On screen names and anonymity

I’ve blogged for years.  Not very consistently I’ll admit, or at least not in ‘public’.  And in truth, I don’t consider anonymous posting, public in any real sense but there’s a lot to be said for expressing oneself whilst concealed from one’s ‘real life’ and real family and friends.  Within a short space of time though, the screen name and new persona you have built for yourself becomes as much a part of you, the real you, as your real self – if you follow my drift!  And with that persona comes all the trappings of a normal human life – good relationships, failed relationships, the misunderstandings as well as highs of human interaction.  Just like emigrating and starting over somewhere else, life follows you relentlessly – the lawn needs cutting wherever you choose to live, as they say.

Anyway, a friend reminded me today that ten years have passed since she and I first chatted via a message board, then progressed to instant messaging, and then took the big step and met in real life.  Which means it’s a whopping ten years since I became Sweet Thing and Sweet Thing met someone off of the Internet!  Back then being anonymous was what it was all about, in the days before Facebook when the Internet was the big scary bad and no-one knew if someone could come and attack you in your home if you gave out your real name.  Sweet was brave enough to do things I wasn’t.  Sweet would post on message boards.  Sweet wrote fanfic and posted it and got feedback and became a little addicted to checking her email box for messages and comments. And Sweet made new friends and had a blast and some of those new friends, were destined to become old friends (see above).

Sweet found her own place in the world, and some days, I think she left me far behind!

So WordPress invites me to be Sweet again… and that’s interesting.  Because she was always a lot more mouthy that I am!

Sweet

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3 thoughts on “On screen names and anonymity

  1. Hey Sweet Thing, it’s nice to meet you. Well, as much as you can meet someone by reading a single blogpost (that perfunctory greeting barely counts).

    I know *exactly* what you mean. I first came to the internet around 2001, tiny little 10-year-old me, talking to strangers on MSN chatrooms with the classic opening line “asl?” In a startlingly similar lineage, Xin was born not long after, and has actively transformed my life. It’s really quite humbling to look back on history like that, isn’t it? Thank you for the reminder for how I have become who I am! I hope to enjoy your blogs for ages to come.

    • Hi Xin, thanks for your reply and it’s a pleasure to meet you too. 🙂 How brave your little 10 year old self was! I was considerably older than that ten years ago!! I am slowly but surely finding blogs and reading through – it’s been my September resolution (as I’m better at resolutions and new beginnings in the autumn than in the New Year) to expand my horizons and dipping into the Tao Te Ching is one of those, hence my finding my way to your blog.

      I was particularly struck by this:

      Life is cyclical by nature,
      and there will always be a times of wealth, and a times of poverty.
      So who can say what is the norm?
      What is normal soon becomes abnormal;
      How quickly people change their minds!

      Having recently come through a period where my normal very abruptly became abnormal, it made me think about how this too will change, so thank you for your interpretation.

      Sweet

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