Anonymity: An Executive Decision

I've decided to remove the mask of anonymity

Since I started this blog in September 2008 I have operated under the guise of pseudo-anonymity. There are some who read who know exactly who I am, some who know my first name, some who know what I look like, some who know what college I went to, and others who know nothing about me aside from the words on this screen. Everyone has a different picture of who I am.

However, even with the broad range of people knowing small slivers of information about me (and everything about my finances) I’m still skeptical to even say what state in the Midwest I live in.

The thing is, I’m less concerned by people in the blog-o-sphere knowing who I am than the people that I know in real life knowing about the blog. Then it occurred to me that I have nothing to hide here. Yes, I have debt, but I’m not ashamed of it.

Sure I have made mistakes, and will continue to do so. But I’ve put myself in a good place in the past year. And the majority of people would never even know who I am even if I did reveal my name, location, ect on this blog – nor would they even care.

For the sake of simplicity though I have maintained a guise of anonymity to those on the internet.

However, I’ve come to realize in the past few days that the major source on anonymity that I’ve had has been in regards to relationships. I let the people I’m in relationships know I have a blog, but then don’t let them see it. And part of that has been because I talk about relationships on this blog and I have wanted to shield them from that. Also, I’ve had a fear of what they would say if they truly knew about my money situation – that is really scary.

But the point of this blog isn’t about relationships (though it does feature prominently as a reoccurring theme). And I’ve made the executive decision that in order to date honestly in the future I have to be honest with them, from the beginning, about this blog.

To start in a position of total honesty requires that I release the anonymity of the blog from people I know in real life.

Now, this doesn’t mean I’m going to go advertise the blog on my Facebook and try to get everyone and their mother on it. But it does mean that I’m not going to hide it from everyone either. By hiding the blog from those I know I’ve become a hypocrite towards my belief that people should be open and honest about money. Sure, it might make people uncomfortable to know exactly how much I have or where I am financially. But I think that it will make my relationships stronger in the long run by not hiding a large part of myself from the people that I care about.

This does mean however that I will refrain from talking about SOME of the more person issues in the blog that I’ve mentioned in a handful of posts. I’m toying with the idea of a dating/relationship blog and would be willing to pass the info of that blog to those who would be interested in following my life through dating, if I do start such a blog. However, those issues – except as they relate to money – will no longer be explored on this blog in an effort to be more honest with myself and the people in my life about my financial situation.

So in conclusion, welcome to my blog and welcome to my life.

Thing that made me happy today: Eating homemade Pad Thai. Delicious!

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14 Responses to Anonymity: An Executive Decision

  1. Jessie says:

    wow! What a brave and fabulous decision! I too have spent some time hiding my blog from a variety of different people. I even got upset with my mom when she shared it with an aunt – turns out she was just proud of me. I think you’ve really hit something on the nail – how can one tout the advantages of being honnest about money – and then hide it.

    Well said!

  2. Airam says:

    Good for you. I won’t follow suit mind you, but if you think it’ll help you be more open and honest in your future relationships then that’s awesome.

    As for a more personal blog, if you do decide to go that route make sure you let me know!

  3. eemusings says:

    I would read your relationships blog – I think you’re a great writer.

  4. WellHeeled says:

    I’d love to read your personal blog. And… by the way.. who are you? Heheh. šŸ˜‰ Best of luck with this decision.

  5. TMcImmy says:

    I think money being such a taboo subject in our culture is actually part of what drives people to such problems. If your friend is dating a lady or fellow who is bad for them, at some point after giving them a legit shot, you tell your friend. However, if a friend makes questionable financial decisions, we keep our mouths shut. During the housing bubble I found myself making wishy-washy comments like “well as long as you plan to live there at least 5-7 years” to co-workers and acquaintances I knew were buying at or near the peak.

    It helps to read about people in similar financial situations and see what they are doing about it. Barring being a single child with a successful doctor or lawyer parent, pretty much everyone in their 20s is in tight financial straights. Some people hemorage more than others, but it’s not like any of us are sitting on hundreds of thousands in investments and a home we’ve paid off.

    I applaud your decision. There are people who get engaged and MARRIED before having the financial talk with their partner. This is probably part of why money is such a big problem in marriages. While “I have $12k in credit card debt” isn’t really a first date topic, like things like religion and kids it does need to be discussed, and earlier rather than later probably could save heartache due to incompatibility in the future.

    • SS4BC says:

      Wishy Washy? You TMcImmy? I find it hard to believe you would ever have a neutral response to anything. šŸ˜‰

      I was much more vocal about it, at least to T.O. Didn’t seem to make a difference though.

      • TMcImmy says:

        Ah, yes, but in my head I was not having such a measured, tempered response. I wanted to yell and scream “you will be able to buy a better house for less money a year from now!”

        And yeah, in most cases people will do what they want.

  6. That’s an interesting choice. I don’t try very hard to conceal my identity (uh, considering I posted actual pictures of me, I guess I don’t really try at all), but I’m actually not concerned about people I know IRL finding the blog (I’ve used paranoidasteroid as a personal screen name before), just more about people I don’t know finding me IRL. For this reason, I never post anything too incriminating.

    Sadly, most people I know would not have the slightest interest in my blog!

  7. TeacHer says:

    I understand where you’re coming from on this issue, but I don’t feel the same way. I have been dating my BF for 2 years, and he knows everything about my finances: debts, savings, etc. and I know everything about his. It’s not that I’m concealing my information from him by not telling him about my blogs, I just feel like I share SO much with him that I need something that’s just mine. I haven’t told ANYBODY IRL that I blog, so I don’t feel like I’m keeping some big secret from just him. I don’t know how to explain it, other than to say that it feels really good to have something in my life that no one I know has access to.

    Also – definitely start a dating blog! I would love to read it! And to answer your question from my other blog about WW – I’m doing the IRL meetings, not online. I don’t want to take up tons of space here talking about it, but I’d be happy to email you my thoughts and feelings (so far) about my experience if you’re interested in possibly doing it, too.

  8. Karen says:

    Oooh, brave. I’d read your r’ship/dating blog. And yum to pad thai šŸ™‚

  9. Congratulations on staying true to your values. If being open on about your identity is what you want, then that’s great! Most people IRL know about my blog — my dad wasn’t thrilled at first, but because the topic (personal finance) is near and dear to his heart, he’s dealing with it — and even reads! But I don’t share hard-and-fast numbers (except for CC debt) and I have no tracking bars, so I do limit some of my information.

  10. I am glad you wrote this post. I do not share my blogging efforts with friends and family, but I do share the most of the information from the blog with others in conversations. The reason for this is I want to be able to talk about all of my finances in as much detail as possible including how much I make. Since I don’t live and work in my hometown, most of my friends are coworkers that have the same job as I do…sharing income information is frowned up at work.

    Good for you!

  11. Pingback: Relationship Blog «

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