7.27.2009

Finding total freedom to say what you want

Have you ever noticed that you over indulge on the details when responding in someone else's comments? Do you find that you just told someone how your husband has impotency issues or that you really hate your brother's wife because she's a lazy shit, but you'd NEVER type those words on your own site?

You may have started your blog in relative anonymity, but as you became more excited about the entire process of communicating with everyone at once, you naively passed out your url to everyone you know, including family, co-workers, people you met last night at that dinner party. And there you were: STUCK.

ScarbieDoll at Martinis for Milk is in such a predicament with her new job. In her own words she says,
I'm stuck peeps. I've been hiding in the real world as a result. You see a took a great job that has made me a professional and a semi-public figure -- but my online voice is completely stifled.
GoogieBaba at Mommy on the Floor wrote a post that was linked up by a popular local blogger and her traffic increased 9 fold. Now she's worried her carefully crafted and guarded anonymity might be at risk,
But when I looked through my stats, some of the visitors were from some pretty official sounding places. After learning what happened to ND, I am a little nervous. I think I do a decent job concealing my identity. However, Virgin did find me. I hadn’t even told her I had a blog. So maybe, not so much.
I really envy bloggers who have complete freedom of expression, either real or perceived. I really appreciate their appallingly raw and real thoughts and feelings. I am just not in a place to reciprocate. I keep my writing to things I'd share with a close friend if my mother were listening in and dictating to my mother-in-law.

It's my own fault, if you can call it that. I made this bed of This is Worthwhile and now I'll lay in it and stretch out as best I can.

I have kept hidden my identifying details, other than my first name and those of my friends and family, and where I live, but that's because there are a large number of readers who already know this and I find using pseudonyms exhausting. Should I call Hollis Big Fat Baby? #1? SBH? Twinkle Toes? and what about Anthony? He could be Numero Uno or Big Daddy, I suppose, but again: exhausting to think about and be vigilant about. I think it's cute other people do it, it's just not for me.

However, I have found a release: comments on other people's blogs.

In the dregs of comments I can open up more about myself and my more controversial thoughts like I can't here. I admit there is a possibility that someone I know in real life might scamper around to all my favorite haunts and thus see a little tid bit I've left, but it's a chance I'm willing to take; it's just so minuscule due to the amount of internet foraging I do in a week. I'll give anyone a $1 if they find something I've written they find either a) shocking or b) offensive in the past week anywhere on the internet.

And I don't comment anonymously EVER. I would rather set up a dummy account than leave an invisible space holder.

I've been thinking a lot lately about re-entering the job market (not that it'll be any time soon, but it will be some time). Will this blog shoot me in the foot? Am I even traceable? It's so weird that this is even an issue! I Google my name and you see a lot of my Twitter posts (I thought my name was hidden??) and other message board type things. It's weird to be that exposed.

How do you handle this? Do you worry about it coming back to haunt you? Do you just say fuck it and forge ahead? What about feedback from your family and friends?? I'm really curious as to how others have handled this.

4 comments:

  1. At first I didn't worry about what I said on my blog because no one knew who I was. Then I started sharing it with friends and family and all of a sudden I wanted to write about them and couldn't. And now I am "out" in the city meeting other local bloggers and there is no more hiding.
    I guess here, like in real life, we always have to be careful what we say because it can come back at us.

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  2. Oh my god, like if I read this "you really hate your brother's wife because she's a lazy shit," and thought, "What if she's talking about ME??" LOL!

    Write what you want, I figure if you do mention "that Angela can be a right pain in the ass" then a) I probably am and b) that's what I get for reading your blog. :)

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  3. I, too, write as though I have the mother/mother-in-law reading... because you just never know. I try to be careful in comments, too - but a little of that is because I fear someone coming back to MY blog and leaving a comment like, "But how about HERE - link - where you said this really awful thing about your mother-in-law/whoever."

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  4. I also keep a lid on it. I say that I write as if my grandmother and my boss were reading. Although now that I'm leaving the job market and re-entering it at some point is an issue, I do get a little antsy considering what a PROSPECTIVE boss would think. Anyways, I am muzzled and I'm mostly cool with it.

    But I let loose in the comments, too. I do. And in fact, I have been called on it. HOWEVER, my blog's name just happens to be my rather unusual surname. The result is that I am pretty highly Google-able. I am a little more careful now, but not that much. ;)

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