Here are some etiquette, safety and privacy tips to help you start your missionary blog, so the blog will be a positive experience for everyone.
Starting a missionary blog
It’s a common practice for the family of an LDS Missionary to post their missionaries’ mission photos and letters to a blog. In most cases this is a very positive experience for the missionary, the family and other readers of the blog. However, there have been a few missionary blogs that have caused some concerns. For this reason, I’ve decided to put together this article to help missionary moms and family members create missionary blogs that will avoid problems.
Here are some quick tips for starting your missionary’s blog on a respectful, optimistic and safe note.
Etiquette, Safety and Privacy Blog Tips
- Don’t share your missionary’s direct address. While a mission office’s address is publicly known, sharing your missionary’s apartment address publicly may not be a good idea. If people on the internet can’t find your missionary’s apartment address, it may help your missionary be more safe.
- When referring to people, abbreviate their name. If your missionary talks about an investigator named Jose Martinez, it may be a good idea to abbreviate his name to “J”. Abbreviating names can help protect the privacy of investigators and members. If an investigator were to read a missionary’s email that revealed their personal struggles, the investigator could choose to be offended.
- Don’t post negative messages from your missionary. Anytime your missionary shares a complaint, you might consider not including the complaint in your weekly post. Generally people don’t mind others posting positive things about them. On the other hand, people might get upset if they find out a missionary was writing negative things about them.
- Consider leaving out the first name of your missionary. Since the internet is so open with so many directories, search engines, etc. it’s become relatively easy to find personal information of people. Nonetheless, it may be a good idea to exclude the first name of your missionary on your missionary’s blog. Also, excluding a missionary’s full name in the blog URL could be a good idea. For example “ElderBalinski.blogspot.com” is less revealing than “ElderAlexBalinski.blogspot.com”.
- Don’t post offensive photos. I think it’s well known that there have been a couple problems over the years with missionaries who have taken photos that lack respect to other religions, etc. Some photos that could be potentially offensive include: photos at religious places, community places and photos of individual investigators/members (posted without their permission).
- Don’t post your missionary’s specific plans. It may be wise to leave out your missionary’s weekly plans on the blog. For example, sharing where your missionary is going to visit and when could jeopardize their personal safety.
If you have any insights you’d like to contribute, feel free to leave them in the comments section below!