Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Privacy Here

I don’t use my real name on this blog. I’m sure this is a surprise to those of you who think my first name is "St." with "Casserole" as my surname. Realizing that many bloggers think it is goofy not to disclose one’s name, I submit the following:
1. I want privacy. The world, insurance companies, marketers and the IRS know all of my business. The police of Backwater can find me day or night.

2. I lived under the curse of politics for many years and lost any vestige of privacy I owned then.
I couldn’t put up political signs in my front yard. I couldn’t have sassy bumper stickers. I understood the reasons for being nonpartisan but it got on my nerves.

3. The blog provides me with a space to speak as I wish. I don’t want to be "punished" for my words or thoughts. I’m idealistic in many ways but can be cynical as the dickens, too. I know that people are punished for being themselves and that many words spoken or written can return to hit one in the butt. I am idealistic that I may be able to avoid having my words hit my buttage. And cynical enough to think that using a nom de plume will help protect me. Maybe I’m just not very brave.

4. I have thoughts and words I have no place for except here. I can’t think of anything I’ve written so far that fits this category but I may want to unload in the future.

5. Those of you who know me in the dimensional world know I’m writing as I speak and think. Just keep my identity to yourself. Write my name on a bathroom stall but not here.

How’s it going for you out there?


reverendmother said...

I hope one of my earlier comments that said something like "I'm Presbyterian too; e-mail if you want to do the degrees of separation thing" wasn't too forward. If you want to chat off-blog, know I would respect your anonymity. And if you'd rather not, that's understandable too.

I've been thinking about this a lot lately, because I am having a little essay published in a book later in the year, and in my bio I identify my blog by name. I did that because I thought the audience for the book would be interested in the kinds of things I blog about. But I'm also really second-guessing the decision to disclose that. Presumably my church will know about the book, right? And then I'm outed, right?

I've been careful never to write anything that would get me in trouble with the church. But on the other hand, it's very me, and me uncensored at times. Do my parishioners want to read haiku about my flabby postpartum butt? Probably not.

Anyway. All this to say, I hear ya.

PPB said...

Yup, RM, you're outed. I have thought about this a lot. At times, it's been hard not to jump into conversations and say "hey, in my ...." but I don't want a dooceing, and even more than that, I don't want to self-censor. I self-censor ALL the time. I LOVE the RLP blog, but I've noticed that the tenor has changed since he's "come out". Of course, for him it's been a good and wonderful thing career wise to do so, but I imagine it's a pain to carefully think through what one says and how that would fly in the parish.

I totally get the privacy thing St. Cass. I started out blogging under my name and thought better of it. If I ever decide to write you name on a bathroom wall, it'll say, "for a good time call St. Casserole."

the reverend mommy said...

reverendmother, it was such a *good* haiku.

I did something not so very smart -- I used a "real" email address that I have had a long, long time and so with very little effort, my real identity was disclosed within the first couple of weeks. I still have some anonymity -- but not enough. For instance, there is something really, really *big* and scandelous that has happened this week (litigation big, people in prison big) and I have no place to vent and do reality checks. Since I put my "real" email address in the comments sections, it's just not safe. Also, the poetry that I have written that has bad words or sexual innuendo. Oh, well.

Princess of Everything (and then some) said...

~applaudes~ very well said.