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We are three adults living in a polyamorous triad family. The content here is intended for an adult audience. If you are not an adult, please leave now.
Personal Private Public
Somewhere along the line, I gave up that Luddite stance regarding the rush of technology, and capitulated to an online presence. It wasn't long before I followed the technological path into the alternative lifestyle realm, and, in time, to a very non-traditional set of relationships, erotic proclivities, and this very public mode of expressing that set of interests. I have, for over eight years, written some 1910 blog posts (here, and at The Swan's Heart, and Herons Transforming) discussing my/our most intimate interactions, and most private thoughts.
I knew, from the very beginning, that doing this kind of writing was a public act. There is nothing "private" about writing out here on the Internet. We considered carefully before we started blogging. We decided, consciously and deliberately, about the level of risk we were willing to tolerate in order to do this. We understood that, in spite of the precautions we took to separate this part of our lives from the professional, non-kinky world in which we live and work, there was no such thing as foolproof or leak proof privacy. From the moment the first word went up, so many years ago, we've lived with the potential threat of discovery. Periodically, we contemplate the possibilities afresh, and reconsider the risks. We have, so far, determined that the odds of catastrophe were fairly small ... and so we have continued to write blog entries about whatever it is that is happening in our lives.
Now, in reaction and response to the firing of another educator in another building within our school system, my employer has just published a "Social Media Policy," and I must admit, it has given me some pause. The provisions of the "new" policy are not particularly surprising. I've always operated this blog knowing that this was the reality of my work life, AND I feel like I want to make note here of this edge to my life. The pertinent bits of the text (with my italicized paraphrasing) are as follows:
The Organization ... recognizes that ... employees ... may create Personal Websites as a medium of self-expression. Employees ... must recognize that anything published on a Personal Website is no
different from making such information available in any public forum. Any information that
... has the potential to cause embarrassment to the Organization ... should be avoided. ...
The Organization ... will not tolerate employees... posting obscene, harassing, offensive, derogatory, defamatory or ... scandalous comments, links and/or images ... The Organization ... reserves the right to review an employee’s ... Personal Website, if there are reasonable grounds for believing that policy is being violated.
So, there it is in black and white. There is no privacy. What I write here "will not be tolerated." The risk is what it is. I can't calculate the odds. I know that it would only take one mean-spirited someone, and that would be that. I am quite sure, based on the recent events, that MY case would garner no sympathy. The world is not a safe place.
But then, I already knew that.