The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres

The Anonymous Blog

Most people out there in Blogland have opted to go anonymous. It gives them the chance to say things without worry about the fallout, so long as no one ever finds out who they really are. Freedom from consequence has a powerful attraction.

There are of course drawbacks. For the most part, blogging is an activity that involves commenting on things that happen in our everyday lives, and it doesn’t take long before we have written about enough different aspects of our existence that it wouldn’t be too difficult for someone who does know us to decode our secret identity. At that point all hell could break loose – relationships fall apart, jobs are lost and regrets are huge.

So in order to keep your anonymity you might have to start creating a fictitious background to throw people off the scent, but this is much harder than you’d imagine: as well needing to be extremely creative, you have to have a damned good memory. I had this thought partly in mind when I made that first crucial decision in setting up this blog: whether to chose a nom de plume like “The Purple Slug” or “The Time Thief”, for example, or to be upfront about the fact that it was me, Kim Ayres, and no one else. I don’t really believe that honesty is always the best policy, but with a memory like mine it does tend to be much easier.

I am assured by many of the friends and relatives that I am in regular e-mail contact with, that they keenly read, and even enjoy, my blog. However, none of the buggers ever leave a comment so I guess I’ll have to take their word for it.

I am happy for my writings to be read, commented on and even criticised. But over the past couple of days there have been times when I really wish I could pour out my soul and rant and rage against people and circumstances, and it is here that I realise the restriction of the open blog. There are some things that my wife would not be happy about becoming public knowledge, and there are some things that even I know would not be appropriate to reveal. But for the drawbacks outlined above, there is little point in setting up another, anonymous blog.

So, some of it gets written and then left on my laptop, unpublished, and some is never written down at all. And the nearest I get to revealing anything, is writing about anonymous blogs.

13 comments

Belovedlife said...

A true moral dilemma. DO you or don't you tell all and bear the consequences or like you said do you become an anonymous voice, that although technically anonymous really you are just a liar or not aynonemous at all. Excellent observation. Well written too.

Kim Ayres said...

Thank you for the comments

In reality I guess this is where you just need to go down the pub with a couple of good friends, listen to them making wild exaggerations about their sexual prowess, unload all your woes and get on with life the following day feeling less burdened.

Unfortunately, having moved house only 4 months ago, all by really good friends live anything from 100 to 8,000 miles away, so a trip to the pub is out of the question.

*sigh*

Tara Marie said...

Kim,,,,I'm laughing,,,,laughing really hard because I just had those same exact thoughts.

My blogs [and I have a few of them, all real] share much about my life, but there are parts of me that are deep and secret, but I need to write about.

I just the other day thought I'd create an anon blog to write those thoughts [I found out at a young age that keeping a written journal did not prevent curious minds to inquire, even with a lock on it!] and being a bit computer knowledgeable, I know that anything you write on a computer [even if trashed] can be found, buried in the depths of silicone.

I had decided that my Rambling Mommy Thoughts was that place, but there are thoughts and feelings and facets that I can't even share openly there, but I will get as close as I can.

SO......does this mean I get to hunt out an alias on the www and try to figure out if it is Kim? lol!!!

or look you up the next time I'm in Scotland [next August] and see if we get enough beer and wine in us we can find that outlet.....that always works if all parties involved have had enough elixar.....as no one truly remembers all details!

Kim Ayres said...

Tara Marie - If you're coming over to Scotland next year, be sure to keep me informed. A meeting of minds and beers and wines sounds like a good plan!

BStrong said...

I can't believe you lost my comment. My carefully thought out words lost forever.

I'm not even going to attempt to rewrite what I initial posted, besides I need to get the heck out of my office soon.

Great post Kim. Have a fabulous weekend.

Kim Ayres said...

It wasn't my fault! Honest guv'na! I have no idea what happened, it just vanished, and I'm positive I didn't bin it by mistake.

But I'll be extra careful in the future, just in case...

BStrong said...

I know, I know, Blogger was doing some maintenance...........I've heard that one before.
B

Naomi said...

Why is it that the people we know in real life never write comments. I know that several members of my family read mine but have only ever had one comment, very odd.

Anyway back to your post, I went through the same dilema. I quite often will write a post and leave it in draft mode never to be revealed. Sometimes it just feels good to write it down.

Lori said...

There's always the possibility of maintaining 2 blogs, one for your anonymous self & one for your real self. Of course, if you put the wrong post on the wrong blog then you're in big trouble!

People I know in daily life rarely leave comments on my blog either. Good to know that happens to you also! I was beginning to get a complex about it.

Cherry_Cherry_Blossoms said...

well...it seems like everyone is living a secret life these days...i on the other hand...just tells it as is..if anyone wants to read it then go a head..but the ones that i don't want to know...well...they don't have to know about my blog...there is only two other people who knows me and read my blog...and...yes...they too don't leave me meassages...but that is fine....

Anonymous said...

BStrong - I suddenly realised that I had a copy of your post in my inbox. I felt it made some good points so have pasted it back in.

-Kim-

---------

There are times when I just want to lay it all out on my blog, but can’t because of the dilemma you mentioned. It’s upsetting at times because it’s those personal feelings or situations that involve others that need vented to make us feel better. I think at times I walk a fine line with my posts, especially when I first started my blog. Initially it was frustration that drove me to blogland, you can see it clear as day in my early writings.

When talking about the issues we had with the people in our community in regards to Little Peanut I never once added names, however if any one of those people came to my blog they would know that it was them I was referring to.

I am one that is pretty reserved when it comes to my true feelings. I find it easier to bottle it all up and deal with it myself. People have their own problems to deal with, why should I talk to them about mine.

Blogging for me is just a way to share with my now regular readers the absurdities of my every day life whether it be interesting or sleeper material.

Great post Kim.
B

Kim Ayres said...

Naomi and Lori - glad to hear that I'm not the only one who doesn't get the comments from friends who don't blog. I was beginning to get a little paranoid!

Lori and Cherry - the problem of the secret identity is if it ever gets found out. I mean, if you really want to say things that would really mess up your life if your secret identity was exposed, then you're surely better off not putting in a place where potentially millions of people can read it (admittedly, the chances are there will only be 4 or 5, but you know what I mean).

Having said that, I like reading your blog, Cherry, because it is so much from the heart. But you are good at not giving away any further information about where you are from.

Anonymous said...

One reason that occured re family and friends not leaving comments is fear of letting something slip about you...or saying ring me on 0845478904...oops...or the textual equivalent of pointing to you in a photgraph (naked, aged 24 months) amongst a roomful of your co-workers.

The anonymity in weblogs is a natural reaction to other things apart from losing your job, friends, etc. Fear of who is out there in iWorld ought to be roughly the same fear of that at the funny looking bloke lurking at the bottom of the tube station platform. Often this is set aside because typing in a warm room of one's own chosing seems safe.


Everyone who has blogged has experienced comments spam...
This is an invasion of your space because you did not set up the blog for this reason. It was to air your views, say something funny, and get a response to them from time to time from people roughly like you. But hidden in there is an idea (false) that only people who are like you or understand you will be commenting, when in reality it can be anyone. You are after all doing the equivalent of writing it on a piece of paper and dropping millions of copies from a light aircraft over London, Cairo, Baghdad, or Penge - with your name and address and telephone number on it (for those who understand computery things).

The flaming commenter is a lesser species of the comments spammer which can be the result of being insufficiently technically knowledgeable. Real techies are instantly (it seems) aware of such potential nuisances or traps as the automated comments into weblogs which are actually something quite other : someone trying to get your email address, or advertising or with links which can lead not to to weblogs like your own but to ones consisting of some wierd repetitive code or multiple copies of one post (it can seem).

A lot in weblogs ( can't use the term blogging anymore: just read somewhere non-British people are confused between blogging and 'dogging'), can be about things like new software, hatred of Bill Gates,etc, which are in their turn often actually self-promotion vehicles, acting like a kind of demented accumulative CV [mostly American].

In the arly days when i went on line i came across peculiar academic or sub-academic websites where suggestions were made about the value of the internet for developing multi-personalities. We, here, in the UK sent these people to loony bins, when we still had them (pychiatric hospitals not people with multiple personalities...)

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