Wednesday, February 13, 2008

When Worlds Collide

The blog world and the real world, that is.

The idea for this post occured to me this morning as I did my best to rise above the fact that my shower downright refused to maintain a consistent water temperature for more than 60 seconds. In the end, however, I decided that, Nah... it's been done... so I wouldn't bother.

Five minutes ago, I changed my mind.

But first, let's back up to where my alternately scalded and frozen head was this morning.

Last night I was having dinner with some friends. These friends happen to be my only "real world" friends who are aware that I have this blog. One of them, in fact, has been reading daily (hi W!). When I'm with them I can say something like "oh, that's on my blog" or "dude, you've got to check out this other blog I read..." Anything I post on here they're likely to hear from me anyway, and I know they'll keep my little secret so everything's kosher.

Except somehow I always sort of feel like a dork when the words "my blog" come out of my mouth in front of non-bloggers. It's like this little community we've created, with so many of us invested in our anonymity, is its own little universe, ne'er to be discussed in the open.

For example, I didn't tell them that I kept thinking about Deutlich all evening because my friend made German food and it was sooooooo good that now I'm fantasizing about going to Germany just for the cuisine. Granted, they know that now, because they're reading this, but at the time I kept mum.

The first rule of blogging is... you don't talk about blogging.

Or something like that.

So what was it that drove me to post this? Like any efficient Executive Assistant I have fuck-all to do at my job (in case you hadn't already figured that out on your own), and so I was poking around the forums on 20Something Bloggers, looking for entertainment. I stumbled across the goldmine that is the "Best of 2007" thread and started clicking away.

And I clicked on a blog.

And read for a few seconds.

And thought "Wait a minute... I think I know this guy..."

I began scanning the links and subject headings with steadily increasing speed as pieces of the puzzle slowly clicked into place.

Remember how I said I was thinking of going to Florida to visit an old friend I called FuturePhD?

Turns out he has a blog. Many of you, my regular readers, are on his blogroll.

And suddenly I became paralyzed... Do I come clean? Admit my identity? Widen the slowly growing circle of people who actually know who I am in the Real World?

The jury is still out.

And if it was so very easy for me to recognize him in a matter of seconds, would it be the same for anyone who stumbled across my blog? Are there secretly hordes of people out there reading this who know who I am? Is that why they lurk but never comment? Is my carefully guarded anonymity actually completely transparent? After all, it only took DS a matter of days to figure me out, and at the time we barely knew one another...

This path of thinking could easily lead to a full-fledged panic attack, and so I choose to abandon it for the time being.

Denial... it's not just a river in... you know.

So I've formulated a plan. If you happen to be reading this, FuturePhD, stand forth. A simple anecdote involving a golf cart will serve for purposes of identification. Do that, and I'll switch your moniker and add you to my blogroll.

Until then I'll stay over here in the shadows, clutching my anonymity with white-knuckled dread.

Who knows? Perhaps you're clutching yours as well...


Anonymous said...

I often wonder if I leave hints for people to guess at my true identity if they read my blog. My ex-boyfriend found me somehow, and has admitted he reads my blog from time to time.

It's unnerving sometimes. And then I say, "Fuck it. If you talk to me regularly, you know this is how I feel. less coherent formatting."

Jess said...

When I started my blog I thought that only people who already knew me would read it. So I don't have much anonymity. I don't post my last name mostly to prevent Google searches from finding my blog. That's about it. Anyone who goes on my blog recognizes me in about three seconds. It can be liberating, knowing that what I talk about is there for everyone to see. But sometimes scary when I find out that people I know, but only barely, are reading my blog and finding out so much more about me.

Princess Pointful said...

I think I know who he is! Does he study psychology?

Yeah, I think if anyone found me, they'd be able to recognize who I was near immediately. My only hope is that there is no way for any of them to coincidentally find me (hence the removal of all google searches to my blog).

Deutlich said...

a) I feel all sorts of special
b) GO to Germany! The food is A.MAZING. The people are cool too, but the food is where it's at.
c) There are a handful of folks that know about my blog too and I ALWAYS feel a lil' weird starting a sentence with "oh, my blog" or whatever. Except for with Lily (the BFF). She gets it. So much so, she actually started her own blog. HA!

Anonymous said...

Hey, don't I know you? Didn't you used to hang out at that bar?

Princess of the Universe said...

You know that scene in "Pump up the Volume" where Samantha Mathis writes notes about everything Christian Slater is saying and eventually pieces together who he is?

I kind of feel that way about my blog. We only dole out tiny little bits of our lives, but if someone were to take all those pieces (posts, comments left on carious other blogs) and put them together, they could probably figure out who you are.

Then I realize that I'm not really stalk-worthy so I stop worrying about it...

W said...

When it comes to internet lingo in real life, the same three rules in Fight Clun apply.

w said...