Nearly a month ago, it seemed everywhere you turned, Nigerian bloggers were closing down their blogs because they (the blogs) had been discovered by friends and/or family. I can understand how, with the topic of some of the blogs, or the images used therein (hi Afrobabe!), it would be hard to be blasÃ© about your friends, siblings, or worst of allâ€”your parentsâ€”finding your blog. (Hard sha, but not impossible: I can see Afrobabe and sting pulling it off, no problem.)
(In my case, I keep the topics I write about pretty tame because guess what (and this will shock you): I’m very tame. And boring. Seriously, nothing exciting happens to me. I don’t meet guys who have packages worth taking a second look at (or verifying through a ‘touch test’), I don’t get picked up by
hot, muscular men at clubs, I don’t do anything naughty that I’ll admit to. I’m jejely holding on to my title as the most boring Naija girl out there, with no competition in sight!)
If you really love blogging though, and don’t want to feel like you have to pack up your blog when loved ones find out, here are some things you can do for the purposes of damage control:
Deny it’s your blog
“Geez, sister,” you can say, “do you really think there is only one Nigerian woman who is 23, born on April 16, with a nose ring and a tattoo of the Nigerian flag on her upper left shoulder living in small town Indiana? I mean give me a break: I can name 12 right now!” and rattle off some common Nigerian names. Try not to look horrified as you realize how much detail your blog has revealed about you over the years; it’ll increase the chances that your denial will be believed.
Move the blog to another location
This always worries me, because if you move the entries, someone might think to google something they recall from your old blog and find your new blog. This is the thing about the internet and its long memory.
Write an entry directed to the family remember or friend who has discovered your blog, calling them out
This can be fun from a drama point of view, especially if the family member or friend reading your blog doesn’t realize you know they’re reading your blog. There are two ways you can do it, both of which will guarantee you lots of drama (you may need to down some vodka before doing these):
- Shame them into coming clean by writing an entry that’s basically a personal letter to them, and address them by name (full name if you don’t mind divulging your own surname). Include things that no one except you would know about, the juicier and more salacious, the better. Tell them you think they’re cowardly (or whatever word fits) for reading your blog and then pretending not to know about the contents when they speak to you next about something covered on the blog. The purpose of this is to incite them to anger. Some precautions you should consider: buying yourself some running shoes and filing a restraining order.
- Write about them naively, as if you have no idea they read your blog. It’s best if you write about a surprise you have planned for them, describe it in great detail, and tell your readers when it’s supposed to happen. Go through the trouble of soliciting advice from the blogging community because you “want this to be the best surprise for someone so loyal and honest“. When you see your friend in person, drop hints about the surprise, but act like you’re really trying to be sneaky about it. If your friend or family member isn’t overcome with guilt, and doesn’t confess that they read your blog, then they have no heart.
It goes without saying that if you’re dealing with a friend who doesn’t fess up, you’ll enjoy the dismay he or she will feel when the day passes and no surprise happens!
To those of you considering leaving because you’ve been discovered, don’t! A lot of blogging software (I don’t know if blogger is one of them sha) has an option where you can lock some entries and require readers to enter a password to read your more salacious or personal entries. Blogger allow you to open your blog to invited readers only, and something about that irritates me, but it is an option. You can always minimize the descriptions of where you live and any distinguishing characteristics on or about you. Or you can just say “screw it!” and hope that any friends or family that come across your blog will realize that no matter how often you write, even if it’s three posts a day, your blog still represents only a fraction of who you are and if someone’s going to judge you as a whole based on only half of the story, well, that’s their decision!
Thank you all for your good wishes for Oladiran’s family. It’s a long road but it will be well…God and time are the best healers they have with them. And the community of course.
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