Friday, February 15, 2008

Bloggers Anonymous

I don't get it. Why does everything have to be so anonymous on the Blogosphere? Most bloggers refrain from using their real names or real nicknames. Some bloggers even live their alter ego online. Why is that? Why is it that the bloggers 'real' friends are always reduced to capital letters like 'K' or 'H' or 'M'? or fake descriptive nicknames like 'AngelEyes'?

One explanation is that the blogger is considerate of the privacy of their friends and don't want to mention their real names/nicknames. But, when you tell such a story in real life, you either don't mention your friends (if their role is not important) or you mention them because it's important to the story. I never recall having heard a story from a person, even if I JUST met and I know nothing about him, that went: So I was with my friend, let's call her "B". Right? So why is it that when this same story is being told to the same random people but now on the Blogosphere suddenly it has to be riddled with Capital Letter People?

You can argue that, unlike a story to a random person over a drink in a bar, the story 'sticks' on the Blogosphere. That is, it will be there for years to come documented and neatly indexed by Google (all hail our Overlord). Which is true, but then again, why doesn't the blogger opt for not mentioning who exactly from thier friends, I don't see how knowing that this friend can be refereed to as "K" adds to the plot line? Do you think it's just to feel that they are still in control? An internal power struggle in the blogger's head since they are exposing SO much on thier blog that they want to feel they are still in control and holding back on something? Like their real names or their friends'?


Jade said...

Interesting Post... Very well said.

I personally blog without a real name because simply put this is my place away from the world.

Venting out, talking of emotions, speaking of confessions or secrets - to be spoken with the same truth & transparency in the blogsphere (ie: using my personal name) as I do in real life would be basically the same as talking to my best friends... & to that I already have many that know probably more than what I make mention of in my blog - I don’t need acceptance in the blogsphere, I dont need recognition, or gratification… I already have it in my personal life. Plus - You know how there are so many sicko’s out there – I don’t need some bastard stalking me down just because I come off as “different” or what not.

I agree with you that it gets annoying to read “Let’s call her M” – I personally refer to my ex as “H” because he is too valuable & respected in my life I can not call him by a weird nickname, or even a fake name. G – I call him G in real life but if I say his name is Gary – it wont really make a difference – how many Gary’s are out there in the world? I spoke of Jack & of Jade… I even mentioned my brother’s name. But for H – I think partly because if the wrong people (or him personally) found my blog & linked the dots, too many people will get hurt… & partly because I feel I wanna keep that secret to myself. You are right about control – sometimes we just wanna feel that kind of control.

But I absolutely agree that reading an entire blog full of Capital Letter People is just too annoying. Stop it people – Stop it!

Feshfesh said...

Jade, you've made a very interesting point. Some bloggers chose to vent and share a lot of -anonymous- info on the Blogosphere. At the same time those bloggers for sure share the same and more in real life. Then my question would be, why?

Why is it that although those bloggers have close friends who they vent to, they still feel the need at times to share their feelings and emotions with complete strangers? and therefore they feel the need to make it very anonymous?

Jade said...

Good Point Feshfoush...

I personally have a blog because I have been writing & keeping a diary since I was 5... since I learnt how to write! Due to some dramatic experiences in my life, I just stopped writing for a good 6 months. I dont know about other people... that's just me.

Blogging encouraged me to go back to writing cause of the Human interaction... yes they are complete strangers, but I've had a laugh & shared emotions & feelings with them... it's an unexplainable bond... which keeps me coming back.

Writing is a passion... whether a person is good at it or not has nothing to do with the actual purpose of why we are here... I have my friends, I share with them my life, but it doesn’t cancel the fact that I enjoy writing, & the fact that I've made new & wonderful friends here (sometimes with benefits too like with You) makes it all the better :)

Anonymous said...

This is interesting.. Depending on subject matter, a lot of Egyptian bloggers have to remain anonymous cause of the status quo.. but for me personally, I used to have a blog where people knew who I was, where I was from, what my job was, and after a certain point it just felt like I had shared too much. Especially cause it was a very different type of blog to what I have now (it was more one of those emo angsty blogs. sad but true)... There's something very comforting about the anonymity.. You can say what you want and not care what other people think.. Which, let's face it, is something that's sorely lacking in Egyptian society.

And the Egyptian blogging circle is surprisingly small in some ways - I was telling a friend about one of the blogs I read and it turns out it's the blog of a girl I went to university with. And another coincidence was actually with Jade - having friends in common. So you never know.. it's a small world.

And I really think that not using your friends' real names is out of respect for them. It's one thing to plaster your own name all over the web (oh my god I googled myself...and let me tell you.. I've gotten around. Internet whore.)..but when it's someone else's name.. there shouldn't be the same liberties...

Feshfesh said...

Jade, I understand the point on loving to write and loving the interaction. I guess that's why we all bloggers write, right? But some choose to be anonyms and some don’t. And that's my point.

And Diptychal, I think you might be very close. Not wanting to be judged, especially in Egypt, can be a big factor. You know there would be someone out there who'd march in and pronounce you an infidel for your ideas. Been there :)