surrounded by clouds

On anonymity

In the last couple of weeks I’ve had some interesting chats with a few different people on the subject of blogging, and specifically, the pros and cons of writing anonymously.

One dear friend, who shall remain nameless, has already begun an anonymous blog, and another who I was chatting to today has expressed interest in blogging, but only under circumstances where she could be sure that no one would know that she was the author.

We also discussed the fact that we know others who blog, and seem to be more honest and open about their lives and feelings online than they are in face-to-face conversation. I read plenty of blogs (people I know in the real world, and people I only know from their online presence and persona) and they are a mixture of those who share lots and lots, and those who really don’t; those who are happy to post details about their names and pictures, and those who keep things anonymous with blurry shots and pseudonyms.

It’s certainly something I’ve been thinking more about recently. My blog is obviously not anonymous – both of my names are in the web address (even if one of them is spelt unusually!) and I give quite a lot of information about most parts of my daily life. But, I don’t tell you everything. There are lots of things that happen, and thoughts and feelings swirling around in this confused old brain of mine, which I have very little intention of sharing with you charming folks.

Why? Well, whilst I do really love blogging, and I think it’s quite cool that people are reading my random chat (both people I’ve met, and people I haven’t), there is something slightly too public about it for some topics of conversation.

There are things that I’m happy to talk about to a room of strangers (and have talked about to a room of strangers, even within the last six months) but I’m just not sure about chatting about it all on here because I don’t like not knowing who is reading it.

Lurkers are out there. I know, I am one.

It’s a funny old thing, and maybe I’ll change my mind. I’m considering some things for some upcoming Feminine Friday posts and things could end up being more personal, who knows? Right now though, I’m pretty cool with inhabiting this middle-ground. I suppose that in the end even those who appear to be sharing everything about their lives may not be – the beauty of being the author is that you get to write posts about just the things that you want people to see, and to edit your life and words in a way that is just not possible in real world conversations. Even in those ‘warts and all’ blogs that I read, I’m really only seeing the warts that they want to show me.

Any thoughts – be you a blog writer, or a blog reader?

In summary: thinking.

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This entry was published on September 11, 2012 at 7:09 pm. It’s filed under Randomness and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “On anonymity

  1. A couple of other bloggers have written about this, this week:
    Sarah Markley – http://www.sarahmarkley.com/2012/09/living-publicly/
    and Ann Voskamp – http://www.aholyexperience.com/2012/09/the-importance-of-putting-the-camera-down-now-then/

    I think the most important thing to remember is exactly what you wrote – even if someone seems to be sharing “personal” things online, you can be sure there is tonnes more going on that they keep private. We have full control over how much we share.

    For many, including me, the writing out of life helps me to understand it, to live it again, to notice what was important, where God was, where I’m headed. I write posts I don’t publish but much of the time I’m happy to share, because there are so many who come and say “you too? me too” and there is comfort and encouragement in that shared experience.

    This balance is different for each person and I think that’s exactly how it should be. We need to find the right balance for us, and not critique others for either over-sharing or under-sharing, if it is done with thought and care.

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