Thursday, April 14, 2011

To be [anonymous], or not to be [anonymous]...

There is an old saying "sharing is caring".
But, how much sharing online is too much?
When I first started this blog,
back when I had one follower for three whole weeks,
I was one post short of giving away my address.

I let it all hang out.
Then, as my followers increased,
I became cautious.

I follow a few blogs where I know the blogger's identity.
And, I also follow blogs, such as Glowless where her identity is shielded by a pseudonym.
Just because I do not know her name, it does not mean I do not feel as though I know her.
It's like the time a friend of mine thought my name was Tracey.
Not my real name of course, but one in which she still calls me by, in an affectionate way.
A nickname, if you will.

Could I start this blog again,
I may have taken a leaf out of her book.
Not because I don't love sharing, obviously I do,
But, it does concern me that I am not aware of who exactly reads what I share.
I know my public followers,
based on what they share online.
But my anonymous followers & people who read, but don't follow, could be anyone.
Axe murderers, for all I know.
[The few people who aren't followers, but have let me know they do read assure me they are not axe murderers, but for any others out there, I can't be certain].
So, as my followers increased,
I ceased using my children's names.
I even went through every post I shared with their names,
and changed them.
Not because I don't love their names,
but to give them some anonymity because this is not their blog.

Yes, it is about them, mostly.
But it's my words.
My views.
My take on life with them.
As they get older,
I will ask them what they would prefer to be called in the public forum called the Internet.
They may decide to allow me to use their real names,
or they can give themselves identities.
[if it were up to them now, Master S would be "car" & Miss E would be "BubBub". I know, I've asked them].
But for now, it is my discretion to refer to them as Master S & Miss E.

I am, and have always been 100% honest in my posts.
I don't know any bloggers who are not.
Having a blog is similar to shouting your point of view in a busy supermarket.
If you wouldn't share what you blog about in a supermarket,
then you shouldn't be blogging.
Hiding your identity means you can probably get away with more,
than if everyone were to know your name.

My personal Facebook,
which is my completely open space in the corner of the Internet,
to everyone who knows me,
[yet is private to those who do not]
is a field where I can throw idea's, opinions & a hell of a lot of other shit out there.

For this, I have often had many a debate,
or full blown fight on my page.
And this is with people who know me.
People who know I often suffer from "post now, think later" syndrome.

For this fact, and this fact alone,
I aim to protect my children from being snared in something they have no part in.
I am yet to have a blog "troll", as they are affectionately known as.

All my readers, and commenters, are lovely folk.
There isn't a comment I haven't published.
But I know that with my hot-headed ways,
one day I am going to piss someone right off,
and be in the firing line of one, if not many, trolls.

I am going to share one, if not many personal opinions on something,
that is going to make many people go "I thought she was normal".
For that day, I wish I had an anonymous identity.
For that day, is the reason I am glad my children do.

You all know my name is Tara.
Some of my followers know more than that.

I appreciate the discretion used by the followers of mine that do know more,
that when blogging about me, or my children,
they also do not share more than I do.

Just as I have done if blogging about them.
Because, at the end of the day,
it is not my place to tell the world what they haven't,
just as it is not their place to tell the world what I haven't.

This post has been waiting to escape my brain.
It was discovering that people I know,
are bloggers who share it all, that triggered this post.

So I put it to you,

How much sharing, is too much sharing?


  1. This is a great, thought prevoking post. I have been struggling with this recently. I have used my eldest daughter's name since before she was born and to start changing what I call all three now would be hard. Plus, if people really want to find out I am sure they could as I have been part of forums, my FB so on and so forth.
    I am at a loss as to what to do and wish I had done things differently in the beginning.

  2. I sometimes think this, and also want to post things and don't for fear of what the readers will think.
    But then I remember why I started my blog, I started my blog for me. I started it to write down my thoughts and about my life. And no amount of followers or PR should change that at the end of the day and we (namely me in this situation) need to remember that.

    I think be yourself, if you want to share something be it big or small do it. Be you, don't let having no followers, one follower or one hundred censor you, censor the real Tara.