Being Anonymous

17 Apr

A huge big thank you goes out to all of the awesome bloggers who wrote for me  to help me celebrate my one year blogoversary – Helene,  Dazediva, Single Girlie, Single City Guy, Simone and The Hopeful Romantic – I really do appreciate it! I hope that I managed to successfully showcase a small taste of a few of the blogs I’ve discovered in the past year? There are lots of other bloggers whose work I adore, all of whom I’ve connected with since I started this journey but for now, The Single Filez is back to being  just me myself & I.

The guest posts from Single City Guy and Simone from Skinny Dip got me thinking about my own anonimity. To be completely honest, the idea of whether or not I should come out and reveal my identity has actually been something I’ve played with many times over the past year.

These days I communicate with plenty of dating/relationship bloggers who are ‘out and proud’, and it doesn’t stop them from doing what they do.  I see bloggers making videos, posting photos, sharing their blog posts with friends on their Facebook wall and getting feedback from people who know them – sometimes I want that. Sometimes I wish I could show off what I do. I look at my site, I read my posts and I feel a sense of pride. Sometimes I wish I could share that pride with my family and friends.

I have two Twitter accounts. There are a small handful of people who follow me on both, some know the secret but most don’t. This means I have to be careful about what I tweet and make sure they don’t overlap. I feel like I’m living a double life! I do tell friends and family about the dates I go on… but I just don’t tell them that I write about the dates and share it with people all over the world.

There are times when I write about my lack of confidence with men, about the fact guys don’t approach me when I’m out, about the fact that I haven’t had sex in forever (one year, nine months but who’s counting?) and I wonder what people who read this stuff think I  look like. The obvious thing to think would be that I  look like a monster. Sometimes I wish they knew who I was so they’d see I’m actually quite a decent looking chick.

When I asked the question about anonymity on my Facebook page, I received the most brilliant answer:

“Remain anonymous. You may find that if you share you may start to hold back. The beauty with anonymity is you can let go without being judged. Share your inner most thoughts (within reason) without having to take on board your family and friends comments. Keep it as it is. “

So yes, there are many reasons for staying a secret. I don’t think it will last forever, I’ve started socialising in real life with far too many people on Twitter to not expect my identity to be revealed at some point. However, for now, I’m happy to keep being anonymous.

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16 Responses to “Being Anonymous”

  1. Judy April 17, 2011 at 12:04 PM #

    Really interesting post! I think being anonymous is probably the better of the two – your Facebook commenter puts it perfectly. I sometimes write about dating on my blog (who doesn’t want to be Carrie Bradshaw?!) but I am all too aware that people I work with, friends, even my dad who has my web address could be reading it and hearing my innermost fears/problems/insecurities etc. I definitely wish I’d done it anonymously on a separate site but then as a journalist I wanted to have a site that showcases the writing I can and want to do. Argh!

    I reckon you’ll know when/if it’s time to ‘come out’ and when you do, the people you know will be proud of you – it’s a great blog and will be all the more successful by the time you do tell them! xx

    • TheSingleFilez April 17, 2011 at 9:49 PM #

      Thanks hun, appreciate it. I can see how having work colleagues and parents read about the details of my dating life might be kind of tricky.

      I think I’d absolutely die if my Dad read my posts about being celibate or about my Daddy issues! *cringe*

  2. trininista April 17, 2011 at 12:07 PM #

    My present blog which is really me rambling is a perfect example of holding back because people know who you are. My old blog, where only my closest friend (singular) knew it was me, was a really great channel to talk about EVERYTHING. Sometimes you need a channel where you can unload without fear of professional, personal or social reprisal. But it is a personal decision.

    • TheSingleFilez April 17, 2011 at 9:50 PM #

      “Sometimes you need a channel where you can unload without fear of professional, personal or social reprisal” <– Very true!

  3. trininista April 17, 2011 at 12:33 PM #

    And girl, trust me, my dating life over the years can make a really great bestseller. lol. Even then though, I may defo use a pen name!

  4. Single Mom's Dating Diary April 17, 2011 at 3:26 PM #

    First, let me say I love your blog. I can relate and I appreciate your honesty.

    I totally get your perspective about remaining anonymous and I couldn’t agree more. It’s totally a double edged sword because while I work so hard at it and I am proud of what I’m trying to do, I keep it on the down low. Most of the people I have shared it with from my real life, are uncomfortable reading it anyway, which is weird to me.

    I’m enjoying it and I feel like I have an evil twin. Sometimes, if I’m unsure of what to do, I think well my evil twin would do that, so let’s go for it. I wish you the best and I look forward to reading more! Smooches, The Single Mom

    • TheSingleFilez April 20, 2011 at 10:59 PM #

      Thank you for reading. Here’s to the evil twin! 😉

  5. Dont Be a Slut April 17, 2011 at 8:29 PM #

    A really interesting dilemma, and one I’ve faced with my own blog. Initially, I thought I would write and post anonymously … but then I discovered that Facebook was a powerful tool for getting the word out about my posts. So, I threw caution to the wind and blogged openly. Doing so caused problems with some of the people closest to me, but opened up new channels of communication with high-school friends and other people I hadn’t kept in touch with.

    In the last six months, however, I’ve gone back to being semi-anonymous. I still post on Facebook, and people who know me still know about my blog. But, the unintended consequence of being out in the open was Google. I didn’t want HR recruiters knowing all about my sex life in a bad economy when I was out of work. So I removed my name and photo from Twitter, NetworkedBlogs, my blog, etc. and have been about 80% successful in removing my blog from my Google results.

    Anyway, it’s an interesting issue.

    Follow your gut … your gut seems to like anonymity.

    • TheSingleFilez April 21, 2011 at 7:01 AM #

      Wow. It was a very brave step to opening up your blog to your friends and family on Facebook. For some reason, I feel the people closest to me would judge me more than strangers – I maybe completely wrong, but it’s a feeling I have.

      However, I do know that if I put my name to the blog I would get way more traffic and more followers on Twitter too!

      You’re totally right. For now, my gut likes and feels very comfortable with anonymity 😉

  6. Solo @ 30 April 17, 2011 at 10:27 PM #

    As you may or may not recall, my anonymity was compromised last year due to my sloppiness having my other twitter account be a friend with my dating twitter account. When my then boyfriend found my blog, i felt naked and exposed,as well as violated. It’s refreshing to have a “private” place where you can bare as little or as much as you want and not feel so judged, as so much of your audience is made up of people you will never meet in person (though i have met some and wish to meet more).

    Some people are totally free sharing their dating and sexual life with any and every one. I admire that. Sometimes I write some really good posts that I’d love to share with my friends…but I don’t want them to read about my guide to having good sex. So for now, anonymity suits me just fine.

    You’ll know if and when you’re ready to open up your blog.

    • TheSingleFilez April 21, 2011 at 7:11 AM #

      Urgh. I can’t imagine the horror you must’ve felt when your boyfriend found your blog. What a nightmare!

      You’re right, it’s soooo refreshing to have a “private” place where I can bare what I want and not feel so judged. I love meeting people I’ve bonded with via Twitter but so much of my audience is made up of people I’d never meet in person – so much so that I still feel some sense of being anonymous. For now, it’s a feeling that I like!

  7. Little Miss Random April 18, 2011 at 12:01 AM #

    Hiya,

    I’m definitely all for anonymity. I prefer that as it gives me the leeway to write everything that I want to write. When a friend of mine figured out who I was, I found myself holding back just a little, and deleting posts because while I was happy to write about some subjects while I was still anonymous, I found myself hesitating because I wanted to keep my views/experiences private from friends as well.

    So, yes, anonymity’s the way to go for me, although I have met some people in real life who know who I am now. It’s tough, given how far the Internet pervades.

  8. justmewith April 18, 2011 at 2:13 AM #

    Oh my gosh, this really hits home. I just started blogging a couple of weeks ago, anonymously. I haven’t connected anything to my real life faceoook account because I don’t want people I know to read my blog. I have two twitters. We don’t follow each other. Feel psychotic. I write about dating, divorce and kids and other stuff. I want to talk about my peculiar situation (twins times 2) but just the other day I saw someone did a search to find my blog that someone who was looking for me would use. Paranoia has set in. Do I want my Ex and his GF to know I haven’t had sex in a long time? No No No. I also used to lecture on social media and employment. The party line on that is to never put anything personal on the net. ugh. Not heeding my own advice. So I remain anonymous, waiting to be found (if I haven’t been found already). ugh. So trying not to hold back but it is hard. I’ll figure it out I guess. ugh

  9. Si April 18, 2011 at 7:11 AM #

    This is a tricky one and you have to do what’s comfortable for you.
    Myself and some friends have been blogging for just under a year out in the open with links to FB and everthing!
    The thing is when I first started it was just a bit of fun for a few close friends to read, however as it’s grown I do find being out there is a bit sticky at times haha.
    For example just yesterday I shared a post on my FB and trying to jazz it up and draw people in I indicated that one of us is single and I was told that was not a good thing by my fellow blogger.
    Another downside to being out is that when blogging and in a relationship you have to be careful what you say bcos an insecure bf may take offense with what you say, not my bf personally but some of my fellow authors bf’s.
    Anonymity also affords you the ability to not hold back.
    Which when open you have to think about who you might offend family/ friends wise.
    Also I had to defriend my work colleagues from FB for fear of them knowing occasionally if I’m pushed I might share during work hours!
    If I had to do it again I think I would have choose the anon blogger root just bcos it would have been easier!
    However as an open blogger my philosophy is that I don’t really have nothing to hide so the blog is an honest representation of me.

  10. Si April 18, 2011 at 7:27 AM #

    Actually scratch what I just said above about an honest reflection of me.
    Having given it some more thought (in the shower!) I realized if I was anonymous and blogging by myself then woah! haha because half the things I want to say in all honesty I can’t!
    So I would suggest you stay anonymous until your ready for worrying MORE about who you might offend.

  11. Natalie April 20, 2011 at 1:52 PM #

    Interesting dilemma that I went through. I’m blogging almost seven years and out of the closet just over five. I don’t regret not being anonymous but it does change how you write a personal blog because what you write about others impacts them or it feels more personal when you put yourself out there. You also have to be prepared for friends and family questioning you about it – people still ask me if I’m going to mention something. I’ve had a couple of very negative experiences that are directly linked to no longer being anonymous, but actually, stepping out has overwhelming been positive and given me authority, a career, and friendships. Enjoy the anonymity and if and when you’re ready, it’s a lot of fun being out there.

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