Monday, April 30, 2012

Anonymity of the Interwebs

Many people go online every day. Using profiles and names that all the friends and people they know, are familiar with.

And then there are the rest of us…the unknowns…those that will write stuff, and remain secretive about their identity.

But how secret is your identity?

Little things written in blogs, such as:
-         My birthday is tomorrow…
-         I went to _____ for school for 12 years…
All spoil your identity.

Those that know you, even in the faintest ways, can suddenly understand who you are, and know who the real you is, losing your fake identity.

Recently Baby Carrot wrote a new blog, talking about setting people up, for dating and marriage, using only information that he/she has garnered from the blogs.

Are these all viable options?
Will Masculine Jew and Thinking Jew Girl get together? Probably not.

Does The Unconventional Bochur now have a thing for Musings? Again, probably not.

But if we explore the reasoning's behind Baby Carrot's actions, maybe he/she has a point? The fake wall you are putting up, is really similar to your real self.

Maybe these secret identities are not so secret to yourself, because it is the real you.

Many of you may wonder who I am...and that's alright. That's half the fun of the game known as "Anonymity of the Interwebs".

But until I am ready to reveal myself, I can guarantee to remain anonymous.

Because I, I'm the real Batman.


  1. Thank you Professor.

    Any help spreading the word, will be greatly appreciated.


  2. Lol. Great post. And welcome. I was wondering when you'd start your own blog.

  3. Thank you Altie.

    Hoping to write many more blog posts...hopefully.

  4. No one told you about the bets we place on new bloggers? I give you 2 weeks. At best. (I jest. Maybe :P )

    P.S. Please turn off word verification as it is time consuming and annoying. Much obliged.

    1. I think I've lasted 2 weeks...sometimes I wish I hadn't.

    2. Why are you responding now? And... you kind of disappeared there for awhile.

  5. Welcome! And I second that! No word verification please!

  6. Thanks Sarah.

    And to both you and Altie, as per requests, it has been removed!
    (Truthfully, had I noticed it was there, I would've removed it, just hadn't noticed that setting!)

    Altie, I'll take that bet, and place it on 1 week.

  7. That's because blogger doesn't make you do word verification if you are signed in to your account. Apparently they aren't wary of you spamming your own blog.

    Oh really? Are you betting against yourself?

  8. Hahaha...blogger doesn't know me at all then...I like Spamming myself!

    Unfortunately, I am betting against myself making it too long...

  9. You are quite a weird creature.

    That is sad. But I'll take that bet. If we both win, you have to write a post glorifying my blog as a farewell.

  10. I am a weird creature, with a very Wondering Mind...hence the title, and why any posts I may do, can be on any array of topics.

    And I can post whatever I feel like...but I don't know which of your blogs I'd choose :-O but how many followers do you think I'd have, that it would do you any good?

  11. I like the background of your blog. Shows a slight dark side, and shrouded in mystery. And I encourage you to "post whatever you feel like" on any array of topics, as it makes it all the more interesting to read.

    Ha. I really only have one blog. In 1 week? I'd say possibly 3. Depends how often you post. And how interesting (or boring) you are. And it's the thought that counts.

  12. Well, all I'll say is, I'll talk about anything my followers would like me to discuss, or anything that's on my mind. I'm not to particular about topics. Otherwise I wouldn't be a Wonder-er.

  13. "I'll talk about anything my followers would like me to discuss, or anything that's on my mind." What if the two don't correspond?

    Anyway, bets aside, if you have what to say by all means, say it. Looking forward to the next 2 weeks :P

  14. It won't matter...I can discuss any topic. Be it for it, or against it, it doesn't matter, it can still be discussed!

    And the biggest problem for making it the two weeks, is topics!

  15. Good for you.

    A) Take a trip around the blogosphere, see what kind of things people are talking about, and then NOT talk about that.

    B) When you put your mind to it, you suddenly start seeing things to write about. Interesting things that happen to you that day. And you find yourself thinking, "That was so funny/interesting/ridiculous that I just HAVE to share it on my blog."

    Or lessons you glean from situations are always refreshing to read. If you can be different then everyone else and offer a new perspective we never saw before- then people will be interested.

    Or- juts write dark depressing poetry. It would go with the goth theme of your blog you got going on.

  16. Talk about dating! Girls are constantly talking about dating and we wanna hear it from the guys perspective (I'm assuming you're a guy - just the writing style and colours etc) and even if ur not a guy we wanna hear about dating, shidduchim, etc. those are the posts that everyone comment on!

  17. No. Au contraire. Everyone talks about it constantly. It gets to the point where you are so sick of hearing people whine about their bad dates and how sad it is that they are not married. Please. Spare us.

  18. My desire for anonymity is more to prevent an internet stalker rather than no one knowing who I am. I have told people about my blog, and I express the same opinions with others in "real life." But as for telling details, I try to leave a confusing trail.

  19. You seem pretty concerned with anonymity...

    On this post and on some of your comments, you have brought up how some of these blogs give too many hints and they are not really anonymous...

    No bloggers reveals information without being aware that that information is being revealed. And for some (like myself) we are not really anonymous, since those that know us, know who we are.

    I think is all reflects an inner fear of people finding out who you are. But if you are not planning on writing anything private or identifying, then why are you so worry about anonymity?

    And truth be told, to a certain extent, even if someone knows our
    "name", we can still be anonymous. Can anyone really claim to know who we are? Who is to say that the persona we are in front of others is really our true self? Who is to say that it is not a wall, just like you suggested our blogs are?

    1. "Can anyone really claim to know who we are? Who is to say that the persona we are in front of others is really our true self? Who is to say that it is not a wall, just like you suggested our blogs are?"

      Well put. I agree.

  20. Thanks guys, all these comments mean one thing...more people read this then I thought to responding to your comments.

    ZP - There are some things that you, me, and everyone else may not talk about in public. But a blog is the perfect place to vent those feelings and thoughts. The more anonymous you are, the more comfortable you are with venting those feelings.

    I hope that whatever topic it is that people want to hear about/I talk about, I am as honest as can be about it. Just because I know that no one knows who I am, so I don't have any fear/shame/etc. about saying whatever it is.

    1. I disagree. If there is something that you do not feel comfortable talking about in public or to your friends, then you should reconsider what it is you are talking about...

      You can be honest and open, while discussion issues that not everyone can talk about, without needing that disguise of anonymity.

    2. ZP - Thanks for giving me the idea for my next post...stay tuned, tomorrow morning, for my reply.

  21. Hello Wondering Minds! As you may know (from reading my blog), I'm on a 'break' from blogging at the moment - lol I sound like I'm on a break from shidduchim hehe (that too!) Anyways, I just wanted to welcome you to the blogosphere and to let you know that once I have re-joined civilisation, I look forward to reading your blog :-)

    Your first post about remaining anonymous is very interesting. I think that people use blogs in 2 different ways: 1) To speak about very personal embarrassing things that they would never tell anyone about in real life, in which case they try to remain as anonymous as possible and 2) To vent and speak about their opinions that they would speak to people about anyways, but they want an internet audience, in which case they reveal more info because there's nothing to be ashamed about.

    I think that I'm somewhere in the middle, but more leaning to number 2 (which I think is better - when discussing serious issues/problems in my life, I like the human contact of talking to my parents/mentors/Rav/friends ). Anything I write on my blog I've told at least a few people about, and something really really personal, I don't think I would put on there. I use the blog-format to share my thoughts simply because 1) it's a creative outlet 2) it's fun to see other people's comments (bloggers are often very smart and inspirational), 3) For my own chizuk, 4) It would be a baza to deprive the internet of my hilariousl shidduch stories which I will post and 5) Sometimes, I need motivation to research for and write a Dvar Torah, (hopefully I'll be doing more Divrei Torah when I rejoin).

    But the point I'm trying to make is - I don't want to be too anonymous! I like it that my readers know that I'm a frum girl, that I've been to seminary, that I'm graduating this year, because when I talk of other things, these details about me embellish the posts. Also, it's probably easier for them to relate to what I'm saying if they know where I'm coming from e.g. I know that personally, when I hear a very chareidi yeshiva bachur lecturing women about tzniut, it makes me upset, because they are not women, they cannot understand how hard it is and they never will (Trust me it's hard!!!). But when I hear a girl who's really struggled with it doing the same to give people chizuk, it inspires me. Not knowing anything about a blogger would affect the perception that I have of what they're saying!

    My attitude is this: I give enough away for them to know where I'm coming from but not enough for them to figure out who I am. I also spread the information on different posts on different people's blogs (not on mine) so that only people who go through ALL the blogs and are regulars on the blogosphere will know many details about me.
    Anyone who knows me or who's even met me once or twice (and reads my blog and others') will immediately that this blog is mine. I'm a very open person in real-life and I speak to people openly about my views and challenges in life. Combined with the fact that I've given away my gender, approximate age, hashkafa, year of graduation and many other details about me (including more or less the country I live in - not explicitly but it's a bit obvious), it wouldn't be hard for someone to figure out who I am if they knew me. (Although I am very careful to not given away any details that would make me googlelable to anyone who does not know me personally). But to those who do - amazing, you figured out who I am :-) And I don't really care, coz I won't be writing anything that I wouldn't tell my friends or future husband about (p.s. i have to be moderate since I told my parents about my blog and showed it to my mom! lmao!! She loved it and was shepping such yiddishe naches!)

    1. I hear and agree with everything you've said. And yes, that was the point of this post. Not to those that don't want full anonymity, but those that want it, but aren't too good at it.

      But as for my anonymity, I tell my closest friends about some of this stuff, but won't tell them about this blog.

      I want to fully be able to say my mind, and not worry about who is reading it.

      It is not stuff that I will hide from my future wife (yes, I'm a male, aged 19-26), but just not stuff that everyone who knows me needs to know about.



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