July 03, 2008

Anonymous Blogging

My name is Jack and I am a semi-anonymous blogger. This blog is my refuge, my bat cave, my fortress of solitude. It is a retreat I use for so many different purposes. It is my shrink, the place where I air out my thoughts and engage in my own therapy. The place where I empty out the mental closet and try to figure out the solutions to the puzzles of my own life.

My anonymity is intentional. It always seemed to be the best way to stay safe in what I share. Some of what I write is deeply personal and not the sort of thing that I would share with friends, family or strangers. But the blog changes the boundaries of what we reveal. The sanctity of the keyboard is inviolate, or so it would seem.

The reality is a bit different. Surfing the blogosphere has led to new friendships. Some of them are relatively superficial and some are far deeper. The nature of the communication makes it easy to learn an awful lot about someone else in a short time. Some argue that these friendships lack depth, but I disagree.

Here in the blogosphere you can laugh and cry with other bloggers. You get a sense and a feel for who they are and what their families are like. Just as you do in the real world, but here it is probably faster. Here you read 100 things about a blogger, learn about their hopes, dreams and nightmares.

In the real world you might learn these things as well, but you'd probably have to go digging for it. Not here. Here it is out there, an offering to the masses.

And so I come to the point at which I remark that there are some opportunities that have arisen because of blogging that require shedding my anonymity. It might not be a complete removal of the curtain that hides the wizard, but it is enough.

So once again I find myself trying to determine if it is worth giving up more of the curtain. Do I lift the shades and show my face or do I stay secure in the cave. I just don't know.

I suspect that at some point in time I'll say screw it and just come right out as myself. Shedding that mask offers a lot of benefits and I suspect that it will be quite freeing.

Still I hesitate. Still I guard what little privacy remains because there are benefits to it. I don't hide in the shadows because I am embarrassed or afraid to do otherwise. Ok, maybe a little, but overall not so much.

In the coming days there are going to be some changes. I am kind of excited about following this yellow brick road. Let the flying monkeys come and do what they will, I am equipped with a banana launcher and a big chip on the shoulder.


Doreen Orion said...

Looking forward to hearing about what you're doing. I have to admit, I always wondered why you were annonymous. I've never read anything in your blog that would lead me to believe you'd need annonymity.

Wry Mouth said...

I have to maintain anonymity, due to someone in my family who has a rather sensitive job working with people who are not always at their best, let's say.

I've come to accept it, and even embrace it a little. But the always watching what I say is bothersome.

Came over here from Treppenwitz' place. See you later!

WomanHonorThyself said...

Happy Fourth of Juuuuly !

Ezzie said...

You know my opinion on anonymity in general... whatever you do, good luck. :)

cruisin-mom said...

We all have different reasons for why we maintain anonymity, or not. I don't think I've written anything to be embarrassed or ashamed of, I maintain anonymity because of my job. Do whichever makes you comfortable...that's all that matters.

~ Sarah ~ said...

If it weren't for the comment about the waffles, you'd still be more anonymous ;)

But all the best with your choices for your blog.

Jack said...


I chose anonymity so that I could write about whatever I wanted. It is not that I can't talk to family and friends about these things, just don't want to have some of those discussions.


When I was a kid I was terrified of Bigfoot. I agree that having to watch what you say is irksome.

Hi Angel,

Hope you had a great Fourth.




I hear you.


If it wasn't for lunch you'd only know me as the guy who comments about waffles. ;)

Val said...

I have no reason to hide behind any type of mask.
Oh and it IS freeing to be "YOU" on your blog.
Looking forward to your changes. I'm sure it's gonna be a non-issue as far as whether or not I'll still continue to read your blog or not. I never liked you, don't like you.... ;-D

One Wink at a Time said...

Sometimes I wish I'd maintained more anonymity than I have... just because now and then I would like to write more deeply personal posts than I do. I'm careful what I post for the most part, due to family and friends (and the ex-husband's wife... Really!) reading. Thing is, I've gotten really close to some readers and we maintain more personal relationships via email or IM and share things we wouldn't feel comfortable blogging about.
My advice to you; just think about it rilly hard, it may be less "freeing" than you think.

The Rebbetzin's Husband said...

As you know, I've done the blog both ways. Significant + and - each way, but I'm having fun being nonymous these days.

Oh, and Batcave is one word.

Jack said...

I have no reason to hide behind any type of mask.

What, not even on Halloween. ;)

My advice to you; just think about it rilly hard, it may be less "freeing" than you think.

Four years of blogging- Not going to change my tune without careful thought.

Oh, and Batcave is one word.

So is oops. ;)

muse said...

I gave up the tease real fast. Originally I thought that me-ander.blogspot.com would be "one of those," but I just couldn't. I couldn't tell intimate details about my life, and I felt silly hiding who I was/am. shilohmusings.blogspot.com was always "me," proudly and simply.

susanne said...

I'm not anonymous anymore, and it's been quite an adjustment. I mean, my friends always read me and knew who I was when I was blogging under various noms de blog, and my sister has always read me. Coming out and writing under my real name (though it is my married name, which I actually don't use at work), has made me more careful about what I write about. I don't write about work now other than generally, and that cuts out some good material, for sure. But other than that, it hasn't made too much of a difference.

Jack said...

I felt silly hiding who I was/am.

I have that feeling from time to time.

has made me more careful about what I write about.

Hi Susanne,

I hate having to censor myself.As it is I have been forced to do it now. The thought of doing more irks me.

But, one of these days I just might tear the mask off.

Jackal said...

I tried to get a level of anonymity that would feel safe but I found as the more I blogged, the more risks I took... family and friends read my blog and a few loyal other bloggers. It became evident to me that it was important for me to be 'me' and let others in.

Sure it is risky, but if others don't accept me or can't cope with what I share then they simply don't need to read me.

It is liberating and for me it is an important medium for me to connect with others.

Baila said...

I wish I had gone anonymous, but I think my blog would be alot "darker" if I did.