Oct 212009

More babbling and boring words, in my effort to just write about “whatever” and  not strive to fit into the theme of the blog. Bear with me :P I might lose readers, but I don’t much care these days – you can expect that the rambling babbling real-life based posts will continue for a bit. At least I’m writing. That and I have some un-sex shit I need to get out.

I didn’t say anything at the time, but I had a scare a month ago or so with someone accessing my blog and the IP showed to be from my work. They didn’t stick around to read much and they came to my blog through someone else’s blog. Minor but still freaked me out.

Anyone who’s an anonymous blogger has had scares, I’m sure. Anonymous blogging isn’t easy, especially when the things we blog about would not go over well in our little corner of “the real world”. We must take care to not show too much in pictures. We must change details about ourselves and those we write about.

For example, in the first week of blogging I didn’t know that and gave “K” a different initial. His real one. I didn’t think a thing of it. While his paranoia might have been a bit much because it wasn’t like he had any online ties to me or something (other than perhaps browser history), it’s still a valid concern. So ever since “K” I’ve had to make up names/initials for anyone I’ve talked about that doesn’t match their real name, and also change little details. And it’s not always easy to keep track of what details I’ve changed about a person. Sometimes I’ll have to go back and read prior posts to remember what hair/eye color, location, age, marital status etc I’ve given them.  Even for me, especially for me, I’ve changed details.

I really envy bloggers like Carrie Ann who is fully “out” on her blog. It would be much easier! Infidelity bloggers seem to be more susceptible to the “vanish in the night” phenomenon but I know of other sex bloggers who’ve had to shut down their blog because the wrong people found it. Some move their blog like Amy and Roxy and some others just vanish. So if you come here one day and find me gone……you know what happened and it will likely be work-related.

Facebook, and my stupidity, doesn’t make this anonymity business any easier. I have 3 main email accounts. The blog email, my personal gmail and my personal yahoo. Real life friends and family know the yahoo one. Last year when I created my “real life” Facebook account, I signed up using my personal gmail account because it was what I primarily used and I didn’t expect family members to hunt me down on there. Some blogger friends know this personal gmail account. Well, last year when Jake created his blogger-identity facebook account he used the “add friends from address book” feature and added the real me. I quickly realized that that was a link between my two worlds and it had to go (sorry Jake!). Not too long after that, though, I dropped FB because I just didn’t use it. When I came back to FB I created my blogger-identity account, like so many other bloggers were doing. And then I ended up re-activating my real-life FB account. You know how Facebook likes to “recommend” people for you to friend? Well one day it recommended the real-life me to my blogger-identity account! As soon as I figured out how that happened (I’ve forwarded emails from one gmail account to the other so they’re linked, apparently) I changed the email address from my personal gmail to my yahoo.  Apparently, Facebook never forgot my gmail account even though I erased all traces of it from there. It would still recommend blogger-me to real-me occasionally.

What I didn’t realize, until recently, is that not only was it doing that to ME but to other people. Recommending blogger-me to real-me friends and vice versa. A real-me friend did a friend request to blogger-me. I think my heart stopped for about 10 seconds, lol. Luckily, out of all my FB friends, she is the sole person that it doesn’t matter. I already knew we shared similar sexual views and we’d had conversations in the past. Plus she says she recognized my cleavage. I had to laugh at that one. So, ok, fine. Added her as a friend. I still didn’t think that anybody else would make the correlation like she did. Enter in another privacy-invading Facebook tactic. When said friend commented on one of my blogger-me photos, that activity showed up in the “highlights” section for anybody who was her friend. If they clicked on the link, it would take them to my photo album. Nevermind the fact that I had privacy settings out the wazoo. It would still let them see the photos but not my profile. I found this out through Hub who is friends with both me and her and knows about my blog (obviously). Since I had no way of making Facebook forget about the goddamn correlation, combined with it’s wacky ideas on privacy, that led to me deleting the blogger-me Facebook account. Just in case any of you wondered where I went on there :)

  16 Responses to “Anonymity and Facebook”

  1. Yea, the joys of social networking huh. i wish that i could just be me on my blog and facebook too, it would be soo much easier, but there are too many people who would hold it all against me or never look at me the same or whatever. i don’t have a blogger identity facebook account yet (i didn’t think of creating a second one!) and maybe i will – i dunno about it though if my friends are gonna get recommendations to friend it! i’ll need to look into how i can stop that i think before i do coz it would be good to get to know and talk to others who share my secret interests :-)

    ~ Eh, it’s quite lame really. Whats the point when you can just have a blogger Twitter account and connect with a larger area of bloggers? Most that I followed didn’t update their blogger FB in the manner they did their vanilla one. i.e. mostly twitter updates, blog post updates, etc.

  2. i will probably never have a blogger identity facebook account. too much stress. i stress enough as it is.

    and i agree, i wish we could all be out in the open about whatever we write about, but i guess that’s not the way it works.

  3. I share your paranoia about being discovered. Have taken my own steps to prevent it; some of those steps do limit my interaction with readers, but then my privacy is rather more important. Them’s the breaks.

    For my part, I hope we won’t see you mysteriously disappear. I hope the coworker never figures it out and disappears from the logs.

    — PB

  4. Totally feel your paranoia, and I don’t write about sex all of the time. I did, however, recently discover that the adult daughter of a friend of ours found my blog. I think it happened a while ago before my great separation of lives. Regardless, I’m letting it be. She’s an adult.

    but, I don’t think I’ll be venturing into Facebook with the alter ego. Don’t think I could handle it.

  5. It scares me how easy it is to find someone online if you really look hard enough. My blog email and my real life email are linked so I can read my emails without logging in and out of different accounts but it always worries me that someone will find the connection.

    I’m always tempted to ‘out’ myself, I am not ashamed of anything that I’ve written, but at the same time that brings with it a whole load of shit that I don’t want to deal with. Ever. I know that there would be few who would actually care, but there’s always that niggle that future employers will decide against you because of what you write on the Internet. And that is something that I cannot afford to happen!


  6. We had a big discussion about this when we decided to show my face on my blog. While I might be a tad embarrassed if one of my more conservative friends found my blog, what would really bother me is if my family found it. We believe the risk of that is very low but I sure hope I’m not proven wrong someday!

    There was the issue of a person featured on my blog telling people she knows about the blog and then, in reading it, they ferreted her out. I’ve offered to remove all mention of her from my blog but really, the damage is done. Secrets are hard to keep!

  7. I have had a lot of internal battles on how to deal with the anonymity thing. I am a totally different person in real life than I am in the cyber world. I’d like to be more open but my real life would not be able to handle the cyber me.

    I have closed my blog and opened it up so many times that I’m surprised blogger hasn’t disabled my account yet. I am still searching for what I want to blog about. I have various cyber friends that I share things with that I don’t share on my blog. Maybe one of these days I’ll get brave and share it all in the open.

    But not yet.

  8. I barely have enough time to keep up my blog, leave comments for others, and stay on Facebook. But that’s just me. I can’t imagine having a FB blogger identity. Well ok, I do admit that i have time to make up places like hot blogger island, but, otherwise, I don’t know how ya do it.

    What I can understand is the sudden fear you felt when the two worlds, the blogger and real you collided. That would scare the shit out of me. Someday, I’ll be able to do that, but it’s not necessarily a goal of mine. I really do like being anonymous and knowing the only I know who the real Dewey is. :)

  9. I totally share your fears and frustations, which is why Blogger-M doesn’t have a Facebook account (though I do Tweet, and always make sure to log out of my Real Twitter Account before logging into my Blogger-Me account).

  10. I’m happy for the worlds to mix a little. None of us are 24/7 Mr and Mrs Prim Professional. But I do have to take care to separate my personal and professional blogging – I work in technology and we use blogs a lot to communicate.
    I think they call it the “creepy tree house”


  11. Ah…. I had this same thing happen with FB. I don’t and never have had a ‘blog name FB’. But I do have a personal REAL LIFE FB account. And the same thing has happened on occasion with that fun little ‘recommend friends’ feature. I do everything I can to keep my RL gmail account and my Blogger gmail account separate but on occasion the two worlds collide a bit too close for comfort.

  12. Oh I’ve had a few scares with Tumblr, but I’ve managed to keep my exposure low overall and kept really up on how all the various sites work. I’ve got my blog on Tumblr, and while Tumblr will let you keep multiple blogs under one account, I have always kept them on separate emails so none of my real friends/family can accidentally find it through email, and I make it a point to never reblog anything off of my “civilian” blog or anything that I have reblogged on my civilian blog for fear that both user names will show up in the history for an entry. I don’t use names, or even name my city. With maybe 2 exceptions I don’t even follow the same blogs. I let little personal things slip like being young, living by the coast, and I’ve done a few nudes but I try to keep them vague and filter out anything to distinguishing.
    Ever since you emailed me after reblogging you I got super cautious about sites that might ping their users.

    I did have some scares with the ex. She said things that seemed to mirror things in my blog, and once asked what I thought of a bra that a couple months before I had bought for myself (she doesn’t know about my cross-dressing at home).

    Worst instance though: I started blogging a bunch of pics in rapid succession not realizing that I was logged onto my civilian blog. Thank goodness I was setting them to queue to post later and I was able to delete them before they posted. That blog is seen by friends, family (including my mother), and co-workers.

  13. Yeah… Facebook is a bit creepy that way

  14. I feel your words. It’s … tough. At times I wonder why I am so afraid of being outed.

  15. That is some scary shit. I try to keep all of that crap separate like you do but weird stuff happens.

    I am real pissed right now with fb because I can never get into my account. It’s always closed for site maintenance.

  16. My personal and online life have some intertwining. I only share my online presence with those I can trust, and who know what I do.

    My main concern is potential employers finding out what I do in my spare time. So I will never post my name, my friends names, or anything else on my adult-style blog.

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