Thursday, January 26, 2012

On Being Anonymous

I have this weird obsession of being anonymous on the blog. 



No doubt that I have made some friends here who went on to being friends with me on a certain social networking site, but I was never opposed to making new friends. See, from the very beginning stages of the blog, I had a deep seated fear of having someone I know stumble upon the blog, and say to herself/himself - "Hey, I think I know this person" and share it with all their other friends because that's what I'd do if I were in their place. I suppose my stance on this is if you know me personally, I'd prefer knowing that you know of my blogs existence than you accidentally finding it. But then again, freely giving away the link to everyone I once knew is not an option either - *say if I wanted to write about an experience and mentioned friend C in the post, friend K might start whining - "why don't you ever blog about me?"

Being anonymous is not easy, though. Back in 2009, a new friend whom I'd met while on a really short holiday in Sarawak (we knew one person in common back then) found my blog (I told her about it, I think and was planning to send her the link after I had blogged about our holiday but she beat me to it) I secretly dubbed her the search engine queen, which will not be a secret anymore if she reads this post ;) 

Most recently, blogger decided to invite me (and a whole lot of other bloggers - anonymous or otherwise) to shed their anonymity by connecting to Google+, seeing that I do have to log on to Google if I want to post a blog post or comment, I don't think it's such a bad idea. My only problem is, my Google+ account actually carries my full name, and apparently I cannot use my superhero personality as my blog handle anymore if I ever choose to do so. The horrors! So, as long as they allow me to use both identities - superhero for the blog, and my real name for the e-mail part of it all I'm fine. In the meantime I need to read up on how to transfer the blog to a different Google account.

Even more recently, I spotted an email (in this particular Google account even when I specifically attempted to direct mail to another email service provider) in the spam box indicating a comment that never got through the recepient's inbox (I now am privy to the knowledge of a certain blog friend's real name (first and last name, methinks), but the secret is safe with me. Anyway, I'm just curious, what are your views on blogging anonymously, and how would you react if your anonymity was taken away?

*Ok, admittedly something like this happened when I was 12 when I shared my writing with my classmates. Big mistake, yes - likelihood for 30-somethings to whine as such, probably not, but still, I prefer to keep things like these to myself these days. 

26 comments:

  1. Oh my god, I would LOSE IT if my anonymity was over. Because of what I blog about of course. ONLY Boyfriend knows about it.

    I could show some friends that know about my relationship with Boyfriend, but its just too risky.

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    1. Oh my... yeah, it'll definitely be crazy in your situation.

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  2. I'm a bit insane anyway, so most that actually no me just look at me strange and walk away. Although I like not having people know too.

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    1. Surprisingly, the fact that some people started thinking I was insane was the very reason I made this blog anonymous.

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  3. If we use Google, we're not anonymous.

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    1. Too bad I realised that a wee bit late. When I first started blogging, google hadn't started fully controlling blogger yet, so I had no idea.

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  4. Hey! You and I share the same fears. Good to know I'm not crazy.

    But yeah, I don't share things, I've actually changed a lot of names mentioned on the blog and even made another email address just for my blog. :P

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    1. Yeah, I use weird names for the people I talk about on the blog as well. But still, we can never be too sure.

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  5. I used to worry about it but now I've stopped caring. A nasty troll tracked down my real name a couple of years ago and threatened to out me at work so I just removed all references (however vague) to my (totally fictitious of course) job and carried on.

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    1. Oh my! Trying to find out who the person behind the blog is one thing, but getting all mean like threatening to out you at work is just plain evil.

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  6. I'm with you. When I started my blog, I originally intended to stick to the handle "Rambling Person" but Google stuck with Mark, which is what I signed up to them as. So I've lost some anonyminity, but I hold onto the ones I can. It's the main reason I don't want to do a full vlog.

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    1. Yeah, I suppose you can retain some of your privacy by not putting up pictures of yourself. There are ways to change the blog ownership, but I don't know what else you lose by doing so

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  7. Though I'm not really hiding my info, Joe's a common enough name in this country to be kind of unknown still. Good luck on your quest for continued anonymity! Following btw. :3

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    1. Yeah, many people called Jo/Joe here as well, two of them in my workplace of 200+ people.

      Thanks for dropping by.

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  8. I think some people blog pseudo-anonymously. They talk about being anonymous but are desperate to be found out.

    Me? I am mildly anonymous but I think I could be found out pretty easily and it wouldn't bother me if I was.

    I recall I had a blip recently with one of your comments where I received the email notification that you had commented but the comment was not there.

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    1. Ha ha... I'm sure there are. After all, blogging is a pretty narcissistic activity.

      At least you aren't obsessing about being anonymous, and probably don't lose sleep over it.

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  9. i have a similar fear of becoming known on my blog, i like remaining anonymous =^_^=

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    1. Yeah, for now remaining anonymous is very important.

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  10. I blog anonymously because I fell that if friends and family were aware of my blog, I would limit and filter myself. However, I hate not knowing the identities of those I follow, for some reason.

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    1. Can't deny that I'm not curious about the bloggers whose blogs I read as well ;)

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  11. Hey it's your blog, you do whatever feels comfortable. If that means staying anon then so be it, judging by the amount of comments you receive I don't think it makes any difference.

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    1. Well, you're right when you look at it that way. I'm a bit low key and intend to remain that way as well. I only hope that whatever steps I have taken to preserve my anonymity makes me not immediately recognisable.

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    1. Ha ha... glad you dropped by for this post :)

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  13. You're right - very ironic timing.

    Okay. I blog semi-anonymously. Anyone who knows me in real life would instantly recognize me, even without the photos I sometimes post. I wanted a place where I could essentially keep a journal of my life without people in my community reading it. I had an excruciating experience several years ago with a guy I'd just broken up somehow finding it accidentally and reading the whole damn thing and then leaving agonized comments under the name "The Rejected." Gah. I still cringe. So I've gone progressively deeper underground until I finally just made it by invitation.

    Since i started my blog 5 years ago, I've met a few bloggers in person and also know some real names through emails. I would never reveal those, unless the person was already public. But I don't mix my blog life with my FB life or any other on-line activity. I keep it in a separate google account, and haven't even told the boyfriend of 6 months that I blog. I don't honestly know how he'd feel about having his life on a blog. But he's the main reason I went private - as much as I hate having my personal life discovered locally, I would feel far worse about exposing him. Don't you wish there was a way to just selectively block people or towns?

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    1. The separate google account is something I need to do in the future in case google forces us to merge the blogger account/ID with google+.

      I guess all of us have different privacy needs and wants, the best would be something we can customize to our liking. Maybe someday the technology will be available to us.

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