Online Intimacy

All too often I follow the breadcrumbs wherever they lead me online. So I stumble across some pretty random stuff. Thus why my RSS reader contains way too much stuff to reasonably read. (That reminds me, I need to cull a couple hundred subscriptions again.)

Well, I found the anonymous blog of a woman in my extended social network (no, not the Web 2.0 sense). There is enough evidence to know who the owner is a specific person 2 degrees away. The one thing which confused me was her use of a pseudonym for talking about someone who was in the news.

Having read just posts covering the last 18 months, I don’t think I could meet her without bursting into tears. She has had a horrible time with three deaths of family or friends, a wedding which didn’t happen, and verbal abuse at work. Tragic stuff has just bombarded her. These horrible events interlacing insightful commentary about media make me sad. Yet I was only able to make myself stop in order to write this post.

Someone who invests the time and energy to publicly write about the difficult personal details of his or her life really impresses me. Years ago I kept journals which became where I expressed many of the emotions I ought to have instead given to the people around me. Whether positive or negative, people deserved to know how I felt about them. Instead pieces of paper received the intimate details of who I was. My friends got a Vulcan. This blog is rather impersonal because I figured out early on in blogging, people who know me would find an anonymous blog and read it for any mention of themselves.

At this point I no longer even try to hide. Anyone reading it knows in seconds Ezra writes it and whether or not they know Ezra. Then again, these cold emotionless bytes are for public consumption.

Irony would be if she reads this post and mentions it. The above details are obvious enough she would almost certainly know I am talking about her. I am relying on the same tricks of not using names of people and places to avoid making it too obvious. They didn’t work for her. So I have one last thing to possibly break the anonymity: We both use the words “rants” and “raves” in the blog titles/subtitles.

3 thoughts on “Online Intimacy”

  1. The use of the pseudonym for the person who has been in the news is simple – including it would make finding the blog post by searching THAT person’s name too easy. People can find ME if they try, but people who just search for the person who was in the news story (who knew that person OR who have joined the Googling hordes in the height of the media frenzy – you won’t believe how involved some creepy strangers will get in a tragedy that does not involve them personally in any way) will be unlikely to find the post.

    Now, if someone happens upon the post because they follow my blog, because they know me or just by happenstance – yes, they will know what news story is being referred to. I have always asked my regular readers that, should they ever refer to posts that mention events covered in the news, they simply don’t use the (easily gleaned) actual names so that the breadcrumbs won’t lead gawkers to my doorstep.

    I think discussing tragedy and it’s personal impact is something I have to share. I hope it serves a purpose. It has led me to meeting new people and making connections with others who have suffered similar losses. I just want to be able to discuss things frankly and honestly without attracting the rubber-neck crowd or the media. Here’s hoping.

    I have found other bloggers and blog visitors surprisingly respectful and understanding of my desire for a modicum of privacy. Their desire to avoid doing anything to “break” the anonymity has been a blessing. I hope I continue to be so fortunate.

  2. Also, thank you. It’s been a hard road. I guess I just need a quiet place to talk about it. And, as you indicated, in person is so difficult. It’s too much for most.

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