I don’t share my kids real names here or on Twitter or on Instagram.
I want to keep my kids safe. Not just physically safe from predators and the like but also emotionally safe and preferably not searchable via web searches.
I’m not alone. Many parent bloggers and PWD who blog don’t share their kids names. Had I not been an avid diabetes blog reader before blogging myself I might have not considered using pseudonyms for my kids. It is just something that other bloggers did and it made sense.
Some bloggers do use their kids names and I’m not judging – promise if I wasn’t a bit paranoid I wouldn’t have thought anything of it. I’m a bit of a nervous ninny and the internet is a scary place. Things get shared so quickly. In fact, recently I have seen dozens of posts on Facebook of teachers and parents holding signs that ask people to share so they (the parents and teachers) can illustrate how quickly photos can go viral. Now some of those photos are likely put out by asses that participate in “like farming” – basically they post a photo that is bound to get a bazillion likes or shares and then sell the page to the highest bidder. Seriously this is a thing. The ‘like farmers’ use photos that say things like “like this if you love Jesus” or “Like if you want me to kick cancer’s butt” or sometimes just cute puppies – who doesn’t like adorable puppies. Sorry I digress – but you can read more about ‘like farming’ here. I’ll move on now.
In the past I would accept Facebook friend requests like I’d except a free Reese’s candy bar. Hell yea I want a Reese’s.
But – I learned a valuable lesson about a year ago when it was discovered that a person without any real diabetes connection was fabricating stories and infiltrating our happy
little diabetes community. It wasn’t the first time and won’t be the last that someone “fakes” it. Many times these fakers are suffering from a mental illness (I forget the name). They simply want/need attention. Other times the fakers are more dangerous – they will earn our trust and our empathy and then they will fabricate some horrific event and in the end ask for help in the form of donations. Evil people.
With this being said I tread carefully and where there was once free trust, now it needs to be earned. I no longer accept friend requests from strangers on my personal Facebook, people I haven’t met IRL (in real life).
However I do have a fan page for Stick With It Sugar on Facebook and you can like it here.
I promise I’m not selling anything, buying anything, or processing anything – I’m just saying stuff and sharing stuff better said.
Like John I haven’t been knocked down yet so I’m still just kick boxing my way through diabetes.
So how does Staying Emotionally Safe fit into all of this? Well in addition to keeping my kids safe from predators and google I need to keep myself safe from those that perhaps unintentionally will take advantage of my willingness to communicate, to help, and to listen.
Diabetes takes a huge toll on those with it and those that care for others with it.
Diabetes seeps into nearly every aspect of our lives and it is easy to fall into a diabetes centric world. I don’t want to live in that world. I don’t want my kids to live in that world.
I share A LOT about diabetes on my Facebook, not just the SWIS page. Some might suggest I have “too much diabetes” in my life. Ya Think?
BUT the difference between sharing a conversation on Facebook, blog comments and twitter interactions is I get to choose the when and how.
That isn’t true if I share my home address, phone number, and personal email. If I share those means of communication I am leaving the door open to diabetes conversations anytime and anywhere. And so – I don’t share them, not unless I have become close friends regarding things other than diabetes like Reese’s and funny shit pets do.
I have no medical training. I don’t have any grief or stress management training. I am not qualified or comfortable to provide counseling or medical advice. Just FYI.
As a person without diabetes I can choose at times to close the door on diabetes. I can step away and enjoy a meal with friends and not count carbs. I can text friends and chat on the phone without using the words ‘diabetes, insulin, depression, carbs, etc. I hope as PWD my kids will find ways to close the door too and only allow diabetes in long enough to do the do diligence then kick its ass out for extended periods of time.
My point – please do not be offended if I don’t accept your friend request on FB or answer your email requesting I call you or provide you my mailing address. It isn’t personal. Honestly. It’s me doing what I can to stay safe emotionally and physically and keep my kids safe too. I want to maintain some semblance of control regarding when I let diabetes conversations into my life – Lord knows my kids and I get very little control otherwise.
7 thoughts on “Staying Emotionally Safe”
Had there been more blogs around when I started, I probably would have been smarter about using my kids’ real names. Unfortunately, you can’t unring a bell and I can’t change what’s already out there.
But I wish someone had written a post like this 5 years ago.
You are not alone Joanne and Im right there with you when it comes to Facebook. Ive thought about disabling my account and starting over but it isn’t like that content ever leaves cyber space. And honestly had I not been reading other blogs before starting mine I never would have thought anything of it. I hope those that did/do use their kids names know that I wasn’t judging (I know there was a bit of hoopla at FFL regarding this although I wasn’t in that session). Honestly my kids names are unknown simply by default.
Yeah, the disorder is called Münchausen syndrome (or specifically Münchausen by Internet) and it totally creeps me out. Sad that people have to be so wary of each other.
Thanks Ellisheva. I remembered the name after the post but didn’t go back to edit. I think there is a Munchausen by proxy too which is when the mentally ill person invents a child or even uses their real child which is what it was in the last case of “catfish”. always good to be a little wary and keep safe.
Hmmm a bit disturbing. I tend to be the nervous ninny also..I guess with good reason. I had someone post on my (untouched for months)blog and ask me to email them because they had a question about my blog. I didn’t do it bcs that just sounded odd. Thanks for all you do.
Probably a wise choice Karen. Aside from the occasional ‘reader’ that asks for personal contact there are also the other sites that suggest I share their information ranging from homeopathic cures to gluten free recipes. When I get an email suggesting I check out a new diabetes site I do spend a great deal of time looking over the site they suggest. Sadly many are not sites I want to promote. There was one recently that did seem to have the best interest of pwd at heart but so much of their information was outdated or simply wrong. I emailed them to educate them but they didn’t respond. I haven’t checked back on their site yet to see if they fixed their mistakes. Thank you for reading.
kickboxing? sport of the future?
nicely said. i leave my kid’s name off the internet cos i’ve been online since 1994 and blogging since 2002 and in that time i’ve encountered plenty of people/situations that made me realize online anonymity is a priority for me. but just like YDMV, your comfort with sharing certain personal details on the internet may vary. YCWSCPDOTIMV