These posts have generated some comments, on and offline, that have had me thinking a bit more about the act of blogging and being accountable for your words.
I say accountable because, in the end, a blogger’s name is attached to the posted words.
I feel as if I should be fully accountable for my words, no matter who I’m writing for. Even if my name isn’t readily visible, there are people that know I write it.
I often think about the fact that my son my start reading my blog some day. Am I okay with that?
Yes I am. Because the topics that make me think twice about hitting that publish button, I save for a venting session with my husband or a close friend.
This accountability makes me think twice about writing about certain topics. I stay away from most anything alcohol-related, for example, because I work a lot with the substance abuse treatment and recovery community. And why complain about the school system or my neighbors when I might run into them at the grocery store? (Well, maybe at the coffee shop. I don’t do the grocery shopping in this family.)
As I see it, some topics, no matter how juicy or how many readers they might bring me, just aren’t worth the trouble. I’ve seen other bloggers with a certain amount of regret around being so open on their blog and having their name attached to it.
And, yes, there are bloggers out there who are anonymous.
But are they really?
I’m not so sure. Sure you can omit your name and change certain details to protect the innocent, but as long as one person knows you are the blogger, you’re not really anonymous. There’s always a way to string things together and figure it out. Take this post from Wired, where Google Analytics is used to identify anonymous bloggers. Not only their names, but employers and family information.
Turn the tables and think about what you post on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter. I’ve done some employee training around social media policies where we’ve had discussions on privacy. Even if you have all your privacy settings on, all it takes is one of your “friends” to expose your inappropriate post. Is it worth being fired over?
Think before you post is always my advice. Stand behind your words. If you can’t do that, then why are you writing them?
What do you think? Can you really be an anonymous blogger? Are you less accountable if you are? Is that a good thing?
I have lots of questions around this topic. I’d love to hear what your thoughts are.
Photo Credit: INCOGNITO © Irina Paraskevova | Dreamstime.com