Anon or Non-Anon14 May 2003
One interesting topic that came up at our BlogMeet on Sunday was whether to blog under your real name or not. The diarists Lyssa and Martina make themselves known by first name only, and thus feel more comfortable posting more personal thoughts.
One conclusion we came to was that "it's different for girls", that women are more likely to run into harassment or stalkers than are men. (Does this mean that more psychopaths are male rather than female? I don't think so, but I think the female psychopaths are likely to be more subtle.)
But afterwards, I got to thinking that it's not really an either-or question. Even if you post anonymously, you still bare your soul. And if you post under your real name, you still wear a mask. In any sort of personal website, you both reveal a good deal of yourself and at the same time create a persona which may be quite than your true person (what- or whoever that may be).
And certainly posting our thoughts goes hand in hand with our interest in reading the thoughts of others. Writing on the web is a two-way street... we want to read and write. In our web browsers, we are still social animals, hoping to catch a glimpse behind someone's mask, even as we try to stay hidden behind our own.