As a journalist I know better than to slag off people unless I have facts to back my opinion up, (I’ve no time for blogs that rant and rave without a purpose), so you’ll never read anything negative on this blog unless I truly believe in what I have to say, be it a show review, complaint about an inefficient press office (Topshop anyone?) or a completely objective (hmm) whinge about an ex-boyfriend.

But the reason that I anony-blog isn’t because I want a licence to say rude things about people with no comeuppance, swirling my cloak of anonymity El Zorro-like around me, but rather because I fear the mighty Google.

Pop my real world name into Google and page after page of relevant entries appear. (The only other person with my name is a female sportswoman from the other side of the world). Even though my Facebook is on maximum privacy, if you scroll through Google you can find immediately articles I’ve written as far back as 2000, my cell number and even hear my voice, talking on in a radio interview syndicated from the BBC World Service. I find this ready access to such minutiae disconcerting.

When I internet date, I use a blind email address, and never, ever divulge my surname before meeting. If the date goes badly or I’m not interested, I want to walk away with my privacy intact, rather than leave my life wide open to Mr Random. I’ve also found that men have been intimidated by my real-world job, and I don’t want to be pre-judged by what I do to earn a living.

Can you imagine if my blog was under my real name? One quick Google search and my personal & professional life over the past year would be unfurled before anyone who cared enough to search in the first place, whether potential datee, employer or would-be psycho . No thank you.

And a coda: whilst I FERVENTLY admire Susie for putting herself out there, I fear I am just too old for that style of personal blogging. So, I wanted to add to all the lovely commentators who have asked for pics of me in outfits: sorry my feet
are about as far as I’m going on that tip!

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13 comments

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Unless you’re me, then one quick Google search reveals nothing. Google is like a cat..it senses when you DON’T want it and then it’s all over your ass. If you do want it, it’s snooty.

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Could Googlophobia be the buzzword of 2008?

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Amen, my dear and I am sure others agree with you.

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Hmm. Perhaps Wendy I & have different Google skills. Unfortunately in my case exactly one quick Google search of my name reveals A LOT, owing to the nature of my journalism! LLG xx

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I totally agree with you and just quietly being anonymous doesn’t make your blog any less valid. It’s a great blog by the way. I found you through Susie Bubble and I liked your opinion on that horrible comment she got. Anyways have a fab day!
xxx

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What you say definitely makes sense. I’m just a student and I give not a hint of my real name–but my picture is there forever really. I definitely think some day I will be too old for all of this…

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Anonymity is important. I suppose if you were feeling brave, you could do those photos of yourself with the head cut off, but then, some of us are recognizable by some of the things we wear.

And you’ve already thought of all this anyway.

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i’m with you! your blog can just be your alter ego..

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You have pointed out the great drawback to the Internet, and it’s not just limited to cloaking one’s identity.

For twenty bucks or so, anyone can dig up the dirt on anyone else. What used to require the intervention of a private detective can now be delivered to your e-mail in an hour or less.

It’s insidious. We are losing our right to privacy and anonymity and there is no one there to throw up a cautionary flag.

It worries me that teenagers don’t seem to feel concerned; I found my niece’s real name, school, hometown, and intended college by running her name through a new utility. She shrugged when I questioned her about it. She’s 17.

The Internet has also opened the door to creeps, crumb bums, and other assorted cretins–regardless of whether one reveals one’s identity.

You stick to your guns, LLG. Great post topic–very thought-provoking as usual.

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Yeah, I do know what you mean. It’s strange that I’m slightly cagey about revealing my name, and yet I’m willing to show photos! Google shows only about 2 sites relevant to me – Insignificant to google, that I am!

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