As I write this, I’m not sure where I’m going to post it. I maintain two separate online identities, neither of which is a fully accurate representation of me. But more on that later.
The holidays tend to be a time of introspection for me. I’m currently in Hollywood for a week for my husband’s company Christmas party. I’m not very interested in celebrities, fashion, or spending gobs of money, so that leaves me with little to do while he’s in the office. I find myself with a lot of time for hot baths and writing things like this.
Several months ago, I created a new online identity for myself. I wanted a space where I could talk about controversial topics without worrying about them showing up on a casual Google search of my name. This seems to have caused more problems than it solved, though. My attention is split, and I’m forced to compartmentalize my thoughts for two different venues. Having two different accounts on social media sites makes it more difficult to stay caught up on what my friends and family are up to. My life feels more cluttered, and I detest clutter.
On top of that, even under a false name, I have to censor myself. Sure, I can talk about the more salacious details of my life without worry, but because I’m trying to stay anonymous, mundane personal details have to be scrubbed away.
I’m considering abandoning the new identity and only blogging under my real name. It would simplify things immensely. The question, of course, is how much do I value my privacy?
Honestly, I’m not a very private person. If it was just me, I wouldn’t care what details of my life might be out there, but I have a husband and a daughter to consider as well. Part of my motivation was the fear that, if my husband were to lose his job, my eccentricity might hurt him in the search for a new one. Or what if some day we wanted to get our daughter into a fancy private school? If I lay my entire life out there for anyone to see, that leaves my family exposed as well.
But let’s be realistic: my husband works in web development, a field that tends towards the liberal and eccentric. I have a hard time picturing him being happy at a company that wouldn’t want him just because his wife is a little weird. And as for my daughter...well, the same reasoning applies. I probably wouldn’t want to send her anywhere that would turn its nose up at me.
And what of the other looming fear--that some of my more tech-savvy relatives could come across my rants and ruminations and engage me in some very uncomfortable conversations? Well...as time goes on I seem to care about that less and less. Somehow I suspect those conversations would be far more uncomfortable for them than for me, and as such, they’re unlikely to occur.
Going back to using my real name would still be a big step out of my comfort zone, though. There’s a lot of reassurance to be found in knowing my writing can’t be easily traced back to me. But as I've been discovering, blogging anonymously is a bit out of my comfort zone as well.