Who read your first blog post? Did you set up a blog and herald the arrival to family and friends, or did you quietly post, just you and the internet, no need to mind your “p’s and q’s”? Did you use your name or go for something more anonymous?
Blogs grow. The internet seeks to find you. Audiences get bigger and become more complex. Other bloggers, friends, family, colleagues, employers anyone googling a subject you’ve written about. Does that influence what you share?
Being able to share thoughts and feelings in the form of a cathartic post, is one of the bonus of blogging. It is a good way to re-order feelings, find perspective. Hell, some days it is just good to ‘brain dump’. The blogging community is excellent at reminding you that you are not alone.
The flip side is, there are many examples of both ranting and innocuous posts of which someone, somewhere, reads, interprets their way and objects, to a less or greater degree. Of course, some things are more tricky to blog about. Subjects that involve other people, divorce for example.
Effectively, what ever you put out on the internet exists to bite your bum. It is on the internet and it has your name attached to it. Or how much of your name you have attached to it. For me that’s not my full name.
A mum at the school gate, asked me if I have a blog. She saw my photo in a blogging magazine. I’m in a crowd and notable because I’m holding my head at the angle of someone with a severely cricked neck, I look peculiar and therefore more obvious. “Yes” I admit “it’s nothing much” I don’t tell her the name and switch subject. Another mum overhearing this, goes home and googles me.
I do my best to separate my social media self and my original self. Facebook groups and social events mean that it’s not a secret but I try to keep my family name out of the public domain. I feel that I owe it to my son, to respect his privacy by not using his name or my full name. Am I fighting a losing battle?
It is almost impossible for identities not to overlap, without asking accounts seem to link up and I am served up as a suggestion by LinkedIn or Facebook. I am not God of my own personal SEO destiny. Google is. In a bunker in California a computing algorithm decides how much of me appears. While in a terrace house in the UK, I attempt to tidy up after algorithms, closing loop holes through which I might appear.
A few days later the second mum tells me she read my blog and that she is sorry I am not happy (cathartic post). How did she find the blog! Then I realise the post she is referring to made reference to my dislike of school. Awkward.
These days, I am one of a dwindling number of bloggers who doesn’t use their family name on their blog and social media, should I give up and be a bit more me? Are you?