Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Anonymity.


There has over the last week or so been a number of references to anonymity amongst the blogging fraternity on a variety of blogs that I have visited. It started me thinking of why, exactly, did I take that route. It's taken some mulling, let me tell you!

My own reasons for taking the path of concealment were simple, to begin with. I was unsure if I would be able to make a blog work, and rather than unveil myself to the world as a potential failure, I decided to create my quasi-character. Nothing earth shattering there, I am simply being honest, I would rather fall on my backside in privacy, thank you, than in public. I assume most of you are the same?

Another reason for choosing anonymity was to allow me to have an 'uncluttered' arena for my writing. That is to say, I could if I wish write on any subject I like without the constraints of having to consider the opinions or reactions of people who know me. Yes I know the Captain and my sister JT do read this blog, but they know me well enough by now, I hope, to have a good idea of where I stand on most things. But that last point also leads onto another reason. I also chose to maintain anonymity for my family. Quite simply they did not sign up for this blog as I did, they are here by association and as such have a right to remain anonymous. It is for that reason that I would never use their real names or include their photographs.

However as time has gone on and my experience of this 'blogging' community has grown, I have begun to establish new reasons for remaining anonymous. I have, before I go any further, to point out that on whole I have 'met' a lot of people whose' company I have enjoyed and still enjoy, and although I have only known them for a short time, I consider them friends. Still, it is never as it seems this 'other' world. I cannot dictate who has access to my blog, so far I have chosen to allow free comments to anyone who cares to drop by. Yet this is still strange and somewhat unnerving at times. My 'door' is always open and I am always here to listen to what you have to say, whether I would actually like to hear it or not. Not so in the real world, but here in lies the paradox;

Why then can I still be hurt, offended or 'intimidated' by comments in a box, or in another persons blog? They are not physical, the person doing this has no contact with me other than their imagined context. I am merely an aging photograph attached to a screen name. No, I am a person behind the mask of anonymity, who despite all of her misgivings, albeit in a lighter vein, under the guise of superficialdom and fluff, shares her life, thoughts and perhaps one day her dreams. I have discovered that I am no less exposed than those of you who choose to share your true identities.

7 at confession:

Charlie said...

No matter what persona we use, we are the person behind it. That old adage, ". . . but words will never hurt me", is wrong. Words, sometimes, do hurt quite badly.

Attila The Mom said...

Great post, Jude!

I feel the same way. I would never post identifying photos of my family.

And although I poke fun at the hubby, I let him have veto power over posts I write about him, so I'm not really beating him up. LOL

Meg said...

Very good post, St. Jude. I think anopnymity gives us more freedom to write what we think instead of having to censor yourself wondering who's reading it that knows you.

St Jude said...

APS; I agree, a verbal attack which is directed personally can be very hurtful. To some degree even more so when the person is a stranger. It normally begs the question, 'what did I do'.

Atilla; I'm glad hubby is safe. LOL.

Meg; It is something of a luxury to have freedom to think and write without self censorship.

Dr Joseph McCrumble said...

Hey Jude

You have nicely tapped the nail on the proverbial tete there Jude. I also cloak myself in a degree of anonymity, for reasons given here (part I) and here (Part II). My family are kept firmly in the background for the same reasons you mention - namely to guard them from any fallout resulting from someone having a pop in my direction - not that I think anyone would try and take aim, as I do not set out to offend people intentionally (except perhaps the French).

The downside of anonymity is the cloak-and-daggers aspect. Sometimes it would be rather nice to go public - after all we all meet people socially. Perhaps we should start bloggers weekend meets? Mmm, on second thoughts....

P.S. Thanks for the link, will reciprocate

OneEar said...

"..those of you who choose to share your true identities..."

This one of the funniest clauses I ever have read. I thought I had a gift for the humor of the absurd, but yours is truly wonderful.

Consider that behind each mask lies another mask, these are forged at a very young age, and the masks become the identities. Communication with an unmasked, "true" identity usually involves alot of "goo choo choo," some spitting up, and the occassional changing of a nappy.

St Jude said...

OneEar: Ah there you have it, I have afterall revealed my true identity... a three year old.

 
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