Recently there have been a couple of threads in a private Yahoo! Group about what kind of information should or should not be included in a blog about life as an FSO (either a Frightened and Suspicious Oversea'er or Fearlessly Serving Overseas, depending on the FSO) or spouse.
Obviously, I lean toward including everything, including first names, with one exception. That is, I will not include the names of any other FSOs, EFMs, MOHs or another government acronym without getting permission. Everyone is entitled to privacy, until they start blogging in public.
There also were comments made about being discrete about what the government provides its foreign service employees and families courtesy of tax payers.
Once again, obviously I don't agree with this advice. American citizens ought to know how their tax dollars are being spent. I cannot see a single downside to sharing information about use of tax dollars, and I welcome anyone to dissuade me otherwise.
But at the heart of many of the postings in these threads was why people post blogs anyway.
Many indicated they were doing so in lieu of filling friends' and family mailboxes with e-mail updates. Because it was for their eyes only, they would slap a password on the blog to keep it out of the public's hands.
I did send my link to my friends and family with a similar message that I will not being doing the mass e-mail thing and if they really want to know what is going on, then stop by my blog.
But instead of limiting my drivel to people I know, I decided to open my experiences to others. And so far, I'm glad that I have.
For one, I've been able to interact (on a limited basis) with others in a similar position as myself. It is nice to know others have gone through this already and turned out somewhat normal.
Also, I know that some readers have been directed to this blog by searching for terms related to being an eligible family member. I can't imagine they walked away with much at this point, but I hope potential or recent EFMs will find this blog once I'm able to start sharing overseas experiences.
Pretty much the only EFM the uninitiated have to relate to, especially since there has been a recent movie, is Julia Child. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that many EFMs do not have a similar experience of becoming a wildly successful chef and live in Paris.
So the reason I blog, other than for vanity, is to try to be helpful. And I imagine that is why others blog publicly as well. Yes, we need to take some precautions when we are living abroad to not share too much personal information about where we live, and using a little tact (not that I do) doesn't hurt, but otherwise, type away bloggers!
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