I closed out my first blog because there was no anonymity.
I didn’t know any better. And when I started my first blog, Facebook was still only on college campuses. Twitter didn’t exist. The tired label “social media” hadn’t been coined yet.
We were all neophytes. And in the years since, we’ve learned some hard lessons.
I’ve had very dear friends been accused of being bad parents, bad spouses, bad people. A friend had the cops sent to her house for an innocent comment made in jest late one night on Twitter. Another friend had images of her family stolen and re-purposed by a disturbed and lonely person.
It’s missed me, largely. I’m not good at branding. I don’t put myself out there much. My blog was like my diary, with comments. I’ve been lucky.
But then, I started feeling constricted. Everyone I knew in my flesh life read my blog. I couldn’t express many of my thoughts because of who might be offended. I couldn’t tell many stories because of who would be bothered. And some of my friends would read my blog rather than making time to talk to me on the phone.
So I stopped. No big announcements, no beating my breast, no pleas for my few readers to beg me to keep going. I just gave it up. But I missed it, and after a great deal of soul-searching I started this space. Completely anonymous. I do have a few pictures of my family – no names, though. And no one in my immediate circle of real-life connections knows it exists. The few real people who know about it either live overseas, or are trusted.
And then a funny thing happened.
I wasn’t trying to be read much. I wasn’t looking to make any impression at all. But I started a Twitter account too, and that slowly grew. And I commented on other blogs and after much consideration linked back to this space. And that grew. I’ve been interviewed (anonymously!) a couple of times by freelancers looking to talk to work-at-home moms who are involved in social media.
It’s adding a new level of responsibility to what I do.
My last post talked about an issue that has been front of mind for me, for some time. I run a dayhome. I love the kids in my care. I take the trust that is placed in me very seriously. I do not identify any of the children by name. I do not take their pictures, ever.
None of their parents are aware that I am a blogger. I do not friend them on Facebook (and my profile there is very strictly limited to a short list of people I actually know or am related to). The chances that they or anyone they know would find this space and then connect it to their own child are, in my mind, remote.
But, maybe I’m wrong. I’m willing to concede that I may be wrong, because I am learning every day. Always willing to take in new lessons. Because I would never, ever wish to cause any hurt or embarrassment to the children I care for, or their families, I have decided to take the last post down.
It saddens me, because this space felt safe. But I should know better.