Monday, November 16, 2009

The Anonymity of Fame

Every once in a while, I start wondering if I could be a little less anonymous. I try hard to keep much of my identifying information to myself. Shhhh, it's a secret from the Blogosphere. I don't post pictures of my kids. I don't reveal names. You won't find our home state anywhere on this blog. I've never mentioned my husband's career or what branch of the military in which he served.

This, however, means that I must go to great lengths to keep my private life and my my little lovenest here in the blogosphere separate. Some days, I just want to tear those walls down and share with folks on both sides.

I think my kids are cute and I'd love to show you some of the adorable pictures I've taken of them over the years. I have video footage of my husband's homecoming that I wish I could post. I'd love to be able to make some videos for vlog posts. Heck, I'd like to be able to come out and say, "Yeah, that's me." I've skipped events for bloggers and twitter meetups because I'm fairly anonymous. I need to be careful so that the twitterverse and my personal life don't mix and that's very difficult to do.

Every once in a while, I go through a phase where I come *this* close to outing myself. Although, usually, when that happens, something smacks me in the face and reminds me exactly why I like my anonymity. My last outing phase came crashing down in flames when Gina at The Feminist Breeder had incidents with a stalker. That creep knew WAY too much about Gina and was harassing her. Well, that stomped all over my desire to let myself be known. Situations like that remind me exactly why I try so hard to keep my information private. On the internets, you just never know. This blog has gotten hits from all over the world. I find that both fascinating and frightening.

I can sense my inner pendulum swinging back the other way, though. I'm, once again, beginning to wonder about sharing more information.

What about you? How much information do you share? Have you ever regretted it? Has being known in the blogosphere ever helped you? Has it created problems?


TheFeministBreeder said...

You know, I've struggled with this so much. For the entire time I had a day job, I made sure there was virtually no way that anybody could connect my real name to my blog. I was so very careful about it.

And after the stalker incident... well jesus... I felt raped.

However, you have to understand that Stalker thing came out of the fact that once-upon-a-time I was in a band that had some very rabid followers, and that stalker was one of them. She followed me around for at LEAST 6 years before that incident. It wasn't some random person on the internet, and I don't believe it ever would have happened if I hadn't been in a band. That was a very unique situation.

And lately, considering the offers I've gotten for people to actually PAY me for my blog content (through sponsorships, etc) I've decided that I no longer have any interest in anonymity. I don't have a day job, and I don't have anyone to keep my advocacy efforts from. I'm coming out (sing it with me) and I want the world to know. So I created a "fan page" on Facebook, and I'll hope you fan me.

(can I also beg you to change the links in this post to cause my Typepad blog is about to be gone in a few days... I got shiny new digs.)

Reiza said...

Without getting into too many details, my family has been threatened on an online forum years ago because we're Jewish. My kids were threatened. They dug up private info on me. It was some pretty scary stuff. The people responsible have been able to find me in the past even years after I last spoke to them.

The pay offers do sound promising--very promising. It's somewhat related to one of my concerns. I'm a published writer in the real world, but I can't claim any of that material here without revealing myself. Also, anything I write here I cannot add to my résumé if I want to keep my real life and my online presence separate.

So I'm stuck. I just don't know.

Oh, I did change your main link. Let me know when you're completely switched and I'll find the links to the two specific posts and change them as well.

Phyllis Sommer said...

i wonder sometimes if i'm too "out there." but i also know that i'm a pretty public person...i already live in a fishbowl, i just made it a little bit bigger....