…that is the question.
I am asked often enough if I ever have considered using pseudonyms for my kids (and husband) or if I’m comfortable with how much information I release on them. The short answers to both are no and yes. The not quite so short answers are no, never and yes, or I wouldn’t release it. Believe it or not, there is quite I bit I just don’t share at all.
I understand completely why some bloggers choose to use pseudonyms or refuse to show pictures on their blogs or even don’t mention their children. We are all entitled to some level of privacy. At the age my children are now though, they don’t know or care if I share that someone had a blow-out diaper or what their favorite movies are and use their real names when doing so. I don’t plan on putting their teenage dramas out there for the world, but I’ve got several years until we get there.
The only drawback I see to using pseudonyms is if you try to go to using your real names at some point. At one blog I frequent, there was a lot of backlash when it was revealed that the blog author was using pseudonyms. This most likely occurred because she wasn’t using names like “Artist” or “Dentist” (monikers that would obviously be pseudonyms) but she was using real people’s names the real person’s middle name in some cases. Her readers began to wonder if anything she said was true. It wasn’t her intent to mislead people but to protect her family and close friends. So, to avoid that, even if the names you choose you feel are obviously pseudonyms, go ahead and disclose to your readers that these are not the real names of the individuals. No one is going to begrudge you privacy. And if they are, you can do without their readership.
The other potential risk of using pseudonyms would be what happened to a friend of mine who no longer blogs a couple of years ago. Her aging grandmother outed everyone’s real info in the comments and she wasn’t screening them. Kudos to grandma for knowing how to comment on a blog, but it should have been explained to grandma ahead what was going on. (The comment was along the lines of, “Well, ‘Ash’ isn’t that really ‘Cameron’ and ‘Windy’ I know is ‘Sarah’…”) It was as a direct result of that the blog was shut down. While no one really held it against Grandma, there still were some hurt feelings. And a well-meaning person who knows what’s going on could slip up, it’s just a risk you have to consider.
Yes, I realize there is some risk to sharing what I do, like our real names, our general location, etc, but I’m not in witness protection, working as a covert CIA agent, on the lam, or engaging in illegal activities (good to know, I’m sure) so there is no reason I need to remain any more anonymous than anyone else out there. I don’t begrudge anyone who chooses the other path, it’s just not for me.
*And for disclosure, if you ever have a question or something else you would like for me to respond to here, and wish to remain anonymous or use a pseudonym, I hope my past entries would show I am always willing to comply J