When I wrote my post yesterday, I had no idea it would generate the feedback I received. I started to respond to your comments, but my draft was so long that I decided to devote another post to the topic.
First of all, please don’t think I am so naïve as to believe that withholding a profile picture and my full name would protect me in a bubble of total anonymity. You all are absolutely right that that’s impossible, and if I expected that, I wouldn’t have started a blog and I wouldn’t opt to attend a blogging conference. If someone had the time and inclination to find out who I am, I have no doubt that they could. But I don’t possess the hubris to believe that what I have to say is earth-shattering enough to warrant that kind of research.
Moving on to other issues mentioned that I’ve thought about before too…Do I censor myself? Yes, but primarily by refraining from disclosing information that would compromise my husband’s career. Unfortunately, by not sharing that information, it means I am unable to share exactly how that information affects me. Basically, I don’t post anything I wouldn’t want my husband’s commanding officer or my daddy to read. And I think most bloggers censor themselves in a way.
Do I feel that my censorship chips away at who I really am? I hope not. I still write about my life in general as a military spouse without revealing anything that jeopardizes OPSEC.
Do I understand why some people chose not to blog anonymously? Absolutely. It’s about personal preference as well as the nature of your blog. For example, if you are an aspiring or published writer trying to get your name out there, blogging is the perfect platform.
Why do I like being anonymous? Partly because I write about my family, and they didn’t choose to be part of a blog, I did. My anonymity protects theirs. And partly because I’d like to think that what I have to say has enough universal appeal to military spouses, mothers, writers, etc. that I don’t need to reveal who I am. I’m simply someone with whom you can identify on some level, regardless of what I look like, where I live, or who my husband is.
Will I ever shed my anonymity? It’s not outside my realm of possibilities. We’ll see how it goes. I’ve only been blogging for about 3 months, so in a way I’m still new at this.
I also don’t want you to think that I have an opinion one way or the other about how you choose to present yourself. I agree with many of your comments that it’s whatever you’re comfortable with. There are so many blogs I love to read, whether they share their names or not. A lot of times I don’t even notice their names…I’m just enjoying what they have to say.
Your comments made me wonder just how easy it would be for someone to discover my true identity (great, now I sound like Batman). So I Googled myself. It took sifting through several pages of people who were not me (one of which was eerily an obituary) to find a hit that was indeed me. I was shocked to see a comment I had posted on a discussion board in one of my blogging groups. I realized I had falsely assumed that the information I provided to join the group, including my full name and the city in which I live, would not be publicly displayed. Oops. (That has now been remedied, and if you are a member of that group and took notice of it, then you can get a hearty laugh at my assertion that no one knows that information.)
In light of some of the comments I received yesterday, I now have new questions. Do you feel you can identify more with bloggers who have a name versus those who don’t? Do you feel less inclined to share with anonymous bloggers because you feel they don’t share all of themselves with you?
These are things that never occurred to me until I read your comments. This is one of the reasons I LOVE blogging. How boring life would be without varying perspectives. It almost makes me want to write about something really controversial just to read your comments!
I appreciate the time you took to share your responses!!!