Speaker: Julie Leung - Making Masks: Blogging as a Social Tool and Family Lifestyle

by Julie Leung

Who are we when we blog? How do we decide which pieces of ourselves to put into our posts? Which masks do we wear at home, at work and in our blogs?

Despite its intimate feel, and descriptive terms such as "conversation" and "transparency", blogging is not confidential talk shared over cups of coffee in a private living room. What we put in our blogs becomes permanent and public, available for anyone to read at any time. "Blogs have legs" and there are consequences to what we post. The risks involved in blogging and the changing nature of personal identity necessitate making masks as we choose which sides of ourselves to project to the world.

Blogging is a way of life for my family. My husband has a blog and my daughters also have a blog. As blogging parents we made certain deliberate decisions to protect our family while sharing our story. Blogging has impacted our relationships with each other and with relatives, friends and community members.

I hope to share some of my experience of making masks, describing how and why I have revealed private family life in a public way through blogs. I also hope this talk will lead into a discussion on choices we make and masks we wear while blogging.