Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Anonymity

It's a funny thing, anonymity. When I set up this blog, I chose to remain anonymous, at least insofar as not revealing my name or face, even not divulging my location or vocation for a while. This is all quite common practice in blogland, so no surprises there.

But the more blogs I visited, the more I realized that lots of people did not opt for anonymity. At least, they appeared not to. We have no real way of knowing that the names and profile pics people use are genuine. For example, some people may think that the normal-sounding name Sue Ellen Mischke is the real moniker of the blogger at I've Made a Huge Mistake. Those who have been ardent viewers of Seinfeld will know otherwise.

What is interesting, though, is how the realms of anonymity change. For me, anyway. I have put pictures of my face, albeit just the eyes or just the lips; I have put pictures of my tattoos; I have revealed information about my job. All of this stuff means that anyone who knows me would certainly recognize me from my blog.

Beyond this, I have a reasonably large circle of blogmates now. And in many ways, these blogmates are no different to real mates. Something happened over the weekend that made Wife and me laugh a lot. The first thing we thought was, Can we blog about this? But it was of such a personal nature that neither of us wants to! Because that anonymity is almost not there anymore. Strange.

It's not like I set this up to be a total say-what-I-could-never-say-to-my-friends fest, but it's interesting that certain things shall remain unsaid. I shan't be revealing details of my sex life on here. It's not that I think people shouldn't. Absolutely, I think people should! But I won't be.

I assume everyone has something they won't reveal. Maybe it's only their real name; apart from that, anything goes. Maybe it's that they are KKK or BNP members. Maybe they hate Arabs, or Jews, or gays. Maybe they were molested as a child. Maybe they've got a month to live. Of course, the secrets could be nice ones too: a teddy-bear collection; a regular giver to charity; a Samaritans helpline worker.

So, what's your secret? I pretty much expect no comments here! But if you're here and you feel like sharing, click the anonymous option in the comments box and go ahead. Thanks.

26 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am pregnant.

(no fair using the site meter to devulge me!)

19 July, 2006 14:04  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i shot at some birds as a kid with an airgun. I was never a good shot, so maybe i did'nt hit any, but I still dont like that i tried.

19 July, 2006 15:35  
Blogger Ranting Dullard said...

oooh this is like a confessional. What a good idea.

Ok, Im in the lancashire regiment of the KKK. But we are strictly politicaly correct. Any racist nonsense and we burnt them.

Its ok not to share your sex life though, I really dont want to know.

19 July, 2006 15:42  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Anon 1: Congrats. (Even if I were to check my sitemeter, I certainly wouldn't reveal.)

Anon 2: Yeah, that's not nice, but kids will be kids, I guess...

RD: Confessional, or kind of like Post Secrets, maybe. I've got a feeling you're not being serious, though! And the sex life thing: yeah, I figured that too.

19 July, 2006 15:52  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't use your stat counter on me either, I have a clever way of avoiding it ;-)
Well er... this blogging business feels very familiar to me, I quite like having invisible friends who I can chat to. I chatted to and fell in love with my boyfriend over the internet (I saw his handsome pic on msn profile and sent him an email) for 3 months before we met. If people ask us how we met we always say 'through friends' as we're embarrassed/can't be arsed to explain as some people think it's geeky.

19 July, 2006 16:45  
Blogger Birdman said...

I am Bruce Forsyth.

19 July, 2006 17:16  
Blogger Spangly Princess said...

anonymous: my last 2 serious relationships were through people I met online. so am no longer embarrassed about owning up to that.

my secrets? well if I tell you, then they won't be secrets any more will they....

19 July, 2006 19:02  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I miss the life I used to have, the one I left 7 years ago.

19 July, 2006 19:30  
Blogger Suze said...

Interesting post. All the images on our blog are of me or Alex and we are careful how they are cropped.

But if someone who knew us looked at the images they may be able to work out who we are.

I hope they don't as we write some very frank and open posts about our sex life and sexuality. ;)

19 July, 2006 21:07  
Blogger the cappuccino kid said...

i constantly wonder if i was adopted. i have nothing at all in common with either of my parents, but i am turning into an amalgum of them both!

20 July, 2006 08:35  
Blogger Pie said...

I get really paranoid every now and then and destroy everything with any reference to me, I don't own any photos older than three years ago except my wedding photos, a few months ago I destroyed a computer completely, I change my phone number and email address every six months or so.

Ooh, and I secretly wish I could go to a Kylie Minogue concert.

20 July, 2006 10:13  
Blogger Kate said...

I'm a fully paid up member of the Cliff Richard fan club.

Actually, I'm not, but if I told you my secrets then they wouldn't be secrets. Ok, that's a kop out - so I will admit to a secret liking for the Monkees. Hey, I'm over 30, I don't need to be cool anymore.

20 July, 2006 10:45  
Blogger Cynnie said...

Aww..I wish I had a secret..
I'm great at keeping other peoples secrets..but I suck at keeping my own..
Actually..
I'm queen of too much information..
bummer..
Great question *!

20 July, 2006 13:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I pretended I liked the Bay City Rollers because my friends did.

anon # 3...I met my husband thru yahoo chat...makes me laugh I'm a e-mail bride.

20 July, 2006 14:48  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

*e-mail ORDER bride*

fuckit mussed it up.

20 July, 2006 14:49  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Anon 3: Nice one. I'm sure lots of people still think it's dodgy to "meet someone" online.

Birdman: I know that's not true because your blog is funny and Bruce Forsyth is not.

Spangly: Some people like to get something off their chest, though, no? Wife kept a secret from me for ten years; kept it from everyone. Then last month she discovered that everyone in her hometown knows anyway!

Anon 4: Thamks for sharing.

Suze: So you mean your names aren't Alex and Suze?! Funny getting email to our made-up names, isn't it? I wonder would anyone confront you if they thought it was you on the blog, or would they just keep schtum?

Cappy: I think we all wonder that from time to time! Scary, isn't it?

Pie: That must cost you a small fortune every few months.

Kate: Monkees are not as bad as Cliff. You gave me a scare for a moment there!

Cyn: It's nice to know you can keep a secret.

Anon 5: That's funny about BCR! They were so bad, weren't they?!

20 July, 2006 15:47  
Blogger Candy Minx said...

I am Tori Spelling.

20 July, 2006 16:07  
Blogger tideliar said...

Hmmm...I was just talking about this to LDBug earlier. I used to be anonymous, and now I'm not (it's real easy to find out my real name, work place and everything from my blog if you try)...I was debating starting a new blog to get some stuff off my chest. But the narcissist in me would then "comment" on tidylies and try and generate more readership >:)

half the time you divulge secrets for shock value. Fuck catharsis.

20 July, 2006 22:36  
Blogger the cappuccino kid said...

i HAVE been to a spice girls concert. when geri was still with them. i took my oldest niece, but i still feel dirty! this has cleansed me a bit.

21 July, 2006 09:03  
Blogger Pie said...

I stole my best friend's mum's bra when I was ten and hid it under my bed. When my parents found it I blamed it on my brother and he got grounded.

21 July, 2006 09:51  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Candy: Hmm, not sure about that!

Cappy: That is a dirty secret...

Pie: Good job!

22 July, 2006 07:11  
Blogger the cappuccino kid said...

the really scary thing is I ENJOYED IT.

hail mary full of grace etc. (and i aint catholic)

24 July, 2006 01:59  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Nooooooooooo!

24 July, 2006 09:20  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have been certified by 5 psychiatrists

25 July, 2006 07:29  
Blogger MORALLY DIMINISHED said...

Am blogging from Bangkok, and the powers that be here would/could/should (eventually) beat my ass if it wasn't an anonymous ass.

Mister "Anonymous said" seems altruistic at times of praise, yet a cowardly gimp in times of hatred...

Regards, anonymous

17 August, 2006 22:43  
Blogger Karen said...

Virgin by choice

19 October, 2006 15:31  

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