Dear Blogging Military Spouses,
We are out here and we are out here in force. Whether we start our blog to keep family updated on our lives or to keep us entertained during deployments, we have found the internet and taken it by storm. We’ve ventured away from facebook and twitter to the calmer seas of blopspot and wordpress. We post vacation pictures, funny stories, and, unfortunately, all to often things we shouldn’t. There are lots of warnings out there on the internet for bloggers and general browsers alike and I guess this is just my addition to the force.
Be careful about identifying yourself, my friends. We want to feel safe in our family oriented blogs, but we’re not. I have a blog that is used to keep B and I’s families up to date on us. I do use our first names there. But, we have relatively generic first names. Enough so that I could give them to you and if you googled our first names you wouldn’t come up with our blog. If my first name was Ilyatoya or B’s was Stancarmichael, well I’d probably be more careful about using names. As it is, we can blend in. But if you use your given names and your surname in your blog address – don’t be surprised when people your spouse works with find you. A generic blog address goes a long way in hiding who you are from people that you’d rather not read your blog.
Honestly, this has been gone over many times, but it can’t be said enough. Operational Security and personal security. Please quit posting on your blog when your spouse is going down range or coming back. Please. You might not think it a big deal to talk about your honey coming back home on such and such a date and that you’ll see him/her in so many hours – but other people might. Information about you being home alone or not home at all, doesn’t belong on the internet. Troop movement, doesn’t belong on the internet. Keep the info to yourself. It’s always better safe than sorry.
Think twice about posting where you’re stationed. Yeah, I know, I do this too. You can go to my other blog and find easily where we are stationed. But you won’t ever see anything over there with me ranting about my husband’s job. You can even find a pretty good guess on this blog – but again – I don’t gripe about his work. Mine? Sure, it’s fair game. But his is off limits. If you do name your base or area, just realize that people can find you so monitor what you say.
Continuing on the above theme, the internet is not the place to gripe about your spouses job. Yes, the hours are long and often suck. Yes, the schedules are sporadic and often change. Yes, deployments are hard and no one likes them. Send it in an email to your mom or best friend. Don’t talk about how you’re researching if your spouse can even be worked that hard – the answer is yes.
Are you even aware that the AF has published protocol on blogs mentioning the AF? Because they do. I’m not sure about other branches of service, but the AF has specific guidelines on how to approach blogs mentioning it. It’s okay to mention them. I’m not saying to blacklist your spouse’s job or duties. I’m saying to be careful in how you say it. Be careful in what information you make available. Be careful in your rants and celebrations.
The internet is vast and you never know who might be reading. Blog that way and you’ll be much better off. The rest of us won’t be so worried about the backlash from what you’ve said.