I would just like to start this post by stating that when I started this blog, I knew that at some point it was possible that someone would figure out who I am, so even though I chose to be anonymous, I write every post keeping in mind that it’s possible for someone to figure out that I wrote it. To my knowledge, no one knows who I am, except for the two people who I myself told about this blog. I chose to be anonymous so that I could express a certain side of myself that I don’t necessarily express outside the blogosphere. If you met me in person, you would probably be pretty surprised, since my personality on this blog is not necessarily the one that shows in person. Each time I sign in I feel almost like superman, assuming a different identity that no one knows about, and that feeling is thrilling and sort of liberating.
The question I’m posing today is directed at all you other anonymous bloggers out there, and that is: If someone figured out who you were, would you want them to tell you? The reason I’m asking these questions is that recently (I won’t say how recently) two interesting situations came up:
The first one is that I became aware that someone I know in real life is reading this blog, but does not know that I am the one writing it. I don’t know this person very well, so as far as I know of they have not made the connection between my real identity and my blog identity, but now I make an effort not to write posts containing topics from recent conversations that I’ve had with this person. Honestly, if they found out, it wouldn’t be the biggest deal, but I would prefer to remain anonymous so that I don’t feel constrained to write a certain way.
The second situation is that I discovered the real identity of a blogger (don’t get paranoid, it’s not you! And you’re not going to guess who it is, trust me). I debated whether to tell this person that I knew who they were in real life, but chose not to for two reasons. The main one is that they have absolutely no clue who I am, and I have never met them, I just know their name from mutual friends. The second is that ignorance is bliss, so why should I ruin their sense of anonymity, especially if we don’t really know each other anyway so it won’t really affect them at all?
Then I was thinking about my first situation, and what I would want that person to do if they did figure out who I was. Do I want to know that they know? Or is ignorance really bliss? My answer is: I don’t know. I’m going to leave it up to them, should they ever figure it out, and if they want to tell me because they feel bad or feel that they are lying to me, then I would understand. And if they choose to continue reading without letting me know, I respect that decision as well.
What do you think? If someone found out who you were, would you want to know? Does it matter if it’s a friend of yours vs. someone you never met, but might know their name? Do you have an obligation to tell someone if you discover their true identity?