Does it ever strike you as odd the breadth of imagination you find on the internet? All the blogs, the websites, even the occasional oddly-poignant Tweet or mysteriously wise comment. There’s a lot of talent to be found online. The internet is a playground, and we are its children. And a lot of us are wearing the face of anonymity.
If you’re anonymous, why? Was it necessary or not? And if you aren’t anonymous, why do you use your own name?
I’ve already mentioned why I choose to be anonymous. But sometimes I think that even if that were not true I might still be. There’s a certain freedom to the act. It’s a kind of fresh start. When you log in under a username you drop the mask of your life and wear a new one. It’s like going to work, or going to visit your relative far away. You become someone you didn’t know you were, or someone you haven’t seen in a long time. Someone greater than you thought you could be. You can express your views online in a way that it is difficult to do outside the internet, and more importantly, there will always be an audience for those views. You may not find one right away, but it’ll sure be there. Of course, there are myriad problems associated with being an anonymous blogger.
Often, you can’t tell your audience about yourself, not in entirety. Some detail is fine, but some aspects of your life you might wish to use to connect with your audience can’t be shared. Not at the risk of exposing your identity. And it can deprive you of a really good post, or of a really good comment to make on a post with which you can personally empathise.
Pictures depicting you or your private life are a big no-no. This might seem trivial to some, but of course it isn’t. A lot of readers out there like to see the face behind the words they read, or they like to see pictures the blogger has personally taken. This isn’t such a big deal on a photography blog, because those sorts of bloggers tend to get out and about, but others like me who have occasionally thought about using an original picture to go along with a personal post find it difficult. What if the background is recognised by someone we know? Perhaps it’s just our paranoia, but the issue still stands.
There’s a constant wall put between you and your readers. This isn’t always so bad. Especially when your blog is not geared towards you but a hobby, like reading or photography. However, if it’s a personal blog it’s more difficult. It’s like meeting someone in real life, having a deep conversation and yet never learning their name. And as much as you like them, you might never.
There’s the constant fear of being uncovered. A friend of mine (not a blogger, but they use a social network) had their anonymous account followed by someone who knew them in real life. This person had discovered their identity behind the wall of anonymity. Nothing malicious happened, fortunately, but there is that constant fear of discovery that follows a blogger who feels the need to be anonymous. In my fact post, I was debating with myself for some time on what to include, knowing full well that too much information could be detrimental to my anonymity.
But in spite of the detractions, there are still many benefits to blogging anonymously. Your reason behind it can actually help you connect to your readers, anonymity allows for freedom of expression and you can build bridges with other bloggers without being weighted down by your past or your life. Going online is rather like going abroad; you can build a whole new life without having to lose what makes you, you. And that keeps me going. Blogging is the wonderful new journey where I don’t have to hide myself. 😉
I Tweet now. Yes, this is very possibly the most foolish thing I’ve ever done. I’ve never used Twitter before. It was a spur-of-the-moment thing, much like beginning a blog. In the next few months I may either come to regret it or come to love it; I suppose I’ll have to wait and see. Care to see too? If you want a follow, feel free to drop a link below.