Saturday, October 22, 2011

Secret people

A few people I read have recently gone private or written about their fears of being found by people who know them In Real Life, as the kids say.

I also started using the new blogger interface, which does not permit you to hide from certain facts about visitors, whereas before my policy has always been to cover my eyes and ears and say la la la about anything to do with page views, reader's locations, etc. (On the principle that if I respect your privacy you'll respect mine.)

And I allow anonymous comments because mainly I get nice anonymous people (I love you, Anonymous!), but now and again I get one that's genuinely mean (what the fuck, Anonymous?). Usually because I've been offensive about something or other, as is my way. And I have no plans to water down my opinions...any more that I do already, because for me there's no point in writing if I can't be at least a little honest.

Anyhow, these things in combination have made me wonder whether I am the world's largest moron to be putting my intimate details out there with only the thinnest veil of anonymity to protect me. I mean, I'm basically relying on the kindness of my fellow woman, and on being too boring to attract a lot of readers. It makes me wonder how people get found out. I've been in charge of websites and tracking traffic and such before, so I know the obvious stuff, but people getting found out seems to rely on people trying to find people, and I just wonder, who does that? Or maybe it's just that I don't read a whole lot of stuff on the internet so I don't ever accidentally bump into someone who seems eerily familiar...

What do you guys think? Am I going to end up fired (because I call my colleagues assholes), shamed (because my STUDENTS could read about my SEX LIFE), divorced (because my husband could read about my marital frustrations)?


  1. I'm gonna say no. Especially if you have your settings so that you don't show up on Google. I have a wonderful blogworld-turned-IRL friend who has gotten some awful comments and emails related to her blog. I wonder sometimes why she gets all that flak and I don't, and I've just come to the conclusion that I don't have nearly as many readers. Which may have something to do with my unsearchability. Who knows. I say you're safe, Bunny. Because I want to believe that you are and to keep reading you as-is. La la la.

  2. I hope that you're safe. I think you're right that it would take at least some actual effort to find you. But, just in case someone does, my feeling is that the "diary rule" applies. It is totally inappropriate to bring up grievances related to something you read in someone's diary/private writing because you are a complete a$$hole for having read it in the first place.

  3. I think you're fairly safe from being found out and here's why. I got a (super) offensive anonymous comment just recently and was able to track that user down to now know her first and last name as well as her maiden name and MAY or MAY NOT have a hit out on her. Just saying.

    I tried to do the same with you because you said you were worried about being "found out" and it was a lot more work so I gave up. Plus you're not searchable.

    Recap: you're smart, not mean and not in the path of my wrath. Color you good.

  4. I think your safe AND if you are found out I say fuck em. After a diagnosis of infertility it is yours, and all of our right to cope how we see fit. If a blog that you have shared with other women struggling with this heartbreak pisses people off then they clearly don't get it. I don't take any precautions to stay "safe" because this is one way in which I have been able to deal with my journey, it's my business. Just my little opinion.

  5. Couple things to remember: 1) blog readers are still a very small population; that is kind of the beauty of it--finding people in our in-group all over the country sometimes other countries too. 2) if someone finds you they might not be malicious.

    I did find a friend out here, but it was after she was already confiding in me and slipped about having a blog. I did feel like an asshole searching for it, and finding it, but I love her so much I couldn't help myself. I wanted to understand more what she had been through and was going through. I only loved her more after finding and reading it, even though she had a bloggy assumed identity too, and thereby was able to let her hair down, and her emotions out, even when they were raging.

    I was an asshole to invade her privacy, but thankfully she forgave me. I had to tell her about it. I only went about 3 days with the secret that I had found and consumed her blog like a fudge covered oreo after a long diet. As much as I love her, I would never let her secret out ever, never. Plus, the good part of it was I did get to understand the hell infertility is, and the wicked roller coaster of hope, grief, pain, hope, with occasional glimpses and even some realization of joy like you have with your little bun!

    As a tip, make sure you use the new google dashboard to make sure your bloggy account and if you have another google account are separate and distinct. Be careful what you post on google+ because it is searchable.

    You scare me with what you can find out with your internet and new blogger interface. Please pretend I am from Luxembourg.

  6. I got found bc I am an asshole and lent my phone teo my nosiest friend to make a call. But instead of making a call, it looked like she was scrolling thorough shit on my phone instead. I was with the baby, but I am NOt BlInD. I can STILL see you if I'm holding the baby. Then the next day, I was getting lot of hits from NYC that I normally don't get, and she started to bring up my ivf cycles. 2+2=4, yes? Lesson to be learned - don't lend anyone your goddamn phone.

  7. Yeesh, I know. I moved to an entirely different host for this very reason, but that had everything to do with my immensely poor choice to share my link with someone IRL out of IF solidarity, and that person turned out to be one of the most unbalanced people in the IF community I've ever known. I now understand that being a isolative bitch is a great defense mechanism when it comes to this kind of stuff.

    I also just tried to find you, and I couldn't either. And I feel like I've been reading your blog since the beginning and should have been able to tease out identifying/searchable deets. (I hope that doesn't creep you out!)

    I set up a whole different nom de plume under a fakey email for my blog (just like everyone else) because I already had an existing account with Blogger for my garden blog, and I didn't want them to crossover in some way--like suddently showing up on my profile or something like that.

    It is kinda of unsettling what you could learn about people over time, though. WP logs IP addresses for every comment, and I can see if people comment from work computer. Like, OH, she works for such and such bank or OH, that looks like a non-profit. If I cared, I could probably look those up, and if I was a crazy bitch I could probably make some trouble. But I abide by the diary rule, for sure. And I simply cannot imagine ever feeling evil enough to fuck with someone like that.

    Recently there was a secret (meaning, you can't find it, and only members can see who other members are are what they post; I guess it's kind of like a speakeasy in the way that you gotta know somebody who knows somebody to find it?) group for bloggers parenting after infertility, and I joined it, only to realize HOLY SHIT those people now know my REAL FULL NAME, which is a fairly unique and is easily google-able. Fortunatley it's small, and I knew most of the other bloggers' names beforehand any way, but what if some assholepsychoblogger is added? It does make me feel a exposed. (I doubt you want to know more about it, but if you or any other PAIF bloggers want to know more about it, just email me.)

  8. P.S. I meant to say above that this is a Facebook group.

  9. I think blogging with a pseudonym and limited personal info is pretty harmless and unlikely to bring detriment but holy shit THE CALL IS COMING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE.

    Nah, it's fine. I provide more personal detail that you, and I haven't been found out, to my knowledge. And I've talked serious smack about irritating-as-shit family members and employers. Who would probably be inclined to let me know if they discovered what I'd said. In closing, my research with an N=1 demonstrates it's no biggie. The end.

  10. I always wonder if people were to find me out. Because if someone knew me, I mean really knew me, they would be able to figure out who I am. Or if they knew my dogs... Or if they got a Christmas card from me a few years ago... (my picture of my dogs was on my Christmas card - stupid, stupid, stupid!). So it's risky, but I really don't care. Sure I talk about way too personal stuff for my general circle, but if they find me out, oh well! The only person IRL that has my url is my hubby, only because it kind of felt like cheating when I hadn't told him about my blog. But he doesn't read it. Which is very good...

    I now wonder about getting a little more out there as I will have a child named Alex, and I call her Alex on my Alex website, and I assume I'll post pics. So that's a little sketch, but again, oh well...

  11. Yeah, this occurs to me too. I have thought about going private a lot recently. Sometimes I am surprised how open I've been and how easy it would be to find me. Eeeek. And it's scary that every comment I made from work is traceable to my work, but at the same time, I am going with the "we're all in this together" benevolent happy view of our IF blogging community. Yeah? xoxo

  12. Seriously, people are lame if they have nothing else to do than search your real identity out. I tell no one, ever, not even my husband, but only a few read mine and I'm not worried personally. I truly understand your point though. I think more than anything your story is important to those of us struggling with IF. I stumbled on I would say close to a year ago and because of that Bee can roll over and sit up now, etc. Plus you are funny as all get out so other would be missing out on that. In my opinion.

  13. As you know, I share your worries. And I'm such an idiot that I didn't even know how to make my blog unsearchable on Google until reading some of the comments above. Doh. Nothing like going incognito in plain sight.

    One good thing? The chances of a STUDENT looking for - and finding you - are almost nil. Just because of the subject matter. I don't think it would ever enter their fertile young minds.

    I'm pretty sure I was discovered by one friend, but unlike Anonymous she never 'fessed up. And so I subsequently wrapped myself in a nice, warm robe of willful ignorance.

  14. Brr, being found! I don't think I say much that I wouldn't say to a person's face, but the act of being stumbled upon in itself gives everything you say a furtive, tawdry air.
    Not you, my secret friends (heh) - that is a mutual trust thing I am happy with - it's the randomers. Ooh, brrr. Or people I know, family, friends! Ug. The idea of being exposed as a big hypocrite! Re-ug! The Shame.

    (It is not a good idea to hit people's sites from a work address - because they can see the server name in their stats. Yet another reason not to go the way of full-time employment!)