But Seriously, College is Strange

On Blogging Ethics

When I began blogging, I was thinking primarily of the people back home. I like writing, and I like talking about myself, and I like my family (both nuclear, extended, and church), so blogging seemed like a natural choice when I moved away. I suppose I imagined that some people here might stumble across my little corner of the internet sometime, but I didn’t suppose they would find it of much interest or care about it. Therefore, I didn’t really worry about what I would think if I blogged about them.

Maybe it would have been polite to consider that.

You see, all these ridiculous stories are one-sided. And sometimes just the teensiest bit exaggerated. Not much, I promise. But I may take poetic license with a detail or word here or there. All in the interest of the story, of course. But that’s the thing: “the story” is my story. And I sorta kinda never asked anyone featured in any of my stories if they were OK with me blathering my opinion of them on this thing kids are calling “The Interwebs.”

Side note: every positive thing I said about my RA was completely accurate and most definitely not exaggerated in the least. Beautiful? Radient? Classy? Intelligent? Wonderful? Yes, and a thousand things more. I’m not the only one who thinks so, either. And I don’t think I need her permission to write about her because I’m sure she’s probably fine with it.

My point is this: if you’re an ABC student and you read any of my stories, first of all, you should probably be doing your homework. If it’s already completed, I can lend you some. Second, know that I only write about you because I like you, I think you’re a great person, and you make me laugh. And if you ever don’t like anything I write, tell me and I will edit it stat, because you’re my friend. Unless the thing you don’t like is cats and glitter, in which case I will look at you in a lovingly judgmental way and whisper “You’re crazy!” Because (in this hypothetical scenario, at least) you dislike those two items, you probably wouldn’t know to respond “Crazy about unicoooooooorns!!” but that is the correct response if I ever have occasion to tell you you’re crazy. And if I know for a fact that you would have no idea that that is the correct response and you say it to me sometime I will probably ask if you’ve been reading my blog and call you a creep or something else which sounds harsh but I mean kindly. Then you will be like, “Betsy. You posted it on the internet for everyone to see.” And you will be correct, but I will not admit that.

So here’s my new blogging ethic, if you will: only tell stories people are OK with me telling. One way I can accomplish this resolution is by carrying around Official Disclosure Forms that say something like this:
I, ________________, hereby authorize Belisabeth Brown, the sole author of the hugely popular “Stretching the Metaphorical Cello” and owner of Porfirio Graham, Wonder Fish, to use any personal details she chooses to reveal (including, but not limited to, name, height, eye color, scent, phone number, shoe size, date of birth, favorite color, dental history, relationship status, and/or ice cream eating habits) on the aforementioned blog for the purpose of distracting her from her homework and amusing her family.
Signed: _______________________                      Date: ______________________
Witness:______________________                       Witness: ______________________

Conversely, I could simply throw out a casual, “It’s OK if I blog about this, right?” and hope everyone says yes. Of course, the simplest solution would be to simply tell embarrassing stories about my own self instead, such as the following.

Stupid Things Betsy Has Said to Jenna

Jenna: <eating oreos and peanut butter>
Betsy: Ooooh ooooh oooh have you ever tried oreos with peanut butter? It’s really good.
Jenna: Betsy. That’s what I’m doing right now.

Betsy: <Sitting in the hall talking belligerently> What if I locked you out of the room?!
Jenna: Betsy. You left the door open.

Betsy: <cleaning desk> Hey, I just found a sucker! I wonder where this came from.
Jenna: Betsy. I gave it to you the other day.

Betsy: <returning from bathroom with showering supplies> Shoot! The showers are all full!
Jenna: Betsy. Why did you take air freshener?!

She’s a long-suffering soul.

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2 thoughts on “On Blogging Ethics”

  1. I anxiously await every installment of this magnificent account of your adventures, while you are so far away from me, my dear, sweet, beautiful daughter. You could give people aliases, you have always been so good at naming things, then no one would know of whom you write AND you could then embellish to your hearts content and my great amusement.

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