Blogging Anonymity

My name isn’t really Mary.

(haha)

Seriously, did you realize how easy it is to find addresses and phone numbers on the internet? Google someone’s first and last name, their state if you know it, and often you can find a few leads that give you their private information.

Thankfully, my first and last name aren’t all that unique.

Here are my rules of thumb, because first and foremost, I want to protect my family:

  • I won’t mention real names, other than my own
  • I stick to regions (mid-west) rather than naming my home state
  • I’m pretty careful what I say about my extended family, and my marriage (who knows who might ever get their eyes on this blog!)

We can be proactive and still be “found”. A while back, when surfing blogs, I happened upon one with a little counter in the sidebar that said, “Welcome, visitor from ______,_ _!” I about gasped when I saw my little po-dunk town and state displayed after being on that site less than a minute!

I don’t know if you’ve ever visited MySpace.com. (I don’t recommend it!) But you can type in your zip code and whatever mile radius you wish and find blogs of people in that area. Yeah.

So here are my questions for you:

  1. Do your friends and family know you blog? (in-laws, church family, etc)
  2. If you put forth your real names/locations, please share what made you comfortable to do so. (I’d really like to know, maybe I’m just paranoid!)
  3. Same thing with pictures. Is it really safe to put those out there? So many people block out their children’s faces, etc, while others lay it all out for the world to behold. (And I love pictures!)

I’d love input from all the viewpoints. I’m sure there are areas in which I could be more careful, and perhaps more carefree.

Personally, I like the freedom of anonymity. I can share my strong opinions and not worry about some leftist extremist making a midnight housecall with revenge in mind!

And Mary is my real name. Really.

(This new blog is too hip for me. It won’t let me capitalize when I bullet or number things! Way too cutesy, if you ask me…)

8 thoughts on “Blogging Anonymity”

  1. I’m protective of my name because of its uniqueness. That being said, it’s not too hard to find people that even try to be anonymous. It’s hard to both connect with people and at the same time not share things that are common.

    One also wonders how people get into bad situations when there are literally millions of people’s names and places– and there’s always the phone book.

    In any case, people should share only what makes them comfortable– stick to your rules and don’t violate them anywhere.

  2. Yeah, I don’t like to share too much either. But mostly in case I get rich and famous one day, and someone comes trawling the net for my real name – which is quite unique.

    Nup. That would suck. I’d rather just stick with something innocuous. :)

  3. Well, I’m probably just naive, but I use our names and display our pics and talk about places we visit (not town and city names, but places like museums, resturants. . .). I won’t write down on my blog where I live, other than the state. I don’t use last names. And I’m ALWAYS careful about what I say about people I know (friends and family) because that is who I write the blog for to begin with. No venting there! I figure if I couldn’t say it to my friends and family, it probably doesn’t need to be said.

    Anyway, like I said, no particular reason why I use our names and pics. Possibly just naivitee. I’d say I do the bare minimum when it comes to self-protection — but I DO the bare minimum.

  4. I go back and forth on this issue. I’m trying to put my name out there so when I do become a published author, people will recognize me. I never say what state I live in either and I’m reluctant to join my states blogging ring for that reason.

    But I don’t use my kids’ real names and try not to show photos of them straight on. I do side views, etc. though I’d love the world to see how cute my kiddos are.:)

    I’m even toying with the idea of having a pen name. So many authors today post photos of their kids and use their real names. I guess I’m just too protective to do that! Though I have a Flickr account so friends and family can see the photos of my kids.

  5. Friends and family know about my blog and I know my sisters frequent it often, they just don’t comment as well as some church people.

    I use my real name, but no one knows my last name (Except Aimz) or where in the United States I live. I gave my boys pseudonyms for their protection and hubby is hubby. I only share pictures of me, not my not my family

    The net is a scary place and can’t be too careful.

  6. Friends and family don’t know about my current blog, they did use to know about an old one I use to have but it just made things way too uncomfortable, I couldn’t say things that I wanted to so this time it’s secret. I only use my first name or my nickname, no photos of my kids or hubby, you just don’t know who is out there looking at it all.

  7. Friends and family know about my three blogs.

    On one blog, I am careful about using “boyo” and “hubbie”. This is the blog I use when I go to other people’s sites. It’s my talk about anything and everything site. And on my “family blog” I just talk about my family life in general – it is meant for just family and that is all (that I can tell from the site meters) that really ever goes there. On the third site, that’s just my own thinking about homeschooling site. No names used there as it’s just thinking stuff.
    I don’t worry about it a whole lot because if people really want to find out who I am, it’s really not all that hard now-a-days, and it doesn’t much matter what I do to prevent it. I’m more careful about disposing of my snail mail! That I shred if it has anything personal in.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge