Not Cease from Exploration

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Posting/Blogging Anonymously

Someone asked me the other day why I post/blog under my (actual) name instead of a pseudonym, and never being one to miss an opportunity to write, I thought I'd respond here. Now I've probably already written about this before, but who cares? Hell this is more about entertaining me anyway.

Now I do not have anything against anyone who decides to blog or post anonymously, with one small caveat: if you are going to be critical, then do it above board. For example, I said some fairly critical things about former Lackawanna County Commissioner Joseph Corcoran this morning, but it wasn't anything that I am ashamed of writing. Anyone...including Mr Corcoran and/or his supporters...is free to dispute what I wrote in the blog, and if I'm wrong I will "man up" and admit it. Being overly critical while truly posting anonymously seems to be to be a cheap shot, the equivalent of saying "I'll bash you but I'm afraid that you will fight back, so I'll just hide behind this fake name". To me that seems cowardly.

Are there exceptions? Sure, this isn't higher-level mathematics we are dealing with here, so of course there are exceptions to what I noted above. For example, if you are responding to a perceived injustice but that response makes you reasonably believe that you or yours could be exposed to harassment or harm, then I don't see the harm in writing anonymously. I think though that the range of motion associated with the above situation would be limited: for example, if you are writing about the town bully and his/her propensity to intimidate others, I would expect that the scope of the anonymous posting would be limited to the bullying actions of the individual in question.

Of course if someone wants to wax the philosophical without being personally critical of anyone, then who really cares if they are identified by name? Well who cares other than the author him/herself. This is where I'd put the postings of The Rockin Apologist. For example, the Apologist's criticisms of "Bridget Mary's Blog" are not directed at Bridget Mary the person, but rather the ideas expressed in Bridget Mary's blog. There is a big difference...it's the difference between "I disagree with your ideas" and "I think you an in-bred idiot who practices bad hygiene". Of course if it were me saying that Bridget Mary was wrong I'd still say it under my own name, but that's just a personal decision I've made.

Speaking of me, I have one other driver at work here that is a bit more personal in nature: for whatever reason I always felt that in my youth I was afraid of my own voice. I know, that sounds very haughty, but it's the best way I can describe this notion that I lacked any real confidence in myself or my ideas. I'm not claiming now that I am a superman of confidence, but I am claiming to basically care an awful lot less about what others think. That's another one of the benefits that comes with age, namely that it's more important to be comfortable in your own skin than it is to be worried about how others perceive you. People can read this and be entertained, bored, or driven to the brink of insanity by virtue of how stupid it appears to them and it's all okay with me. To quote that great philosopher Ricky Nelson:

"But it's all right now, I learned my lesson well.
You see, ya can't please everyone, so ya got to please yourself"

That seems pretty reasonable to me.

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