The Power of Anonymity

mysterious

When I started this little blog nearly two years ago, I was struggling with mental health issues and I was desperate to protect myself and maintain a level of anonymity – I’ve heard many horror stories over the years of hacked accounts and personal information being stolen and shared (even within the workplace) and I wanted this to be a place in which I could share my real thoughts, issues and feelings without fear of judgement.

Creating a blog was the best decision I have ever made. This little space of the internet has introduced me to a wonderful community of people who have not only provided me with support, but they made me realise that I am not alone and it is ok to stand up and say ‘I’m struggling.’ I am not being melodramatic when I say that it has changed my life for the better.

As the months went by, my confidence grew – I started to receive some brilliant feedback, I became more trusting of people and started to share my blog’s existence with those around me. Now, everyone who is important to me in my personal life knows, and lots of them follow Suzie81 Speaks by either email or across my social media accounts.

There are both positive and negative sides to this. After reading some of my posts I have been able to build some bridges with formerly estranged family members as it has allowed them them to finally see my point of view. I’ve been told by some of my friends that it has given them a better understanding of who I am as a person. My friends and family have also inadvertently contributed to the growth of the blog by sharing my posts across their social media accounts. I’ve been pleasantly surprised and extremely grateful for their support.

Unfortunately, the negative aspect is that I now feel a little restricted in what I can write about and the depth at which I can divulge my personal thoughts experiences. Two years ago I was sending my ramblings out into a nameless, faceless space of nothingness. While I write for me and always have, I am conscious of the fact that I have an audience of real people, some of whom I know and see regularly.

On days like today, I would like to use this space to say what I really think. This is the beauty of anonymity – the ability to be able to let go without the fear of consequence, but the little voice at the back of my mind is reminding me of who will read it. I live quite a ‘vanilla’ existence – I haven’t done anything bad, I don’t have any dark and dirty secrets that I wish to spill out to the world, but I would love to have the power to be able to say ‘this really p*ssed me off.’

Because lots of things have p*ssed me off recently.

What about you? Do your family and friends know about your blog? Does the audience you have in your personal life dictate what you write about?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks

119 thoughts on “The Power of Anonymity

  1. I really relate to this. I definitely feel more restricted the longer I am blogging especially as my parents are now following me!I struggle with it as I should be old enough to write what I like but we intentionally don’t talk about the issues that divide us and I see little point in upsetting them at their age so I try to be careful but at the same time get across what I need too. Also acquaintances and people who know me by sight are now reading quite personal stuff and that feels weird. Maybe it is a natural progression in blogging. I think it is making me want to concentrate on the quality of my writing rather than content. Still, I am conflicted about it…

    • I totally agree – I find it quite difficult to be able to really say what I think in case iot causes conflict. Not that I would be saying anything bad about my family and friends, but things have a habit of seeping out to other places…

  2. My family do not know I have a blog but some of my friends do. I don’t mind them reading because it’s good to get views but I feel sometimes they may judge what I write therefore I limit myself.

      • I guess I blog whatever I want then just before posting I check to see that if one of my friends saw it, there would be no reason to be embarrassed by it. I may just be paranoid because they are supportive about my blog.

      • I have to do the same – while i know that I wouldn’t say anything negative about my friends, I always read and re-read posts that i’ve written about my personal life just in case I have divulged too much…

  3. I wrote a post a little similar to this one the other day- personally I tend to forget, or just not think, about the fact that lots of strangers read my blog. I tend to write what I want, but sometimes someone in my real life will read and it might upset them. I try and be careful- but you can’t please everyone all of the time and have to write for you X

    • Totally agree. Sometimes it has been a good thing that I upset someone – my estranged sister was really hurt by something that i had written and it gave us an opportunity to talk and mend a few bridges, which was good.

  4. I hear you on the power of anonymity thing. On my darker days, I fantasize about creating a second, anonymous blog to fully rant and rage. But then the moment passes. Right now, I find it is most beneficial for me to create from my positive side.

  5. For your most private thoughts that no one should ever read, I think you should do the old fashioned diary… under lock and key! You still write the words, get your frustration out, and no one needs to know. Or, you can start another blog with a more protected presence for those times. ❤ How about changing the names and places and creating a short story…? Just email if you do that so I know who you are talking about! LOL… I love how you think Suzie! 😀

  6. That’s a good question. For me? No. I am just the cat. Some close family knows about the blog, but not beyond that, because if I wrote a blog that everyone in my personal life knew about, then everyone in my personal life would read it. *Scary* Plus, I’m really lame about social media and whatnot. I just signed up for twitter ummmm… This week. (Shame)

    • Thanks very much! When I started it I hadn’t intended on anyone knowing about it, but over a long period of time I have let it slip to people… I find it quite scary that they read it, and some enjoy it! I’m lucky to have their support, but it’s a catch 22 situation.

      • It is indeed. I like when my sister calls to tell me how much she liked my post… But I also find it sort of limiting that she can never be involved in anything I write. Especially if it was something that ended up crapping out. I think you’re right, it’s just a question of time.

  7. I blogged years ago at other sites and used made up names so my mother and other relatives wouldn’t know who I was. I wrote a lot of erotic poems and I didn’t want them to know that I had “obscene” thoughts and desires. However, my friends knew who I was and one accidentally let the cat out of the bag. I had a long heart-to-heart with my mom and we got things worked out to where I wasn’t apologizing every time I blogged about my sexual feelings and escapades. Now, she and the rest of my family let me blog with no interference. In fact, very few of them read my current blog. In a way, we all matured and have moved on.

    • I think it was very brave of you to be able to blog about it, and then discuss it with your family. I’m a teacher, and I have to be extremely careful about any form of sexual content in my posts because there is the genuine risk that I could lose my job if any of my students saw it. Kudos to you!

      • I know that feeling/fear of losing your job all too well. There was a time when I worked for a bank that our boss monitored our internet and public social life. What we did outside the workplace was fair game, and one girl was fired because she got drunk at a local tavern and badmouthed our boss. My coworkers and I were forced to create private blogs and live in secrecy. A close friend called it fascism and nicknamed our boss Little Hitler. We did feel like we were shackled to the company and had lost our freedoms of speech and privacy. It was scary to think we could be discovered and fired because of our activities, which weren’t illegal by law but by corporate contracts. Luckily, I wasn’t caught and was able to let off some pent up steam to others like me, which was much cheaper than talking to psychiatrists. Be brave, Suzie, in your decision to write honestly, even if it means living a secret life from your employer and students.

  8. I’ve been outed so have to live with that. However most friends and family follow me on facebook so I don’t always post my link if it’s a little bit personal.
    Sometimes I think of writing a post and keeping it private so at least I’ve written it. However I haven’t actually done that yet.

      • I got selected as a finalist in the Irish Blog Awards and some people found out. Now they follow me on fb but I don’t always link my post to my fb page. I’m getting used to it now, but recently when I did my letter on abuse I was a bit reluctant in case they saw it, but I survived.:)

  9. I never knew that you started your blog anonymously, but I can certainly see the appeal of doing so. I guess it gives you a greater freedom of speech and less worry about friends and family members reading your personal posts. Only a few people of my friends read my blog, but admittedly, more and more are climbing on board! It certainly makes me think twice when I write about certain topics.

    An interesting post exploring both avenues from a positive and a negative way. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks Amanda! I still don’t include names, places or really personal details, but when I started I was ‘Suzie81’ and I had a very old picture. I didn’t tell anyone except The Bloke at first.

  10. I don’t keep my blog a secret – my family and friends all know it’s there. They probably don’t all read it. I have a general rule of thumb that I try to avoid upsetting or offending anyone. I don’t always succeed, but the blogosphere’s a big place so there’s probably always someone who could get narked. (Gosh, autocorrect just changed that word to “naked”. Now THAT would be shocking.)

    • Haha! To be fair, from what I’ve seen from the Internet there is always someone who would get naked! Thanks my lovely – it’s great that you can be so honest me open with your family and friends!

  11. I keep my blog anonymous from all but two friends. One I shared it with and the other stumbled upon. Because I trust them I haven’t stopped writing, but I won’t let anyone else I know read it. It’s the only way I can write as freely as I can.

      • Initially I went into a slight panic and fixed the situation, but then I was okay with it because of who it was that had found it. (It was this woman I had gone to grade school with.) The only time it wasn’t that easy was when the person who had found my blog was my ex’s daughter. It was different because I was not only writing about her father, but I was writing about her as well. And knowing she was reading it was daunting. But I decided I was going to keep writing anyway. This was my blog and no one was going to stop me from writing it. If she didn’t like what I had to say, too bad. She didn’t have to read it.

  12. I’m glad you feel more comfortable to open up and reach out to family friends now. I also can relate to the ambivalence when you want to write uncensored…not worrying about hruting anyone’s feelings. I started traces after I had 2 other blogs. This is where I let it all hang out. I have finally told my followers who I am “in real life” but still have not shred my blog with friends or family. this is my place, my haven…so I think I know how you are feeling. In March it will be 2 years I started my blog at Traces as well.

  13. I have this problem, too. My blog is read by friends, family and co-workers (boss). There are times I’d like to gripe about work but can’t. There may be times I’d like to complain or share things about family but can’t because my sons and hubby may read it. I have to stop and re-read many times before posting just to be certain I’m not hurting feelings or hurting myself in the long run.

    • I’m in exactly the same situation. Because I’ve been so open about being a teacher, I have t be extremely careful because there is the very real risk that I could lose my job if one of my students finds it…

  14. If one doesn’t want their friends and family to read their writings, simply do not share with them the blog, the Facebook profile, the whatever social media you’re on. It’s crystal clear that sooner or later you wont have the same privacy as if none of them knew about your virtual existence.
    The solution is very simple: create two blogs and keep one truly yours, just as you like it to be: a space for your deepest or simplest thoughts without the worry of what others may think or say.

  15. I was using the dog’s name on my blog until yesterday. It’s great not having to worry about what you’re posting when people don’t know your identity but blog and reality have started to collide and that can be awkward/confusing. Family and friends have gradually found out what I’m up to anyway so (after a fair amount of fretting!) I decided to start using my real name. It’s a weight off my shoulders for future blog-reality collisions but it’ll probably make me worry more about future posts.

    My punishment for dog name theft and dishonesty is going through every single post and changing them to my real name. Serves me right 😉

    • Haha! I read several blogs that use the name of their pets – it’s a good way of putting something real of you out there without anyone realising! Sorry it took you so long to change it all!

  16. I share my blog posts on my facebook page for all the world to see. It hasn’t stopped me from writing whatever I want. I think partly what I have learned over the years is that I’m the only one that is always going to be here for me and around me. I need to be able to hold my head up and know that I did things that I can be proud of. That’s what I do when I post. If I don’t think it is something I can be okay with saying, “Yeah, I did that” then I don’t do it. I may rant about something and sometimes do. People that visit my blog know I am a Christian and before my accident I was almost like a super Christian with all my involvement, but my views and opinions about Biblical things and society issues are not what Church traditions are. I have a very, Jesus view of things. Jesus sat down with everyone to eat and talked to everyone. I have at times written things that totally contradict the church I go to and my ‘friends’ from that church on facebook, but I’m good with it. I think it needs to be said so people know what things really are, regardless of what some people want them to be.

    I encourage you, Suzie Speaketh, to Speak on. Say what you want and need to say and free your mind and soul of what ails you and let it flow. Those who know you for real and love you for real will realize they have those moments too, they just don’t have the nerve or perhaps integrity to say it. You have a good sized audience and you have an opportunity to let a lot of people know you are like them and things are okay with being, um, ticked off at times.

    Much Love and Respect to You My Friend,
    Ronovan

    • As always, Ron, you’re an inspiration. This is something I tell my students – the one person that will always be with you for the rest of your life is you, so it’s important to like yourself and be proud of what you do. I don’t have a faith, but I do respect others rights to believe in what they wish, as long as they aren’t banging on my door and telling me that I should believe the same as they do

  17. I haven’t told my friends and family about my blog as I wanted it to be something I did for myself and not just read by my friends and family. A few people I know in ‘real-life’ now know about it but it’s mostly read by people I’ve never met and that’s how I like it!

    • So interesting you should say that (!) I write a blog that’s mostly funny fond memories of growing up in a small Midwestern (American) town. Often I feature warm anecdotes about family members, which my readers seem to enjoy. But no matter how hard I try, I can’t get my family to read them!

      • Even if I send them a piece thru email, they won’t read it. My Mom does, tho. I just love my mom. If you have a sec, take a peek at my stuff: alicewhitmoresblog.com (or, if you look thru WordPress, it’s lutheranliar looks at life) Thanks in advance! BTW, enjoyed your review of Boyhood (!)

      • Only two in my supposed family know about it. I’ve had to manually show it (to my mother), and the other (my aunt) admits to never looking. Everyone else is out of contact.

  18. I understand. My blog has a positive, optimistic theme. There are days when I am anything but those things, and I choose not to post during those times but it makes me feel like I’m not being “real” some days. I would like the outlet to rant at times as well!

  19. In a way, some days, I wish I had created my blog anonymously. There are other things I would like to speak of, and although I’m not worried for the unknown world reading those posts, I guess some family members/friends I worry will get offended. But thinking about it, I’ve too often worried about who I might offend, when in reality I’m the one I need to be worrying about.

    • I can totally relate to everything you’ve said. Isn’t it strange how we don’t have a problem with sending our personal thoughts out to potentially millions of people yet we worry about the few that we know in real life?

  20. I totally feel you here. I recently made a few missteps of being too “personal” on Twitter, where the whole world can see my real name and real photo… and it’s the same with my blog. I’m sure I’ve put the link where my family can see it, though I’m almost 100% sure they couldn’t care enough to read my stuff. If I knew they did, it would make me terribly self-conscious, even if I was only blogging about books, etc.

  21. Recently, too, I gave one of my sisters information on how to find my fanfiction online. Since fanfics are seen as “not real writing”, etc., it was a big thing for me to trust her with – if she used that link for ill, the whole family would have the opportunity to mock me forever. So far she hasn’t abused the trust I gave her, but I still think I shouldn’t have revealed my online persona like that.

    • Both of my sisters read and regularly share my posts through their social media accounts. Me and my youngest sister have always had a poor relationship and it was when she read something I had written about her and my regrets about our relationship that she apologised and we have started to get along much better, so it’s been quite a positive thing. I hope your sister continues to be respectful with your blog

  22. I kept a travel blog last year mainly to keep my family and friends updated on my whereabouts as I’m not on facebook. I really enjoyed this cyber-journaling experience and I recieved many positive remarks when I returned home. I found I missed this creative outlet so decided to challenge myself to a daily blog as part of a New Year’s resolution. I also wanted to stay anonymous, probably as a self esteem issue, so created a different blog address, and told not a familiar soul.

    I happened to one day mention it to a friend who had followed my previous blog but who also is looking at ways of self improvement and the ultimate goal of happiness. I’m not sure why I did this but there must have been some deep seated psychological/emotional issue, either to help her or to start the process of allowing myself out of the box so to speak. You see although there is a freeing aspect of anonymity, true life does have a degree of sensorship to it. Although I may at many times think like Ally McBeal and scream at the top of my lungs in my imaginary thought bubbles, my outward actions and emotions are polite and sensible, more like the true me.

    So on this very day, my friend started following me. I always knew this day would come, as she perused my former posts whilst I sat nervously beside her. I’m interested to see if my posts change but I hope not. I still haven’t told my immediate family. Baby steps.

    • I think it’s great that you’ve got such a supportive friend. You must have wanted someone in your life to know about it, or you would have kept it a secret and I’m so pleased that it’s working out for you! Don’t feel that you have to tell anyone else – as you say, baby steps!

  23. Now everyone knows about my blog. When I started in 2005 only 4 IRL people knew of it and that was enough to restrict what I wrote. Sometimes I wish I had another blog where I could just write and talk personally with people. I know you said that you limit some of what you say, but I think it was your personal approach when you started that drew people to you. It’s a shame you feel the need to hide some things now.

  24. I love your blog Suzie and the honesty and emotionality of it. You share more than me and I admire you for that. In a way a lot of the subject matter you tackle are things I am not brave enough to tackle myself. I can relate to this issue of anonymity as I have this myself on my blog. I dont know how to rectify it for you or have the answer. Other than to say that the more you are honest and real then more people will respond and identify with what you are saying. I guess that includes your family and friends too. Hmmm…an alternative would be to start up another blog and not let your family and friends know about it?

    • Thanks so much for such a lovely comment! I have thought about creating another blog but the problems are time constraints – I find it difficult to keep up with this one! If my circumstances change I’ll certainly look into it!

  25. When I started my blog I knew right away that I wanted to keep it rather to myself for these very reasons; I wanted my blog to be a place where I expressed myself, my emotions, freely. A few friends know about/read my blog, but I don’t advertise it much. My parents don’t really know about it, and, unless someone is interested enough to ask me for a link specifically, I don’t pass it around. I’m sure it limits my blog’s numbers, but it makes me feel more comfortable expressing myself.

  26. Thank you for your recent like over on Grace Notes…I noticed your article when I curiously clikkity clikked over to yours, and read this.

    Here is what has happened for me: I gradually established some real relationships thanks to WP, and now I have a couple of girlfriends that I never had before, and then are such a great source of advice, counsel and encouragement.

    SO that way, I can write about what I want on the blog, and then write about the deeper things to them.

    Love the blog and the creativity, and especially the FB page pic about what is and isn’t on your FB…made me giggle for realz! 🙂
    Charissa

    • Thanks so much Charissa! I’m so pleased you like it!

      I’m grateful for the WP friends I have made – there are a few that I speak to a lot and I feel like I can talk to them about personal things without judgement…

  27. I don’t think any of my family follow my blog, but they do know that I have it. (They should, most of them are the reason behind me starting a blog as they kept pushing me to write and put it out there.) I do have at least one friend that I knew prior to the blog that follows my blog.

  28. My job found out about my blog (note, never send an email from a blog-related address that has a link to said blog to your boss…I could have sworn it was my “generic” address). Now, I didn’t do anything wrong, and it has never officially been mentioned, but it makes me a little wary of what I write specifically about work. Not that I ever violated any policies or confidentiality, but I don’t want things to come up in a round about way in meetings with my boss, etc.

    • Do you remember about a year ago when I wrote about my blog being used against me? My work had found out about the blog and I had a meeting about it – someone from HR had been through my entire blog to make sure I wasn’t writing anything bad about the school. I was mortified!

  29. I was going to suggest you create another blog where you can remain anonymous but I see that has already been suggested and you are right in thinking would you have the time to run both?

    When I started blogging it was so I could say what I wanted and even when family members and friends jumped aboard I decided it was my part of the internet and that I’d carry saying what I felt. I’ve been told many times by more experienced bloggers than myself, to be myself when I write and not to try and write as if I am not me. Even the WordPress courses I have attended teach the same principle. If I can’t write what I feel, then why have a blog at all?

    It’s a very tough decision, Suzie, as we don’t want to upset anybody by what we say but, at the end of the day, we also want to be ourselves and express what we feel.

  30. Nope. My little secret. Even if I had a friend, I probably wouldn’t tell them about it. I like anonymity on the internet, but on my main blog, I’m not frightened to post what I think or what’s happened to me. I think it’s because it’s such a small blog, with a small readership, that it can feel like I’m talking to a brick wall when I’m writing and I just start rambling. I very much approach all three of my blogs that way. I can detach what I write from the reality of people reading it quite easily. And any comments I get, maybe a couple every couple of years, are always nice. Some people just comment to say how bamboozled they are by the insanity of what I can write, but I take it as a compliment. But I’m not doing it for others, for recognition or for support, I’m doing it because I wanted to show the world something.

    But I’ve always been anonymous on the internet. Countless accounts and all of them under an alias. I like people not knowing who I am. I think it’s better to live a life of anonymity than a life of recognition.

  31. These are good questions. I think they’re complications not only of blogging but of the writing life in general. My wife knows about and reads my blog, and a few friends. But no one in my family of origin (mother, siblings) does, so far as I know. For me, there’s no escaping that blogging is publishing. For the things I really don’t want anyone to know, I have a journal (actually a series of Moleskin notebooks stretching back over several years which my wife considers my form of crack cocaine). They are the vault. My blog is where I put out what I feel okay putting out, and sometimes what I don’t feel okay putting out but do anyway. As I’ve gotten older (I’m 53 now), my concern has very much diminished. If I make it as far as 80, anyone who knows me better be ready to have their business put in the street. {8~) Ultimately your writing belongs to you. And I think that if you need to say it, then say it and let the chips fall.

    • I think your view is spot on. I agree – I have journals in beautiful diaries and I keep them all in shoeboxes. However, as this online venture is now read by so many people that I know, I now have to be careful about what I write… However, my words and my thoughts are my own and I should be allowed to have them.

      • Yeah, it’s a funny thing about the freedom to say what I want and the permission to express my words and thoughts. When I was younger, I thought that someday the people I love or someone I respect would give me that freedom and permission. But I realize now that I always had the power to grant myself that freedom. No one can stop me from writing and putting up whatever I want. But granting myself that permission means I also have to accept that some people won’t like what I have to say and may express their displeasure; I have to accept that that’s their right as much as I have the right to say what I want. But so long as I’m willing to accept that consequence, the power to express myself fully is in my control.

  32. How refreshing, that you used your anonymity for the greater good–to share reflections that were to help build something better and stronger. I usually don’t post anything, either anonymously or not, that I would not want my parents to read, but despite that, I first was quite hesitant to start a blog. Then when I did finally start a blog in 2008, I was still uncomfortable sharing certain personal thoughts even if they were perfectly parent-friendly. I am still growing into that comfortable zone of sharing enough to contribute to a conversation about bettering the world, but at the same time respecting my own desire for relative privacy.

    • It took my a while t start to feel comfortable, but I have found that perhaps I got a little too comfortable. Not that I’m ashamed of anything I’ve written, it’s just that I would like a bit more freedom now…

  33. I recently started a blog to give me myself a place to just get everything out of my head. Already I have found it to be extremely therapeutic. I blog anonymously and haven’t shared the existence of my blog with anyone except my husband. Part of me wants to share it with my close friends but I don’t want to lose the great freedom of anonymity. Quite the conundrum!

  34. Ha! Just came to snag the #sundayblogshare rules. Found this.

    Yes to this part: “Creating a blog was the best decision I have ever made.”

    My version is keeping at it until I figured out how to start a blog I could maintain, and put my name on and ask other people to contribute to was the best decision. I have failed at many blogs. Deleted some. Some are still out there, and thankfully they do not have my real name on them.

    My family and friends know about them, mostly, but do not read them often. I wish I hadn’t actually spread the blogs around my offline circle when we first started. Most of the people I know offline are closed out of my social media at this point. Active collaborators and people I can trust to have good Internet manners. Everyone else thinks my last social media activity was a flower photo I posted on Facebook six months ago, lol.

    On the anonymity: It seems liberating. I have some things going on in my life right now I would really, really love to toss onto the Internet, and probably would if I were anonymous. But not doing that, because I do not want to be airing the laundry under my real name. And I think it is best to train yourself to just do business that way. The potential for true anonymity on the Internet is evaporating. Eventually, unless you are very, very savvy about technology, everything you publish, anywhere, will be searchable.

    I see Nerd in the Brain is sponsoring you. I am registering my approval, even though my approval is not required. Nerd is awesome. She makes me smile frequently. I do not know many bloggers who are as good at the blogging side of things as Nerd.

    • I totally agree with everything you said. I like what you said about the idea that nothing is anonymous, and I think you’re absolutely right!

      Nerd is indeed awesome! I’m going to do some promotion of her blog and posts this week so feel free to jump in there with me!

  35. I write in my own name – a decision I made when I started my current blog (I’ve written anonymously before) and I like it. It reminds me that what I write is … what I write. I’m me. People I know read it and I’m held to it. I can work through stuff all the same – because, life isn’t suppose to be easy and having challenges is okay. If I really need to vent though? That’s what a bottle of wine and my husband’s patient ear are for – or a few choice friends and a good pub.

    There are moments where I’d love anonymous blogging – but even when I was – it never really was – so I figure I shouldn’t write anything I’d never want anyone to read – end of story.

    I think you strike a great balance here!

  36. I’m actually quite the opposite. I was ignored and dismissed so often, even while sitting in a psych hospital post suicide attempts, that now I’m a human bull-horn. I am an open book. I have been telling my story since 1983 and now people are starting to listen. maybe it’s because I’m therapeutically in a better place, or maybe it’s just because I don’t care anymore. I don’t know. I understand your hesitance, I really do. I’m just saying I do not feel the need to protect myself personally anymore. Shout it from the rooftops, I say.

  37. I sometimes have incredible anxiety about strangers and people I know in real life reading my blog. However, I started my personal blog to try to figure myself out and, in a weird way, I am, bit by bit. So I’ve got to continue trying to be as transparent and genuine about my issues as I possibly can be. The people in my life that have made appearances in my blog either aren’t reading it, haven’t made the connection, that it’s about them, or just haven’t been offended enough to say anything about it. So I guess I’m good to go! If something I say ruffles feathers at some point, it means there was already probably a talk I needed to have with that person anyways.

  38. Online anonymity can be very liberating and allow you to get a lot off your chest, but if your cover gets blown, there’s heartache in store. I had an anonymous Twitter account which caused a lot of problems when it was discovered by my OH – I was new to social media and not as guarded as I should have been in what I posted. So I made sure I told him about my blog, but don’t fill him in on each post and he’s happy to pretty much ignore it. I always put what I write in the context of “Would it upset him if he read it?” now, and try and be enthusiastic about my musical loves without embarrassing myself!

    • The Bloke, my OH, was the only person who knew about it right from the beginning. In fact, he was the one that suggested it – he’s an IT technician and has started many blogs over the years. However, I am very conscious not to talk too much about him or give any personal details out.

  39. The time leading up to my divorce was very lonely. Things were falling apart in my relationship, but I wouldn’t speak about it to anyone. So, when I decided to write about my experiences, I wanted to write completely and openly, so I write under a false name. A handful of people in my real life read it, but it otherwise can’t be easily traced back to me or my ex-husband.

  40. As you can probably remember, this rings true with me! I think it’s really hard. I shared it only with people I thought cared and loved me and it come back to kick me in the arse. Instead, I was left feeling like I couldn’t write what I wanted to, even though it was for me, not them. Looking back, I think I regret telling them! Whoops! xx

  41. Since I am blogging to exorcise some ghosts, let the skeletons out the closet and let them dance naked, make peace with my past and to stay sane, I rather that my blogging world doesn’t mix with my real, work, social and family life. Like you said, I cannot and will not edit my thoughts and feelings and it’s hard to do that if your not blogging anonymously.

  42. The feelings you described about feeling “restricted” is exactly what I have. I have been blogging for quite some years but I never felt good enough to share it with my family, or the few friends I have. Even now that I got the chance to get some fellow readers, I feel anxious writing about certain topics asking if I should write this here. It must be because I write personal things. However, I once write a piece about my feelings and I had put the link of my blog in my bio (this blog was mostly composed of pictures and reblogged posts that’s why I must have felt confident sharing the link). But someone I knew read it and sent me a very inspiring message after this. It was a way for me to try to reach out to these people. Someday maybe!

    All the best,
    Giulia x

  43. I haven’t told my family or friends about this blog solely because I don’t want them to read my writing. I feel uncomfortable when they do because I’m afraid of criticism or judgement towards me. I know it’s a horrible weakness–I should really get over it. But it’s so difficult..

    • I totally agree – I was so nervous when some of my friends read it for the first time! Luckily, the response was positive and theyve contributed to the amount of views that I have received, but I am certainly conscious that they are now reading it!

  44. I would hold back if my family knew about my blog. I wouldn’t be able to write honestly, freely if I thought my family were reading… especially my Mum… as someone further up the comments section said…there’s no point in hurting her now…but for me, the telling it how it is (how it was) is cathartic…they know I write, they even know why, but they respect my need for privacy. I’d lose my ‘space, if I was sharing my blog with people who are close to me.

    Of course, there’s always a chance that curiosity has (or will in the future) get the better of them, they know enough about me to hunt me down if they really wanted to…I like to think that’s not the case…if it is, it’s their secret, to date 🙂

    • I think that has been the biggest issue for me. I do have to be very careful about what I write at the risk of potentially offending someone and it has indeed caused me issues in my personal life… I have thought about creating an anonymous blog, but I just don’t have the time at the minute…

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