The Lines Are Blurring

Well, yes, my eyes are getting worse. But this post isn’t about failing eyesight but boundaries, particularly with my “professional” and “personal” self.

In my previous career as a social worker, we used to talk a lot about setting boundaries. It’s better for your emotional health to have rigid lines. As an author, I’ve found the lines blurring. Want some examples?

CHICKS. Clearly, here at Chicks on the Case, we’re not just bloggers but real friends. I’ve appreciated the love and support from my fellow Chicks–and always enjoy spending time with them! (See below smiling pic of a few of us as evidence.)

FACEBOOK. Ok, I’ve tried really hard to keep up my formal Facebook page, but it’s been a beast to manage. I’m always trying to figure out where my notifications are and hoping I don’t miss any comments or messages. Recently, I’ve decided to have a page and also turn on the professional mode for my regular FB profile. (I didn’t even know that was a thing until now.) This means that I can have people “follow” my profile or “friend” me (if we know each other better). I’m definitely experimenting with this new format–feel free to give me any tips if you use the professional mode!

MALICE DOMESTIC. As you all know, I was recently at Malice Domestic. I’m still floating on air to have been nominated for an Agatha this year! (Below right photo, from L-R: Tina de Bellegarde, Annette Dashofy, Ellen, and me)

While there, I felt like I was living a blurred life. I’ve become close with reader fans, even visiting one of them while on a family vacay. Sisters in Crime members have started feeling like family even while I’m “working” (well, volunteering) as SinC President this year. (Photos: I’m reflected in that mirror behind the SinC table. At Malice, SinC board members–not all featured–had lunch together: from L-R is Stephanie Gayle, Immediate Past President; Deanna Fowler, Co-Treasurer; Julie Hennrikus, Executive Director; and Karen Odden, Publicity Liaison.)

The most confusing experience involved virtual buddies at the convention. These are folks I’ve met in virtual groups, like Crime Writers of Color, and I honestly forget that I’ve never meant them in 3D before.

I’ve also interacted with people on social media but haven’t talked to them in person, like new author SK Golden. Yay for all the debut authors! Check out this list:

Having blurred boundaries makes for an interesting and amazing world of interwoven connections.

Share about the boundaries you have (or don’t!) in your life.

29 thoughts on “The Lines Are Blurring

  1. Isn’t it funny how you meet someone IRL after knowing and interacting with them for years online and you honestly don’t release you’ve never actually been in the same room at the same time before?!!! I love it!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. It was great seeing you in person, Jen. I don’t know if you and I have ever met face to face, but it feels like we’ve known each other for ages. Funny how that happens, isn’t it?

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Jennifer, you’re involved in so many aspects of the writing community, it’s no wonder your worlds are starting to blur. Thank you for all you do, and congratulations on your Agatha nomination!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It’s so funny because I’m in different groups, I feel like everybody knows all the information I do–and that they’ve all met one another already! (Have to make sure I introduce folks if needed.) And you’re very welcome, Mary. (Still excited about that Agatha nom!)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Jen, I remember being at Malice last year and being a total hug machine with a lot of folks I was meeting IRL for the first time! Such fun!
    On the other side of the coin, last year I cancelled my Twitter account. It was hard to do because I met a lot of wonderful folks there. All the other stuff going there was proving bad for my mental health, though. That’s one boundary I’m glad I set up.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hug machine–love it! And you owe me a hug next time I see ya!

      I haven’t cancelled my Twitter account, but I did make it private and added a note that I’m “rarely here” on Twitter–which is true!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Jen, such a great (and colorful!) post–with so many familiar, smiling faces to greet as I sip my first morning coffee. Oh…you can’t see me? (*waves frantically*). I absolutely love my Chicks and our friends and readers, and the whole larger mystery writers/readers community. I do agree on everything you’ve said, Jen–and lately I’ve also realized I may have a lot more friendships online than IRL these days, outside of lifelong relationships. Part of that is all we have in common, I think–including our love of reading and a certain sense of humor. And another part may be that the future looks a lot different now than it did even a decade ago. Glad to have such good friends–even if we can’t hang out IRL on a regular basis–along for the ride!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. *waving back* Hi, Lisa!! Agree that I love this large, welcoming community. And I’m happy that I can make good friends online because–I mean, how would we two have connected before this tech?

      (On the other hand, sometimes I think it’s funny what my kids do…stuff like texting their friends when they’re in the same room! And apparently, I’ve gotten to the age where my kids say, “Oh, you probably don’t get it, but in my generation…”)

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I had no idea about “professional mode” on Facebook; might have to check that out…

    It’s so true about the blurring of lines between in-person and virtually-connected friends these days. I have some folks I feel quite close to whom I’ve never yet met in person, which just five years ago would have seemed completely bizarre. Yet now we all accept it as being normal.

    But it was SOOO great to get to see so many of my Chicks in person at Malice last week! Nothing will ever replace the ability to actually give someone a real hug.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Professional mode?!! Please oh please, teach me! I desperately need it.

    And wonderful post. As someone who generally lacks many boundaries -as my family would confirm with many eye rolls – I had a blurred moment the other day on the picket line. I offered to help a woman carrying signs to the line. They turned out to be SAG-AFTRA signs. She’s on their board and was showing support by picketing with us. We introduced ourselves. She said, “I’m Frances. Frances Fisher.” I gleefully responded, “Frances!” Like we were long-lost pals. She recoiled a bit and said, “Do I know you?” Embarrassed, I said, “I think we shared the same therapist in New York in the 80s.”

    While she didn’t officially confirm this, we did share friends who had the same therapist and she caught me up on their lives. And we laughed about my blurred blurt on the line!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I hear you about trying to figure out Facebook for my blog’s page and my personal account. It’s extra confusing because they change how things are laid out or connected (or not connected) just about the time I get everything figured out.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Aw I love all of the interwoven connections in our mystery community!!! Virtual acquaintances have transformed into so many important and lasting relationships. And awesome pics, Jen!! Malice looked like an amazing time.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Truly missed you and Vickie, Kathy!!! But so glad that, through the wonders of virtual life, we don’t need an in-person conference to stay connected! You did know that we all went to Hawaii with you, right? (I, for one, did not run a marathon, though.)


  10. Oh, the conference looks like it was so much fun. Glad you had a good time and met some (old) new friends! I hope to go to Malice someday–I always seem to miss it and then see post-event pics/posts and realize I did it again. 🙂 Thanks for the highlights and congrats on your nomination.


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