Monday, April 18, 2011

The Anonymous Debate

20SB recently hosted a debate on pros and cons of blogging anonymously through a series of guest bloggers.  I was lucky enough to have the chance to be included last week (check it out here or read on). It's hard to know whether or not to blog anonymously.  Whether or not you want people to know who you are or not.  So it was fun to be a part of that discussion over at 20sb.
Here is that post:

Hello! My name is Heather. I’m 23. I live in the Midwest. I love to bake, eat chocolate, and read. If it’s possible to do all three at the same time, even better. I’m a teacher. And a blogger. Well, a semi-anonymous one.
Semi-anonymous? Is that even possible, you may ask?
I first started blogging because I enjoyed writing. I had a lot going on in my life and I felt I needed a space where I could put all that energy. Through my blog surfing I had come across several great blogs. I thought it would be great to carve out a little spot of the blogosphere for myself. I wasn’t looking for tons of followers or readers. I did it for me. Just for me.
When I first started blogging, I thought it would be simple. 
I would never post a picture of myself and never use my full name. I thought that’s all it would take and I’d be set. After a few months, I even got a separate email address that didn’t include my last name so people couldn’t figure me out.
The thing I didn’t realize is that when your fingers get flying on the keyboard, when you get wrapped up in what you are trying to say, it can be hard to edit yourself. It’s hard to put up that wall when you’re working diligently to tell a story. Not giving away your hometown, the name of your company, or the real names of friends–those are hard.
My blog, The Sunset Won’t, is not a place where I post inappropriate comments or stories. To be completely honest, there really aren’t that many events in my life that can be considered inappropriate. (I’m a pretty boring girl.) No, my corner of the blogosphere is somewhere that I can write about learning lessons and living life to the fullest. I blog about the twists my life has taken, things I want to work on, my faith, and even do reviews.
My biggest concern is this:
As I blog about these lessons, what would my administration think? What would my students think?Let me say again, it’s not that I’m trying to hide anything. There are just bad days that my students don’t need to know about, or family issues that my employers don’t need to read about.
It’s a tightrope, one that I walk every time my fingers hit the keyboard. With each key I hit I’m careful not to reveal too much. I try to balance that with being truthful. There are things on my blog that I don’t even talk about with people in my real life.
If I’m not honest, what’s the point in blogging?
I can count on two hands the number of people in my life who know that I blog. I think I started that way because I was nervous. Nervous of what people would think. Of my writing. Of me. But eventually I told someone… and they liked it. They were supportive. But they know that I am careful to reveal who I am to the world.
It’s a little bit like being Batman on the internet and Clark Kent in real life. (Except that I hate bats. And I’m not a boy.) So maybe I could be Sunset, controlling light, like Storm controls the weather.
And my real identity… well, that’s top secret.

1 comment:

  1. I love the idea of a semi-anonymous blog and am thinking about starting one myself. Having a space to think and write freely without revealing specifics about yourself would be a great way to sort through life ...


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