*In memories of three blogger friends and two blogger strangers*
Without needing to name some bloggers in particular, I have noticed that since I started blogging, a number of blogger friends (as well as non-friends) have stopped blogging. It's sad that freedom of speech need to be stopped, just because sometimes we write about things we find common, but not common to our loved ones.
It's like a lie. When you start a lie, you feel guilty, and when the lie has been there for months and months, it's so natural to you that for all you know it, you blurt it out and someone who is part of that lie finds out and you're screwed. I'm not saying that they're lying, but it's the realisation that "What!? My son/daughter/dad/grandma has been doing this all along and I didn't know about it?!" and then they feel shameful, not realising that the blogger has grown up to an adult, and would have total freedom in whatever they write, as long as it is within limits of culture and law.
I am not a diary blogger, therefore the only thing that can get back at me are my opinions. So if I were to say that our PM Abdullah Badawi comes from an ancestral line of vampires from Transylvania, and I really push that opinion, then I'd see myself in jail, for faking a story (due to opinion)... and then seeing him visiting me at night and giving me a vampiric bite for revenge.
As Malaysians, though we're neighbour of Thailand and Singapore, we really do have a more closed culture compared to them. I'm not saying this is bad, but this is culture, and we better respect it. If you're not comfortable with Malaysian culture and way of thinking, then leave the country. I have my shares of being uncomfortable with it, but it doesn't disturb me much.
With that said, I think these are the boundaries of a Malaysian diary blogger. Go over these boundaries, and you'll have either friends, relatives or even the law coming after you.
A certain blogger did this, and I hope that certain blogger remove it for that certain blogger's sake. (update: the certain blogger removed it. Good on you. I don't give a damn what you do in real life, behind your blogs. But, I really don't wanna see you in trouble with the law.) I'm totally fine with it, but our law will not tolerate that, and furthermore, that certain blogger is very easily tracable. It would hurt that certain blogger's family if that certain blogger ends up in the news. Best keep photos that show skin (or other people's skin) to the bare-ness level of what your family is used to when you go out. Meaning, if your family are used to seeing you in tube and mini-skirt, post photos up to that level. If your family has only seen you in jeans and t-shirt (only baring arms, face and feet), you'd know you get in trouble if they find out about your blog wearing even something as common (to you, not to them) as spaghetti strap, what more a tube and mini.
Best to keep relationships activities to the minimum, and only blog social aspects of the relationship. "Today we watched a movie" or "He/She gave me flowers today". We do not need to continue that story, because once it goes against culture, you're gonna get it. Let's put it simple, before you blog, imagine you reading the same on your future son/daughter's blog. How would you feel reading "He/She gave me flowers today. I was so happy I gave a kiss on the lips (whoa?). Then I pulled him/her into the house. (whoa?!). We continued kissing (whoa?!?) and he/she started necking me (whoa?!?!). Then we stopped and went up to my room. (faints)...." yeah, and you actually continued "I've never been necked before, that was the first and I told him/her that we should stop it until we're married. We then started out studying, of course with the doors open." Your parents would have stopped at (faints)... I mean, they would think "If my son/daughter already started kissing, and able to write on the blog, imagine what they DIDN'T write!". Best keep activities to a minimum. A village mother would even freak out reading her daughter holding hands in a movie theatre. Seriously, keep activities to a minimum.
Sikit-sikit Lama-lama Jadi Bukit (Little by Little, In The End A Hill)
Bad translation there, but nevermind. I do realise that eventhough I'm not writing a diary blog, anyone intending to get to know the real me would have gathered quite a lot of information. Why? Because information related to me are sprinkled all over my posts. From the way I write, to the way I express myself, to my nicknames, to my job. Simply put, with correct contacts I can easily be tracable, just need to get the list of guys who applied for Streamyx on that certain date, get a list of estate agents who does office space, scope it to KL/Selangor area, get a list of guys who applied Jaring Wireless, get a list of guys who are married and 26 years of age. You'll scope it down to 20, and then find guys who drives bla bla ... you know the rest.
BUT!!! Diary bloggers are direct! Though some of them never put in their photos, the diaries expose more of themselves without them knowing. Reading the entire blog from post one to latest post, I'm sure you can even identify where he/she lives, especially preferences!! To food. To clothes. To type of people. To products. And also, about family, about finance (veeerryy dangerous this one), and so on. Blogs are heaven for stalkers and marketers. You DON'T know who knows you!
Keep Judgement Out Of Your Post
This is very common! Even I judge a person or the government or some political figure (yes,... I just did on our PM). But we better keep judgement of people we meet out of the picture. I know I judged one of my tenant, I judged a real estate agent, and many more, but before putting it on post, I really do need to know the consequences should they read my blog. Eventhough they dunno whose blog this is, it's easily tracable larr.... "eh, this guy is talking about us, ohh.. bloody hell Mr Java!" Unless of course you know that if the dude reads it, they will be okay with it.
Imagine writing "I went out with my colleague last night, he brought along his girlfriend. She's really hot! During dinner, I noticed her touching my feet with hers, and leaving the restaurant, I excused myself to go to the toilet. My colleague said he'll just take a fag outside, but his girlfriend also needed to use the loo. And of course, his girlfriend and I really went at it. What a stupid idiot he is!" Ahhh.... while it's really amazing to many readers out there from 1 reader to 10 million reader, one human being out there better not read it!
I have more to write, but I won't. It's gonna be a long post. It's not easy being a blogger. You have to jaga (take care) of so many people's feelings. From your parents, to your friends, to the country, to your officemates and to your pets (maybe this one no need). I'd like to think that if you have an open-minded parents, your blog is totally safe if they're an avid reader, and totally okay with whatever you write. You actually have all the blessings of your loved ones to blog. At least I know my wife and one sibling (whoa, an info sprinkle!) is okay with whatever I write.
In conclusion, I respect all retreating bloggers and bloggers who tutup (close) shop, because as they're matured adults to start blogging about their life, and they're matured adults to stop blogging as well! They're not paid like singers or actresses,... who are we to be unhappy with them stopping. To those who stopped, it's sad that you cannot or decided not to express yourself anymore. But everything that ends starts a new beginning. All the best!