try to keep my soley fitness and wellness related though and my thoughts and experiences with that. I don’t discuss my relationship or family issues because that’s not what my blog is about. But that’s only what I am comfortable with…others may want to share much more!

    I like your blog because you always get a great discussion going and you make me think! :)

    See ya tomorrow!

  9. Mellissa says:

    I tell it like it is, and do that with a lot of aspects of my life. Now there are things I do not share- like sex life, private discussions, personal experiences at work and in depth details about my family.

    I think most people are genuinely honest and sharing what they are comfortable with.

  10. I completely agree. NO one is absolutely perfect! I’d much rather read a blog with a real blogger, rather than someone who seems “perfect.”

  11. Sophie says:

    Sometimes bloggers “honesties” all seem similar to each other. What makes a blog interesting to me is when you are getting to know a real person, not someone who is living like everyone else.

  12. Holly says:

    I love when people are honest. Sometimes you don’t even realize it, but someone else out there is going thru the EXACT same thing, so it helps to have someone to talk/ write to, or just to see how they react / respond to the situation.
    I usually just write about what I eat & my workouts..but occassionally I will bring something up personal- like scale obsession. It helps to get other people’s advice on what to do. :)

  13. Ameena says:

    I believe in being 100% honest on my blog. I don’t sugar coat things because thats not what I’d like to read. I think it turns some people off but I also get emails from people who say they appreciate that I put it all out there.

    Great post Tina! I enjoy your blog because of your honesty. I love it.

  14. Food n Fitness says:

    I really do appreciate honesty in other bloggers! Nothing and nobody is perfect and it’s a shame that some make everything out to be just that.

    I like reading blogs I can relate to!

  15. Kerry says:

    i do appreciate other bloggers honesty but i think sometimes not everyone wants to discuss personal things on the internet. xx

  16. I love when bloggers are honest. It makes me keep coming back to the blog!

  17. Sarah says:

    Tina, I have really appreciated the honesty I’ve found on your blog. You are one of the amazing women who have shown me that I WILL be able to say that I no longer stress eat.
    Thank you:).

  18. Denise says:

    I totally like the honesty in the blog world. Isn’t that the point. It gives you the amount of anonimity that you want so you can share that deepest part of yourself – and usually you recieve 100% support from your blog friends. It DOES help to know you are not alone in the struggles of life.

  19. Hey Tina! I love so much that you are an “open book” and thats one of the big reasons I love your blogs so much. It’s always so honest! Thanks for your sweet comment regarding my trip to Thailand; you gave some great tips that made me feel a lot better!

  20. [...] was in blog catch-up mode this morning, clearly!).  The one that caught my eye initially was about honesty in blogging. I’m in total agreement on all of her points – I never want to feel like I’m [...]

  21. jsutera654 says:

    LOVED reading this one too, and totally agree that being honest and admitting to imperfection is exactly the right way to approach blogging. God did not create us to be perfect beings so why pretend that we are, right? In fact – you were a huge inspiration behind today’s blog post. I hope you don’t mind. ;)

  22. janetha says:

    congratulations! i know i am late to the party. sorry. but YAY!

  23. homecookedem says:

    I most definitely agree with every single bit of this! That’s why I was so open on the blog about my struggles with getting pregnant b/c I knew other women would be able to relate and it’s been such a big part of my life and had such an emotional impact on me. Now that you bring it up, I really do think honesty is the most important part of blogging. I definitely respect honest bloggers way more than those who act like everything is perfect in each and every way.

    Great post Tina!! :)

  24. [...] today I was reading a post over at Tina’s blog that really struck me. It was about honesty and blogging and humanizing [...]

  25. [...] talk, many of you made sure to point out you want to hear about the details on occasion. You know I’m not one to sugar coat things and hide from the truth, so in this post I will give you what you asked for – some of the pregnancy symptoms I’m [...]

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