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We made the News…. in Ohio?

Yesterday started off as a pretty uneventful day. I woke up… late. I went to work… maybe a tad late. I checked email and began working on a few projects due Thursday. Then, I took a small break to cruise through the regular apps on my phone. Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. 
Facebook. Normal.
Twitter. Normal.
Instagram… WHOA!
What’s reaallly creepy is that THIS isn’t one of the collages WE put together. Meaning, they went through our site and pulled together their OWN collage! Eeek! Not sure I like that at all….
As soon as I logged into my Instagram, I learned that a news station in Cleveland, Ohio was sharing photos from our New Home Photoshoot (Part I and Part II) and asking their viewers whether the craze of photoshoots for first time buyers was a neat idea, or whether it was overkill. 
My first reaction was… well, mixed. For nearly a year now, the images from our photoshoot remain my Top Pinned images on Pinterest. Each day I see new people pinning them and I’m always flattered. I assume that the people pinning them are folks who have been inspired by them (much like I was by other First Home Photoshoot pictures) and want to make their own one day. The idea that these images are “out there” wasn’t really surprising to me. What was surprising, I suppose, was that a news organization would simply pluck them up (yes, they linked back to our Instagram handle) and start a dialogue on whether they were cool or overkill. It was a strange sensation. 
I sent screenshots of the Instagram posts to Adam, who immediately responded, “Do we get paid for that?” and “Is that even legal?” 
I assured him the answers were most likely “No” and “Yes” respectively. Still, for hours, as I put my phone aside and tried to get back to work, there was a bug in the back on my brain that kept making me return to those images and how I felt about them. 
I love blogging. I do. That might be hard to believe considering that I’ve recently taken a very long hiatus from it. At the end of the day though, I love being able to make connections with people I don’t know and learn from others. I’ve loved sharing #FlorkenFirstHome on this blog and I was deeply appreciative of all the reader support when I shared heartbreaking things. In a weird way though, I don’t think I ever truly expected our posts to reach beyond those few people who show up at this blog everyday. 
So, it struck me as super weird that a news station in Ohio not only ran across our pictures, but created their own collage of them and then shared them with 12.5K followers! Eek! So while a small part of me was flattered, a larger part of me felt violated. But when you think about it, how can I feel violated by something that I put out there into the world?
Blogging is strange. This particular incident makes me think more about privacy and what I want to share online. In a way, I think that makes me smart and informed. But in another way, it makes me sad because as cheesy as it sounds, I feel like this space is small and only shared with those I love most. Of course, that isn’t true as it’s a public blog and I haven’t even met most of our readers. In short, I don’t know where exactly to draw the line. I don’t know how to perfectly share while still maintaining certain privacies. I don’t have all the answers. I wish I did, but I don’t. 
I suppose I’m still learning. After over a year and a half of blogging, I’m still learning.

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