These past several months, I have found that life has filled up with so much acitivity and busy-ness that my time here has dwindled. I feel far busier than ever homeschooling three kids, often while my husband is away for work. We have a small farm and big gardens. Our kids are busy living full lives, engaged in activities that are finding us spending more time away from home for a few days of the week.
It is good...and full.
Sunshine searching for emerging snowdrops
Which translates into less time in cyberland. My evenings are spent knitting and spinning wool, looking at gardening books, or hanging out with my husband.
My postings are more sporadic now, and I hadn't visited my blog in a few weeks. And then something happened which has rocked my world and forced me, uncomfortably, to take a good hard look at cyberland.
After a brief time away, I logged onto my blog and casually checked the traffic log and noticed one of my children (who goes by an alias...they all do and always have) was being searched a lot. When I clicked to see where the traffic was coming from, I was shocked. In a google search engine, two of my children's photos appeared with other children and women under a disgusting topic.
As soon as I could, I shut down my blog. Sadly, some images have been stolen and are forever floating around the internet. As soon as I discovered the theft, I didn't hesitate to block people from taking anymore photos from my site. Until I sift through over 500 posts and delete frontal shots or portraits, they will remain private. One day I'd like to re-open the blog and share the acitivities and crafts and everything else, but not until I edit out some photos.
When I began blogging, I was nervous to share with the world. I didn't consider how far-reaching my blog would become. I gave aliases to my kids, I don't share where we live...but it wasn't enough.
I feel awful. I feel like I have trespassed against my children, trusting that only good people would cometo my blog. The world has some dark corners, ones that I choose not to think too much about.
To all of you blogging friends out there, please learn from my experience. There are some very sick people out there. Protect your children ~ don't share close-up shots of their faces unless it is a side view or a very unidentifiable photo. Trust me. Seeing your child listed under a despicable site meant for disgusting purposes is a violation to both you and your child. Their innocence is meant to be protected.
damming up our creek
I could choose to not blog anymore, to turn my back on it all. My husband and I discussed it and agreed that is not the best answer because I enjoy it so much and get so much out of all the kindred spirits I meet, the opportunities that have found me, and the inspiration from others. I reached out to some other mamas in blogland, those that have been doing this for a long while and receive a lot of traffic. Their kindness and help was so appreciated yesterday when I was flailing. Thank you so much to those three wise mamas. I went to bed feeling ever so much lighter.
Some may question why I will continue to blog. I don't think blogging is the problem, nor abstaining is the solution. It is a very delicate balance to share and to hold back. Like everything, I think moderation and being diligent are the key.
At the end of the day, it comes down to refraining from posting photos that can easily identify my children. It is that simple.
Thanks for reading,
(Until I have weeded through all 500+ posts and taken down the photos that could be used in an unsavoury way, most of my blog is temporarily private. I hope to work on this over the next few weeks.)