Anonymous Blogging or How to Avoid a Stalker

Some bloggers blog anonymously.  Others give out a lot of personal info.  But the majority seem to be somewhere in the middle.  Maybe a first name and a city.  Maybe a first and last name but also the names of spouses and kids.  I’m not that trusting.  When I started this blog a few months ago I thought long and hard about how much to share and decided that I wasn’t comfortable with any information about me on this blog.  Our home phone number and address is unlisted and I don’t sign up for things that will likely get me on a list.  The email I used to set up this blog is not my name.  I am paranoid.  Why?  10 years ago, over the course of a year, I received several anonymous threatening phone calls at home and at work, to a point where the police became involved and my work phone was tapped to try to find the a-hole.  Yes, the police in both the city where I worked and lived have a record of it so if he shows up again, there’s a history.

The point is, even 10 years later I think of it.  I don’t answer my cell if I don’t recognize the number or if it comes in as a private caller.  I know, I should be over it.  But he threatened me and my body.  I like my body, and I like the bodies of the  people around me even more, so if I thought that the a-hole could find me and hurt anyone close to me I’d just die.  So, that’s why I’m not brave enough to use my name in this blog.  Even though I’m sure both my readers are totally normal it’s the other people I’m worried about.  What if this blog gets so hugely popular that I give Dooce a run for her money?  ha ha.

On the other hand, I hate the feeling that even after so much time has passed it still gets to me.  Certainly the a-hole has moved on so I should too.

So, are you ever worried about some crazy person out there hunting you down and egging your house because they didn’t like something you had to say?

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7 responses to “Anonymous Blogging or How to Avoid a Stalker

  1. Wow, that’s really freaky. I had a stalker at the place where I interned but it never got to the point where he was bothering me outside of work. I don’t blame you for staying anonymous.

    I’m in the middle on my blog. I use our first names and pictures but never my last name or my “real” email address. Several of my bloggy friends have asked to link up in Facebook but I don’t since I like to keep my blogging life separate from my non-blogging life.

    I’ve accidentally sent people emails from my personal account (that has my full name in it) and it always gives me an uneasy feeling. Thankfully, it’s only happened once or twice and it was when I was corresponding with someone who I think is trustworthy.

  2. Yeah, I guess I’m somewhere in the middle too. But if what happened to you had happened to me, I would feel the same way you do, I imagine. Scary!

  3. I’m not really worried about that, but my husband is. I also have had some experience with my real name being out in mainstream media (a long time ago) and got some unwelcome “fan” mail and letters. So I’d rather avoid that if possible.

    Mostly I use quasi-anonymity to protect my family’s privacy, though. For me, I don’t care.

  4. it’s a tricky one – I am aware that I have my name on my blog so I try not to use anything that could pin me further down like town and age or anything like that. But then I do want to blog about the things that I am interested in without having to stop and pause and think about which words are better than others!

  5. I blogged about this last year. I’m somewhere in the middle, although I post less photos of the kids then I used to.

  6. Hmm, good question. I sometimes wonder about the amount of information I give out – it really wouldn’t be THAT hard to find us.

    But mostly, I assume nobody cares. If I’d had an experience like yours, I certainly would remain anonymous.

  7. I tend not to use my real name for blog-stuff, including setting up a new Yahoo e-mail address for the blog. I don’t mind using my first name when talking with people & will need to give out details for getting and receiving books (mine’s a book blog), but that’s to people I have some level of confidence with.

    I had a stalking situation several years ago that didn’t get to your level & didn’t officially involve the police, but had my cop buddy nervous.

    I’ve tried to find a middle space by withholding my name and details of where I am, but including basics (for instance, I tell people I live in West Texas — cuz West Texas is a big big place).

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