While I have been stewing, and posting draft after draft after draft, doing research, fact checking, image crediting and generally living life outside the view of Wednesday Walk on WordPress, I finally remembered – This is not intended to be some fancy schmancy blog that educates, entertains or informs others! It is intended to be a space to keep me accountable about mindful weekly walks, and sharing the thoughts that arise. If it happens to educate, entertain or inform, SUPER! Hopefully at least one occurs with each post for you my dear. So, without further a due, a first draft post on the idea of nom de plume’s.
With the vast research and delving into the blogosphere I have seen more and more brave souls placing their personal pictures, names and descriptors. My latest hero in this regard would have to be Sharon Howard. (She seems pretty interesting, you might wanna check her out in a minute or two.) I have also seen the push on Google+ for “honesty”, “authenticity” and “real”ness.
If you are new, or thinking of Google+, make sure you have some sort of picture uploaded for your profile pic, preferably one that looks like the “real” you, if you want people to interact with you! Oh, and brand pages, in my opinion, are a waste of time right now. Having just a brand page is extremely limited, unless you already have a loyal following that will follow you over there!
So I ought to upload my personally identifiable picture for you to relate to then right? And tell you stuff like my a/s/l (age/sex/location) right? Hum…. Then I came across a great blogger on G+ that had some other thoughts on the topic that I have to agree with wholeheartedly. She articulates my ethereal thoughts extremely well, and expands on the topic too!
Excerpt: Most of us lead compartmentalized lives. We go to work, we have great parties, we give our time to causes in the community, we have our sexual proclivities, we attend church (maybe only during holidays), we support certain political causes — and so on. The first rule of courtesy is to understand the place and time. You shouldn’t speak about your delight with new anal beads at work. You shouldn’t regale your family at brunch with endless details about a merger. You shouldn’t speak about your wild parties at church. And you would do well not to divide the room by mentioning religion or politics at a cocktail party. Real life allows us to keep the various facets that make us who we are separate so they do not cause discomfort to ourselves or others. This is for a variety of reasons, some dishonest, many not. It doesn’t make us dishonest to encompass our share of contradictions. It makes us human.
The problem with the web is that it largely began as a world separate from meatspace. Today, most people use their real names, but this wasn’t always the case. When I started going online in the mid-90s, no one even knew my gender. I preferred that, not because I was hiding, but because I feel very strongly that I should be judged by my thoughts, not who people assume I am by seeing I am a woman, by attaching a handful of preconceived notions to what I am saying because they see my photo and think I’m too young or too old or attractive or unattractive.
Being an intangible essence allowed me to be more myself than I’d ever been before. Posting on different niche boards enabled the level of frankness that we experience when we’re in a group of like-minded people with whom we can openly debate or discuss topics. But this is no longer how the web operates and the transition hasn’t been an easy one. In a world where employers can easily find out everything about you, where insurance companies can decide to give or deny coverage because they see some status update as representing a liability, where a judge at family court can take away your children because — God forbid — you had a photo taken at Playboy West some Halloween… It’s not a matter of the web exposing you. It’s a matter of no longer having the ability to segregate different aspects of your life as we were once easily able to do and the concern is entirely valid.
So then dear reader, I ask you – Which is more real?
Further reading can be found through the excerpt link to find A.V.’s full article, her name to see her Google+ profile, or Tracy’s thoughts on nom de plumes visible clicking through the picture. Oh and don’t forget the non nom de plumer Sharon linked above 😉