One of the most frequently asked questions I get, besides “how does The Daver put up with you?” (answer: he’s not home much) and “do you want to increase the size of your manhood?” (answer: yes x 1000! Why even ask?) is this: how do you handle blogging with your real name?
It’s a good, fair question, and that’s the only reason I’ll answer it because I believe that the people who say shit like “there are no stupid questions” have horse shit where their brains should have been.
Back in Aught Four, when every single person on the planet didn’t have a URL, twitter handle, and a Facebook account, and children fucking RESPECTED their elders, dammit, Dave got me into blogging. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it’s probably so that I stopped talking the paint off the walls in our rental apartment, but he’ll tell you it’s because I’m a good storyteller. I think the answer probably falls somewhere between this, but I don’t know, you be the judge.
And when I started, I was “Ren” and my co-blogger was “Stimpy” but we frequently used our real names in part because the only people who read it were people that knew us in real life. And I thought that all the cloak and daggerness of the whole anonymous thing was kind of silly. I couldn’t imagine that anyone would want to stalk either of us young 20-something girls (Jesus, Pashmina, really? Has it been so long?) and I’m not clever enough to remember a pseudonym.
We dumped the blog and I moved to my new digs here and I saw no reason to bother operating under an assumed name. The only name I could conceive of was “Rachel” and not because I have any sort of feeling good or bad about it, but because if your name is “Rebecca,” people will frequently call you “Rachel.” I don’t know if it’s vice versa, but I’d be willing to bet yes.
I never made any real effort to hide my full name and who I am here. even though if you google my maiden name, you will find a very fancy lady (who is not me) dominates it, and my married name? I alone have it, so I don’t have the cloak of anonymity on my side and I have to own each of the words I put out there. Besides, there’s no REAL anonymity available, shockingly, just a false sense of security.
I like blogging in the open, most of the time. It keeps me honest, it makes me genuinely think before I hit the keys and say something nasty or foul and it quells my inner urge to gossip like a little bitch. I’d rather not wake up one morning to a string of nasty-grams in my inbox or my voicemail (ha! Like I check my voicemail or something.) because someone found out that I’d told The Internet that they have a fetish for sticking their fingers up puckered cat poo holes.
You’d be shocked to know that I cannot tell a lie to save myself and I think that the stress of simply having something up there that was Full of Mean would eat me up inside. I’m guilty until proven innocent on my best days, and on my worst, well, I’ve pretty much ruined the world AND killed Kenny. It’s easiest for everyone I know to have access to my blog, the good, the bad and the ugly.
But that doesn’t mean I always like it.
There have been times–MANY times–where I have wanted nothing more than to sit down here at my computer and peck out a rant-like post about Nat, Ben’s “father,” or my strained relationship with my mother and how it proves that I do, in fact have feelings. I’ve wanted nothing more than to lay it out on the line when Daver and I have a brawl and I just want The Internet to cheer me on and tell me, “You fucking rule and he fucking sucks.”
But most of the time, I don’t.
Not to say that I don’t write ’em, edit them mercilessly and then decide that it’s probably better to keep that to myself, because I have and I probably always will. Blogging is good therapy and it’s a hell of a lot cheaper. Now and again I might publish one, let you guys tell me what you think before I click the “MAKE PRIVATE” button. I’d publish them on the anonymous sites if I felt I needed to, but I probably never will because you know what? I don’t want THEIR readers, I want MINE and I can’t exactly direct my blog there. Kinda might defeat the purpose a wee bit, eh?
I guess it all boils down to this: “Don’t put anything on the Internet that you wouldn’t wear on a shirt.”
(You probably can’t believe it that I would own just about everything I’ve said here, but if you met me, maybe you would. I censor myself too, don’t you worry, because not everything that happens needs to be recorded for posterity.)
I haven’t decided if my approach is best, because, let’s face it, anyone who Knows Best and will tell you so is probably so full of hot air and self-righteousness that you’d not care whatever it was that they DID tell you was right. There are drawbacks to being out there like I am, even if my audience is composed primarily of Spam Bots offering me deeply discounted V!agra.
They just don’t outweigh the benefits.
What about you, dear sweet Internet? Grab a mug of vodka, pull up a chair and tell Your Aunt Becky what you think. Why do you blog the way you do? Or if you don’t blog (GASP!!!), which would you choose?