When I read a news item the other day about how WordPress bloggers could enable friends to find our blogs through Facebook or Twitter or Google Contacts, I have to admit that I was horrified at the thought that I could be ‘outed’ so easily. One of the major plus points of starting a blog for me was that I could retain my anonymity if I wished.
I have not posted photographs of me or my friends or family on this blog and that’s how it will remain unless they allow otherwise. Even my avatar image is not of me. By remaining anonymous, I can let off steam about the things that bug or interest me without fear of recrimination. I mistakenly told a few family members and a couple of friends about the blog in the early days and then realised that it would be best if I never referred to anyone I wrote about by name on the basis that we’re all entitled to remain anonymous. On the other hand, none of my work colleagues know that I blog and if I ever post about them (which I am bound to do at some point) and they were to find my blog through a Facebook or Google Contacts search, (I don’t do Twitter), they might put two and two together and recognise themselves and I’m not sure that I want that because very little of what I would ever write about work and my colleagues would be positive.
I don’t regard my desire for anonymity as cowardly or devious. You may not agree with that and that’s fine by me but I have to prove my identity so many times in the week by way of logons and passwords, personal identity numbers, wearing an office ID card, proving my address is actually mine and so on, that I like being able to write anonymously in a blog simply because I have the choice to do so.
Yes, I know I can make my blog private but it’s fun to check the stats regularly and possibly discover a new follower (whose numbers, in case you were interested, have now reached the dizzy height of ten, thank you one and all). When I started this blog and was still playing around with all the settings that WordPress offered me, I connected to Facebook but had not fully understood the ramifications of doing so and hours later was horrified to find my latest post in all its naked glory for all to see on my Facebook wall. I swiftly disconnected the link and cannot imagine a day when I would ever want to re-connect. I will not be connecting to Google Contacts either. I don’t want to have to take my blog elsewhere but if there’s no alternative, that’s what I’ll do to preserve my true identity. Unfortunately, if I do, you won’t then be able to find me again because I obviously won’t say where I’m going because that would defeat the purpose of moving elsewhere. The words ‘catch’ and ‘twenty two’ suddenly spring to mind…