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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

To be or not to be?

Anonymous that is.

I'm half anonymous when it comes to blogging. People who follow my blog but do not know me in real life know certain amount of things about me including my first name. They probably know where I'm from, where I am now and what I do, where I studied and some more. But they don't know my other name and many other information, not to mention how I look like, so unless someone does an NB guess it'll stay the same. Then there are another few wonderful people whom I got to know through blogging who now are in my FB, Twitter, Picasa, Flickr and other such networks. They of course have seen me, know more than those others do but that's OK because I added them on those networks because I do trust them in the first place. However I still haven't had the pleasure of meeting any bloggers, thus I think I still have got some level of anonymity among all bloggers.

Then, on the other side of the coin are the people I actually know in person. Friends, family, colleagues and even perhaps enemies though I'd like to think I don't have any. Those are the people I encounter day to day and to them I'm totally a known entity (obviously) though my blog wasn't at first. My blog was anonymous to them. Then, one by one they got to know that I have a blog mainly through FB and to a lesser extent by other ways. Most of them don't follow my blog, some read it from time to time and it's nice to know that a few of them actually read every one of my posts.

However, this in itself has presented me with a problem. A problem in the sense, the fact that those people who know me reading what I write has affected my writing. To be precise, it has affected what I write. When I started blogging I had no idea whatsoever I'd continue for this long or what I'll write about. I just wrote and some of you wonderful people on Kottu read and encouraged me. Nobody really knew me, so I just kept on writing whatever I wanted, about anyone I preferred. Concealing their identity of course. But now, since most of my real life friends know I blog, I simply can't write just about anything. Even if I tried to conceal the identity of someone, it's only a matter of time before someone put the things together. And not just about others, this has prevented me from writing what I want to write about myself as well. If you are one of the few who kept reading me from the beginning you'd know what I mean. I've been blogging less and less about me and the others around me while random posts have increased. I don't know if it's a good thing or not, but it certainly has restricted me.

Why did I let them know, you might ask. Good point, and to be brutally honest guess I loved the attention. It's fair too, I guess. There's no point in writing if you don't want anybody to read - you might as well write it on a piece of paper and burn it. Anyway, the thing is, on one hand there is the Lankanosphere to whom I can write just about anything. On the other hand there is the nice bunch of people I know, to whom I can not divulge everything about me. Funny isn't it? You are at ease saying anything you want to a bunch of strangers (in a way, at least) while you're not so comfortable about it when it comes to friends and family - the very people you love and care about the most. But I digress. As I was saying, now this has become a dilemma. By no way I mean that I don't want my friends to read what I write - as much as I did back then I still want them to read me, I know it's true deep down inside. Yet there is the problem that those very people prevent me from writing freely.

What should I do? Should I quit blogging? Or should I close down this blog and start one which is truly anonymous? Or should I admit that this is part and parcel of the whole thing, and continue blogging restraining myself? Or should I throw all caution to the wind and write whatever I want?

I just don't know.


  1. Sach - I've experienced exactly the same thing so I know how you feel. But I reckon the positive of the many great friends I've made through blogging far outweighs the negative of having to think about who I write about a bit more than I used to.

    I think it's a bit of a balancing act that we all face and there's no easy answer, it's just a matter of using our judgement as these issues crop up.

  2. I think a lot of us have had this issue...I certainly have. I generally take the final option, and admittedly it has got me into trouble a couple of times. But the issues I had with the ppl I had written about were resolved. And I haven't lost their friendship...but it could be that I got lucky.

    I wouldn't worry about it too much. Maybe save the contentious posts as drafts and then see if you still feel the same a few days later...if so, post...if not, modify/delete. Time is an excellent healer.

    Subha aluth avuruddak wewa! :-)

  3. RD, thanks for the response.

    Actually I wasn't talking about friends I made through blogging, such as you, for I have no problem really saying to them what I want. It's the people I live with, day to day, that challenge me with this. For instance, if K and A knew about your blog, would it not affect the way you write and what you write?

    I know it's a tough one, yet a decision I have to make. I've even considered pros and cons, and as you say the pros of keeping this blog as it is indeed seem to outweigh the cons. For one, I like people I know reading what I write. Then, even if I quit this blog and start new one, chances are that they will find out sooner or later. That'll make the whole effort useless. Quitting blogging is out of the question. Finally, I'm too fond of this blog to let go of it!

  4. PR
    I don't think that the final option is really an option for me. That sure as hell end me up in a lot of trouble. Your suggestion of waiting it out a bit is a good one, except that I never keep drafts. Usually I write something if it comes to mind and hit 'post', or it'll end up in that unwritten posts heaven. But yeah, I have to compromise something no? Maybe I'll try taking that approach. It's just I don't see me deleting this blog.

    On and thanks for the wishes! Same goes to you! Made any Kawum Kokis and stuff?

  5. Sach - Yes, I understand. Whenever I write about A and K I try to bear in mind that they'll prob know about my blog at some point in the future, so I try not to write anything I wouldn't want them to ever read.

    I've always tried to keep my blog positive, which I think yours is too, so perhaps it's not such a concern. You don't like the sort of chap who's likely to write a "moaning" about a friend type of post anyhow!

  6. To be honest, at first my blog wasn't all that positive. I used to whine and bitch about things. But I realized that it's not just me that has problems and that I need to deal with them without whining. And people don't like to listen to whiners even if they're close friends. So at the start of 2009 I made a promise to myself that I'd try to keep things positive or else I won't write about them. So far I think I've been successful more or less. And I think I drew inspiration from you on this too, cos you never whine though I'm sure you have your fair share of problems.

    So yeah, perhaps it's not a big problem after all. Perhaps I should be more open, and write things I want to write keeping them positive.

  7. hmm..I find myself in something similar...but haven't decided on what to do.

    You might want to keep this blog coz we all like you..:)

    If you have other things to say, well, maybe you can have another anonymous blog?

    and I'm also with what PR said..:)

  8. Ah yes, I know the feeling. My blogger friends are friends I hang out with frequently so I have to be a bit careful about what I write lest they look at me weird (thankfully, most of them are very open minded).

    I'd say stick with being prudent but don't change your writing style for them. Your blog is an extension of yourself so basically, whatever you write is what you are but just be cautious with the words penned. That is all. Sabby has spoken! :D

  9. My goodness don't delete the blog! But yeah give the drafts a go. I know my method isn't the easiest option, though it's probably the most honest one.

    Haha what kevili in these parts? I just made some kiribath and bought a bottle of larich katta sambol from the asian shop. Hope you have people to celebrate with!

  10. @LD
    Another blog? Hmm... good, but perhaps then it'll be too much to ask. You know I'm so lazy.

    Understood, your majesty. I shall do as you command.

    Nah... it'd take a lot for me to delete this.

    I'm just settling for some grilled chicken with rice and parippu tonight. Hope it'll come good, still on the process of making.

  11. Sach, I guess its a common syndrome. I had to pull-out my kids pics from my blog during the NB episode; but by and large, we live a public life. So, the best method is not to take the private life there. People know quite a bit about me, but I'm very choosy with FB – you are the only blogger who is in there.

    Oh BTW, I too have not met any of these wonderful bloggers yet. ;(

  12. SI, one thing I learned from the whole NB saga is it's never a good idea to post personal stuff like that. But year, more or less we are not anonymous... Hey am I the only one in your FB? I'm honored!

    We definitely need to meet someday, btw.

  13. OMG - i have been having this internal debate about whether I should start blogging again. I quit in june 2007 and feel like a bit of a voyeur trolling on other people's blogs leaving the odd comment here and there but wishing I had my own blog again. one of the reasons i quit - i lost my anonymity amongst friends and my blog became a bit of a topic at social gatherings...on one hand you want people to read your thinkings but on the other it sometimes makes you uncomfortable discussing it with the people you are closest to..

  14. 1. Don't delete this blog.. if possible.. cuz your posts are always interesting and I found a bunch of inspiring ones too among them.
    2. I went through the same matter before, and after pondering for a week or 2.. deleted my old blog. *mercilessly* -__- It was a blog I truly cherished and I miss it so badly now. But at least I don't regret what I did. *I know this sounds like a contradiction* =D
    3. It's inevitable to be wary of your audience, especially after your blog receives more popularity.
    4. With the witty use of wording, you might be able to convey your stories without reservations. *though its easy said than done*
    5. You could leave this blog as it is and refresh your themes from time to time. Themes that can be generally talked about without affecting anyone or yourself.
    6. All in all it is up to you to decide. Do something that you will not regret. Don't stop writing cuz you've the knack to keep your audience hooked from the start to finish. Do keep writing.

    Genki dashite! sore ni.. Ganbatte ne! ^__^

  15. Sach, we must meet. I guess we should plan for a 'diaspora' (I hate that word) gathering so all the ones overseas also could be there, to meet the islanders. ;)
    That said, you n I must meet when u r home next time - I'm usually there every 2 months.

    maf, you should start again. I was wondering why there were no updates.

  16. Is this why writters had 'pen names'?

    Maybe you can get one too! ! !

  17. @Maf
    There are so many of us who has the same problem, aren't there? Perhaps you should start a whole new one, with a new identity. You don't have to tell anyone this time around.

    Thanks a lot for the encouraging words. I doubt I'll delete this as I'm practially in love with it, so no worries.

    Yeah man, a blogger meetup would be so cool... Will see machan!

    Hahah, what's the point? You know I'm surrounded by a bunch of friends who are quite capable of detective work. You included.

  18. No prob and glad to hear you won't delete it. ^__^

    oops! you used Kanji there right? Geez.. I'm only familiar with few dozen words and just the basics of the basics of Hiragana. lol See.. I even used 3 translators and got 3 slightly different translations. hehe.. I still prefer Romaji. =D

    PS: Off topic, have you memorized the whole Kanji alphabet?

  19. Are you kidding me? There are about 50,000 Kanji, how am I to memorize them all? LOL.

    Well actually, say to read a newspaper, you need to know about 2000 of them, but I'm familiar with only about 100. Two hundred tops, if I include the ones I know but forgotten. I'm so bad at Japanese actually.

  20. @Anon
    What? Why do you want that poor Sachin Tendulkar to die? He's a nice dude I heard.

  21. Whoa! no way there's 50,000?! O__O Who on earth invented Kanji? -__- But then again considering that kanji letters usually represents words so it must be like learning a whole dictionary. lol

    Even 2000 letters is too much. But you're really great if you could remember even 100 of them. For me they all look even more esoteric than hieroglyphs! hehe.. I'd willingly stick to Hiragana. =D

  22. @Harumi
    Chinese invented them. The Japs copied them. Well, we HAD to learn them... so I'm barely managing. But I'd rather prefer if I could work in English which I can't.

    Ah, so this is Alex our friend. LOL.

  23. I do not exist in Jrod blogs , he is a traitor!. hahaha.

  24. Oh ya, I completely forgot that. It was mentioned in that ebook I downloaded for studying.

    That's true. Come to think of it, some years ago my pal chose Engineering as her major and even graduated from a campus out there. And she also said she had to study all three writing forms of Kanji, Hiragana and Katakana. *I think* Only now I understand how great she is. =D

  25. I know what you mean about being comfortable sharing with strangers but not with people you know... But I have added a lot of bloggers on Facebook and most of them (95%) have their blogs linked to their profiles, so their friends know about their blogs. I think I should've done that in the beginning as well, coz I've come to hate having to hide my blog from my friends. So for now only my closest friends know about my online identity... :)