The Anonymity Thing

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The one question that came in on my FAQ post was the one I knew I had to address in greater depth than the comments section – the anonymity thing. When I meet people in person through this site, it almost always comes up… some get it, some don’t and I’m OK either way as long as they respect my wish to remain anonymous.

I naturally have close friends and family members who know I have this site and they mostly interact with me about stuff posted here offline. I think they like their anonymity too!

So why? What’s the big deal? Everyone else has their selfies all over instagram and their blogs, so what’s my problem?

I chose anonymity 5 years ago for many reasons. It’s not because I’m ashamed of how I look- I’m not! I was, however, a little insecure about why anyone would care about my renovation journal, and I didn’t want it to be about ME, but about sharing interests. As a transplant trying to learn my way in this town, I also wanted it to be a way of connecting with my new community. I had never lived in a suburban area before, and I missed the interactions we enjoyed in urban apartments and historic neighborhoods, despite loving our new found privacy. So I guess I was seeking some virtual neighbors.

My choice to fly under the radar, yet still be in a public domain, might be seen as hypocritical by some, and that’s OK..it’s my gig! My blogging has always felt a bit narcissistic, so maybe part of me feels slightly less self centered if I keep my image out of it?

It just seemed if I didn’t try to be everything it would keep things simple.

HA! It has actually been far more difficult to remain anonymous when today, so much social media is connected. My google account wants to connect with my Facebook who wants to connect with EVERYTHING, and it seems like there has to be constant vigilance every time software gets updated because THEY know who I am and they want me to share it ALL by default.

I choose to remain anonymous now because I realized the community I wanted was, and is, there…without having to give it all up! I don’t keep my children’s spaces and faces under wraps because I think predators are stalking us – we just aren’t that interesting – but it’s about respecting them and their privacy…especially as they are getting older. They used to WANT me to put them up on the site, and now they are very glad I don’t, and you can’t “undo” that kind of stuff. I also like to think I am teaching them that the internet can be a wonderful place if you are careful and responsible…but I could really be deluding myself there – I guess time will tell?  If the Things turn Anthony Weiner > Carlos Danger in their young adulthood, the last laugh will be on me.

BTW, I don’t judge anyone who wants to post their kids online AT ALL – I think it’s great, I know I enjoy following along, and I truly admire them for feeling free enough to do so, it’s just not me/us.

I guess, at the end of the day, I just never thought it mattered. I can only picture the voices of my peeps on NPR and does it stop me from listening? Nope, I nerdily tune in every day (Ari Shapiro is now in London!) and listen along, blissfully unaware with no faces to many of the names….although, Ira Glass is kinda handsome.

Theater of the mind, friends…theater of the mind.

 

16 thoughts on “The Anonymity Thing

  1. Kathy@myinteriorlife says:

    I’ve always been amazed at how well you have remained anonymous. I think it gives you a cool mystique. Although, I must admit I’ve almost accidentally used your first name in a comment here or on IG (but of course you can sanitize that pretty quickly even if I did slip). I kept my last name off my blog for the longest, but then I realized as I’ve tried to grow my design business that my name probably should be detectable. 🙂

    I try not to show my kids too much but now when I take a photo Pierce always first asks, “You’re not going to put that on Instagram are you?” Yikes. MIght need to work on that. Great post. You rock on . . . you!

  2. Abby says:

    I love that I have no idea who you are and what your kids look like! I read a lot of blogs and while some just share a photo here and there, a few DIY blogs have started to venture into dangerous mommy blog territory. I’m glad I can’t google my name and read about the diaper rash I had when I was one. Kudos for considering your kids future Internet presence! And not turning them into little cash cows either!

  3. Elphie says:

    I think that, at least for me, the intrigue and fascination with your writing and photography, outweigh any question into your decision to remain anonymous. It’s your life and everyone should respect your decision. I simply enjoy focusing on the joy that you bring to those with whom you share your passion. Thanks for making your blog so interesting to read, even if it does make me jealous!

  4. MM says:

    Theatre of the mind! I love that NPR link. BTW, I expected Ira Glass to look totally different before I ever saw his mug in an interview spread. Now, I cannot unsee how he actually is. Totally fine to be anonymous — love looking at your house projects and the idea of giving kids some space and control over what appears on the Internet about them.

  5. CT says:

    Thanks for the great response ModFruGal! I think the anonymity adds a great mystique like a Clark Kent/Superman or Bruce Wayne/Batman kind of thing. And we get to see amazing photos inside Batman’s secret lair! Really I am just a little jealous that I didn’t create myself an interwebs alter-ego. Cheers – CT

  6. FlagirlinTN says:

    What? You are not going to go all “Eddie Ross” and take all your local blog fans on a guided tour of the flea market? I guess I will still have to smile at everyone I pass and wonder if it’s you.

  7. ModernSauce says:

    I was anonymous for about 2 years so I get ALL the reasons that you stay that way! I really respect your decision to stay anonymous now (it’s hard to do!) because if you don’t set strong boundaries for yourself, the internet machine will set them for you which means NONE! I know for me I wanted to originally be anonymous because although yes, blogging is narcissistic, I wanted people to be able to relate to what I was talking about rather than ME the person, ya know? So when I read you I don’t feel it’s about you the “celebrity” personae or comparisons between the reader and the blogger which often happens in blogland, but about design and the projects you’re doing. Although I’m sure you’re a lovely person in a multitude of ways. ; )

    • ModFruGal says:

      Exactly. Thank you…you got it exactly – connecting with people for shared interests over whatever perceived persona there may be….

  8. BettyMod says:

    This is exactly why I have followed your blog for as long as I have. You aren’t some attention whore goon like most other house bloggers. You have been legit since day 1. I am more interested in your blog than bloggers who have painfully overshared their entire lives. You have a great house and great taste. As long as the site is up and running, I will follow. Thank you!

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