Pseudonymousness

Lately I struggle with my various identities. For example, while at home, work, or socializing with friends, I tend to pretend to be myself. 

This blog is pseudonymous because I express opinions that I wish to share with a certain peer audience but not necessarily with prospective employers or other sets of colleagues or acquaintances. I’m pretty safe here, because no one reads this blog (except occasionally traffic from comments I make elsewhere). Friends at work could easily ID me from this blog, because if I am ranting about it here I am ranting about it in the hallway, but I don’t think any of them read it.

Twitter is my real identity because many of the people I follow are my actual friends or professional interactions that are good to have. I have heard it said that it is good to have an online “presence.” That said, I have to curate what I say a bit on Twitter. Which isn’t a bad thing, but I don’t say much. There are people who are against anon/pseudo in principle, but I think it’s clear there are things that should be said that are difficult to say with your IRL identity when you are at a fragile career stage.

So… what’s confusing is the overlap between these realms. I follow a lot of people who have cross-platform consistency (usually pseudo on blogs and Twitter), while I am constantly shifting. One drawback is, of course, that I can’t promote the blog on Twitter, but again, I don’t write much. Then again, maybe the blog would be more active if it cross-fertilized with Twits. Mostly it feels to me like the conversations that naturally bounce back and forth between the blogosphere and Twitterdom become disjointed for me.

So, pseudonymize my Twitter and lose some IRL networking, or de-pseudo my blog and watch what I say a bit more? Anyway, 21st century problems am I right? Next thing you know I’ll accidentally reply-all and insult somebody.

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10 Comments on “Pseudonymousness”

  1. GinAndTulips says:

    Very true! Thanks, I enjoyed the read,

  2. Dr Becca says:

    Lots of people have two twitter accounts (one pseud, one IRL), and 3rd party interfaces like TweetDeck or Echofon make it really easy to switch back and forth. Give it a whirl!

  3. miko says:

    Interesting… I could follow myself! I use the Twitter web site, that must be hopelessly n00b. thanks

  4. miko says:

    So I tried this for a little while… looking at 2 very similar Twitter feeds and deciding which one to use to participate hurt my head. Maybe I can work up to it.

  5. I’m pretty safe here, because no one reads this blog (except occasionally traffic from comments I make elsewhere). Friends at work could easily ID me from this blog, because if I am ranting about it here I am ranting about it in the hallway, but I don’t think any of them read it.

    You realize that your feeling of “pretty safe here” based on “no one reads this blog” is fucken delusional, right?

  6. miko says:

    Well, it’s not really based on that. I know exactly how many people visit the blog from stats, and it is a pretty small number. Mostly “pretty safe” because the people who would easily recognize me from this blog are not the people I would particularly care about knowing it was mine.

  7. Sarah says:

    The real problem is if something blows up elsewhere down the road, prompting people to dig up everything you ever wrote anywhere – all streams flow to the same ocean eventually…

  8. miko says:

    I guess I can always take solace in the fact that this is pretty likely to be my last year as an academic scientist. Unlikely to bite me back in a way that will hurt my dosa truck business.

  9. […] Awesome! The Drug Monkey is one of my favorite blogs and an enjoyable follow on Twitter. Then I remembered another mention DM and had made on this post about pseudonymity: […]

  10. […] August: Lately I struggle with my various identities. […]


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