The Anonymity Thing

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‘ve never been a fan of anonymity. Never been my thing. I don’t say a whole lot, mind you. But when I do, I sign my name to it. I’ll get things wrong. I’ll change my opinion. So be it. I don’t need to hide behind anonymity to converse.

And I don’t mind when people go anonymous. It obviously became hugely popular with the internet. I once administered a message board. Before sites like Facebook emphasized real name usership. When we launched, I tried to set the standard by using my real name. Tried to show users that, because the board was new, they didn’t have to be saddle with some second tier username. You didn’t have to be Jenny1985. You could just be Jenny. But nobody bit. Not one. Because Jenny was already Jenny1985, that was her online identity.

The safety of anonymity. Some would argue the internet is amok with it. On one hand, you can speak the truth. Or the truth as you see it. On the other hand, who the fuck are you, you chickenshit anonymous douchebag?

It comes down to accountability.

I began this blog for two reasons. One, I want to keep a record of this potential career path I’m on.

Two, I figured I’d make this record public. Everything I didn’t learn by trial and error, I learned by searching the web. So I wanted to add my experiences to the collective consciousness. It’s also not a bad way to see what stories resonate with readers. This is a memoir in the making after all. Thirty years from now when I’m retired in my gold plated mansion signing my book deal, my editing will be all taken care of.

I chose anonymity. I did so so that I could be honest. Tell the stories that I’ve held off telling. See I’ve got other outlets. Social media; even another blog. But in those venues I’m identified. Therefore my relationships are identified. And it’s not that my aim is to defame anybody here. Only that I think some of the greatest cautionary tales are never told to spare feelings. And I’ve got some pretty good tales.

I’m hoping the down side isn’t going to be too hard to bear. That any relationships sprung from this blog will always be limited by my anonymity.

As for accountability, if I were you I wouldn’t believe a damn word of any of this. It may turn out to be interesting, we’ll have to see. But the fact is, whatever I report here will never be able to be accounted for. It could all be fiction for all you’ll ever know. Does that diminish its value? Welcome to accountability in the 21st century.

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11 Comments

Filed under Misadventures, The Journey

11 responses to “The Anonymity Thing

  1. Anonymity makes it more fun BECAUSE of the notion that it might be fake, but IF you DON’T read, for that reason, then you might be missing out on some awesome truth. I love that paradox.

  2. I think the limitation is all about where you place value. I think you can be just as engaging, if not more, than most bloggers that use their real names. :) Nice post!

    • T

      Agreed, you can definitely let loose. But again, if that means you have no accountability to the truth then just how liberal are you going to get with it? When does it become the blog version of “based on a true story”.

      • But we do have accountability, even under no name. Anyone can be sued these days under defamation lawsuits, at least in America you can. All they need is a point of origin to sue, your website, and even if they can’t get to you personally they can shut your words down.

        • T

          Certainly, if you’re being defamatory. That’s something I have to use or tolerance for. But there’s a slippery slope there between telling a story from your point of view and taking into account someone else’s. Or simply telling a story that someone else would rather forget. Those are the types of cautionary tales that I think make for good nuggets of wisdom to others trying to find their way in this business.

  3. I choose to be anonymous because I don’t want people I know to read my writing.

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