The Levels of Anonymity: Where Do You Draw the Line?

One of you brought up a great question in my last post… Stephanie asked what kind of steps we plan to take with our kids and what I’ll post about and what I won’t.

I personally am not a huge fan of anonymity. I mean, I don’t mind to some extent but my favorite blogs are by women who “share all” and post pictures of their adorable kids and families. What can I say?… I like cute kids! And I like honesty.

I mentioned in my last post I’m already “out there” in the public eye… So I can’t really go around saying “I don’t want people to know my name… boo hoo!” Heck, I think the whole world knows my dog’s name. But I don’t think that will create any more stalkers than usual. I try to keep the two VERY separate… If anything, for my sanity. And one day, I’m sure I’ll be out of public eye completely. I have also made it a point to not use my husband’s name (Suga Lips) on this blog, or use my last name (IsAwesome). And I don’t talk about where I live (in the Hood).

I can’t say I won’t use my kids names in the future because I KNOW baby names will be a topic I’ll cover (again). I actually already have the names picked out and I can’t picture not telling you their first name because they are SO CUTE! I think I’ll probably use a nickname most of the time, but really… Who cares if you know my kid’s name?–That’s just me. BUT I DID promise my husband we won’t tell anyone the boys name… It’s our secret. So I’ll try to keep that one.

I guess I could pull a Michael Jackson and call my kids “Blanket” and cover them up with bags and sheets so you can’t see their faces… But I’m thinking I’ll take my chances. Plus, I want the world to see their cuteness!.. As long as you don’t steal the pictures and say they’re yours I’m cool (I need to work on getting a thingy to put over my photos).

Once I get my DSLR you won’t be able to KEEP me from taking pictures of anyone and everyone either, and if my babies are cute (which I’m praying they are) they probably will be plastered all over my blog.. So… Yea.

As far as personal privacy goes that’s a whole ‘nother topic! My husband and I draw separate lines for that. To me, this kind of blog is a girl thing, NO BOYS ALLOWED. If I were to write about postpartum depression or something, he may just not get it… And that’s the sort of thing I think other women can relate to. A miscarriage.–My husband would probably rather keep something like that between us, but that’s something I wouldn’t be able to keep inside… I am an extrovert… I need to let stuff out, and talk about it with people who get it. I think that’s a problem women may have had for a long time… They’ve maybe fells sad and depressed about things and not had a way to express that. A diary is great but it’s so nice to know we’re not ALONE. Through this blog I’ve found out I’m not the only crazy person out there who thinks about babies 24/7 who’s not even trying for one yet… YAY!

We’re going to continue to work on this battle, but I’m not too worried. Just so long as I don’t post our secret little boy’s name I think he’ll forgive me and let me talk about my ovulation cycle, how I REALLY want a baby, and fertility routines all I want.

What about you? What levels of anonymity do you keep on your blog, or do you think you will keep with your kids? I know everyone is different, I’m just curious to know your take!

***Added***: I’m now a resident of “Central, TX”… (thanks for the tip). But I’m also wondering… By someone knowing your kid’s first name… how will that make them easier to kidnap? — Now yall have me all paranoid about someone kidnapping my unborn child! ***Added***

PS: And I’m afraid all of my drama overshadowed a post I was REALLY excited about. If you didn’t see it, read my Sunday Praises post! 🙂 I crossed a big one off my Baby Bucket List.

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  1. Hm. Well, I have a blog that is not private. And I will probably use that one to show pictures of my belly, and talk about my pregnancy, and all that fun stuff. With pictures, and names, and all.

    But this blog, this profile that I am using right now, is my anonymous one. When I get pregnant, I will continue to use this blog to say all the stuff that I could get in trouble for if people knew who I was. Or just for those personal things that I feel like I need to share, but yet I feel like I can’t share with people that know me.

    If that makes any sense!

  2. I honestly don’t have anything to hide. I post about everything in my life as it comes and goes. The man has free reign to the blog, but that’s only because it was our connection while he was deployed. He would read about what was going on at home in order to feel closer to the boys and myself.
    Once we have kids I make take some precautions and everything, but until then I’m just dandy posting about my crazy life.

  3. I have no last names on my blog, no home city.. just Southern California, it’s a pretty big place. There have been things I have thought about blogging and then I tell my husband and he will say “are you sure you want to say that”… I usually do tame it down some at that point and maybe leave out a few details but I still tell. As as stay-at-home mom I love having the connection with other great ladies.

  4. I show pictures, I just don’t tell precisely where I live (I tell state but not city), and I don’t use my kids’ first names. There have been times that I’ve wanted to because it would make the story flow better, but I resist…I figure they are minors and should have their privacy protected. My own first (and last) name(s) are out there, though I don’t mention them terribly often, so the casual reader might not know them…but I’m an adult and I’m ok with being known. But my kids, yeah, I’m a mama bear.
    I know some parents who make up nicknames for the kids (as I have done–I went with an animal theme, but I’ve seen lots of others). I know parents who use initials, or who use real kid names that are similar to their kids’ names (for example Cassie instead of Carrie) and I think that’s a nice option too.
    I also know parents who have no qualms about putting their kids real, full, names out there on the internet…but especially where you are already in the public eye via your job, I honestly wouldn’t dare do that. It may not be common, but there ARE creeps out there who do things like steal kids, and where YOUR identity is known (and your location is known to many people in your area–including strangers and probably freaks), I would be very careful to protect your children.

  5. I struggle w/ this issue all the time – on my blog, everyone knows my first name (and they could probably get to my last name). I dont say the city I live in, just general area of South Florida. As for my 3 kids, I have not posted their names online – depending ont he story, I’ve refered to them as big brother, big sister, etc, made up names, or used middle names. I havent figured out what I want to call them yet on my blog, but I’m sure I’ll get there soon 🙂

  6. I don’t use my real name all the time just b/c I’m a journalist by day, and I don’t want my work mixing with my fiction. As far as kids go, I wouldn’t mind sharing their names but I wouldn’t talk about them like I do with my dogs. A lot of different people read my blog, and some can’t have children. I wouldn’t want to flaunt it.

  7. I keep a certain level of anonymity because of my husbands job in the military. He’s at a small base and frequently flies so if I were more out there about his name and where we were stationed it wouldnt be hard to put two and two together and with OPSEC (operational security) its just not wise to do. No pictures of him, I don’t put his rank, his actual job, none of that. He’s a private guy so he would prefer it not “all be out there” I do post pics of my kids from time to time, like you said, their too cute not too!

    I like to think that my staying on the downlow isnt a cop out. I still get into the honest nitty gritty of parenting and my thoughts, it’s just that so much of our life is off limits and for safety has to stay that way. It’s a delicate balance.

  8. I don’t post any pictures of me or the husband on my blog…and I don’t use our names either. It’s not because I have anything to hide, just that I’d prefer to stay somewhat anonymous for work reasons. The husband hates the idea of pictures being out in the public like that, so I also want to respect him. I think one we have kids I may have a new private blog to share ongoings about what we’re up to…but I like being semi anonymous for now. I don’t know…I guess everyone’s personality is different!

  9. I’m already “out” in my blog, in part because my blog also includes my academic work and publications and I can’t exactly hide my name, you know? I’d love to be a bit more anonymous but can’t figure out how I’d do that! Oh well…

  10. Well I’m a little private but I don’t mind sharing somethings of my life. I really do try and keep my kids information private I think it’s the best thing to do at this point and time.

    I guess it really depends on that person if they wish to share information or pictures about themselves or family members.

    Great post!

  11. I like to think about all the celebs out there. Many of them let the public know their kids’ names, and how often do you hear of their kids getting kidnapped? I know there are a lot of sick people out there, but I just don’t want to live my life in fear.

  12. I don’t make a big deal about it. I don’t use my husband’s name (that started unintentionally…unconsciously?) and I use a nickname for the kiddo. But, seriously, it would be insanely easy for people to figure it out! I just worry about whether or not my hubby will care if I do a post about the fact that I just started my very first postpartum period! (I’m figuring he -would- care…so I probably won’t do that post!)

  13. I share pretty much everything when it comes to names, city, job…I don’t know what people could do with that info. I don’t share REALLY personal info though, but honestly I can count on one hand things I wouldn’t mention…as far as kids names, I don’t understand the paranoia?? I understand not wanting people to know the names you have picked out because people start saying what or who the name reminds them of and that can ruin it for some people. I don’t plan on finding out the gender so I won’t have that problem but if/ when I ave kids I will most likely post name and pics. Is there cause for concern? I don’t get it.

  14. No names no pictures. LOL I refer to my husband as Hubby, my daughter as Princess, I call myself Firefly on my site.I share pictures of our house, decorating, food, but not of us. Only people who know me on Facebook know my real name and know my family (but I recently removed pictures from my daughter)
    The privacy issue I have is with Internet and experts on the photo programs. My husband use to work as a Internet security targeting child and teen pornography, for an expert with sick mind it’s very easy to take a picture of a child and use it in the most inappropriate places and positions.
    That is the reason I don’t share pictures even though sometimes I really want to, but I love our privacy more.

  15. I’m a “let it all hang out” kind of girl too. No last names or addresses obviously, but I like to share as many aspects of my life as I can and I love to show off my daughter. And I’m definitely going to want to see pics of your little one when s/he arrives because I’m just a sucker for cute baby pics.

  16. I had some issues on and some girls started stalking me and scared the living crap out of me. They knew my name, they knew the address of my OBs office, they knew all kinds of stuff about me, and it wasn’t even all from my blog. They even found a video I had made years and years ago to send to Oprah (so embarassing). It changed my outlook on the cik crazy people on the internet. Now I’m terrified of going to the Dr and having some psycho kidnap me and cut my baby out of my belly.

    And if a kidnapper knows your child’s name, they can call them over and say “Hey John, how are you? Here’s some candy. I’m your mommy Jane’s friend!” The kid is going to trust someone who knows their name.

    Idk what I am going to do once I have my baby. I haven’t officially announced my baby’s name on my blog, but I have on Twitter, so whoever sees my blog can read my Twitter. It’s a fine line and I am really having a hard time.

  17. This is a really interesting debate, and I too choose to just put myself out there. I understand that there might be some risk with that, but I hope I never know. I do feel too, that blogs I chose to read are more honest in nature by sharing their identity. Harder for me to connect with people that are almost hidden behind these false names. But, that being said, I can understand and respect their choice to do so.

  18. I have a personblog/nanny blog. I post about my personal life and everything in it, not hiding much. I use my Niece and Nephew and Boyfriends Names. I don’t list my city. On the Nanny part of my blog, I have never and will never say the name of the children I watch, I use nicknames, but thats due to the families I work withs privacy, i have permission to post pics of their kids, I always ask before I do.

    When I start down the road of becoming a Mommy I plan to share everything on my pregnancy, names and nursery pics and so forth.

    P.S- I love you blog!! 🙂 Lol, I’m just like you in the sense of being ‘obsessed’ about babies and all things baby(nursery, clothes, etc). I just have never thought of blogging about it. Thanks for some ideas you have given me! 🙂

  19. WOW! I love all of the responses and thank you so much for posting this. I always knew your reader were fabulous 😉

    Okay, so I read my husband ALL of the responses and he said.. “Hmm.. they make some really good points.” We’ll see. Maybe we will post pics of our kiddos.. when we have them.

    As for privacy in other aspects of my life. I do agree that as long as last names, addresses, and workplaces remain hidden.. everything else can be public. One of the commenters made a good point in saying that, you cannot trully connect with people unless you are real. With that I will say, she hit the nail in the head.

  20. Hey, I am in the market for a girl name AND a boy name. Come on…you can spill the beans to me. I promise (fingers crossed behind my back) that I won’t tell anyone. {wink, wink}

  21. For me I have to be very careful about what I post regarding my husband because he’s in the military and he does a lot of stuff I don’t really know about/am not allowed to talk about to other people. In order to keep our family safe I don’t write anything about him and work on our blog. I just post every day stuff that is going on. I usually only post about food I make, reviews of stuff I have used, and updates about what we’ve done in the past month something I would tell my family in an email or over the phone.

  22. I don’t use our last name and I don’t mention the exact city we live in. I’m pretty open on my blog about our lives…my husband knows what I write about (even though he refuses to read it!!) and seems to have no problem with it. He knows it’s an outlet for me so I suppose he’s happy that I have somewhere to vent, rather than aiming it all at him 100% of the time!!!

  23. I don’t go to drastic lengths to hide our identities. I think it’s rather self-absorbed to think you’re so special and noticeable that bad folks are just waiting to steel your children if you give them the slightest provocation, but that’s me. Statistically, most kids are kidnapped or molested by someone they KNOW- a family member, a neighbor etc. I’d be much more concerned about THOSE kinds of threats than blog stuff.

    In terms of personal privacy, my hubs is and introvert and I’m an extrovert (like you two). If it were up to him, everything would be private. It’s just how he’s wired. I try to compromise by making sure I don’t talk about him too much or say anything too personal about him. I don’t gush about him either as that would embarrass both of us (which is too bad because he pretty much rocks!)

  24. I think about posting pics of my daughter, but I’m too weirded out by the idea of any and everyone being able to get on and check her out. People cant do much by lookin at a picture, but still. I heard on the news that a lady got on craigslist and happenend to see and add that had HER OWN CHILD for sale. I just saw the preview so I dont know what happenend with that. I also have a cousin who found out some psycho was using her pics on their page and claiming they were her. There were even pics with me and my cousin and the thief made the caption say “me and my big sis.” Some people are just crazy.

  25. Well, just today my friend and I had an argument over anonymity!!! She says anonymity is better!
    I do not like blogging as anonymous, I like screen names!! And I have a lot of my junior year life on my blog but I am fine with it!! No one from my school reads my blog!! And even if they did, whatever! It is what it is!! As it is!!

    I do not use real names of people though!!

  26. I post about everything really and hubby reads all…. even whe he made me sad and I wrote a poem so who what! I dont use nicknames either for my boy and i post pics and a couple of videos as well….what can i say if we are gonna live paranoid we can jsut stop living an all

  27. I use my own real nickname, and one of my son’s real nicknames. Photos of us all are fine but I try to avoid naked pictures of the children. Er, and of me too! lol.
    I don’t like the idea of weird strangers using the kids photos in child porn or other odd things, but I also figure it doesn’t hurt my children if they do, even though it’s extremely creepy. That sort of crime is very low over here, and offenders are never released, or so I’m told.

  28. I’m not too private with my blog. I post pictures and we have our names on there. If and when we have kids, I don’t think I’d have a problem posting pictures. I’d be proud of them (of course) and I love photography. 🙂

  29. Hey!

    I personally don’t think it hurts anything to give first names. I won’t divulge my hometown or last names on my blog …that’s a little too much info. As far as kids are way too cute not to share 😛

    That being said if I had thought of cute nicknames to use I probably would have just for the fun of it, but I couldn’t! LOL.

  30. My blog is connected to our farm and business so the information is out there so potential customers can find us and it does not bother me however I might feel differently if I was posting pictures and names of my children. I posted a picture of my sister’s son but I felt OK with that because nobody but family knows who she is or where she lives.

  31. To tell ya the truth I’m not a huge fan of stayin anonymous either but since hubby requested it I do it. He heared a story about a women who blogged all the time with pictures of her kids, you know, the whole shabang. Then someone stole a picture of her kid and posted her kid for sale over the internet. That someone made sure to link back to her blog to make it look more legit. I don’t know how true that story is (maybe you’ll be able to research it?) but its got me claiming fanatical names with zero pictures until my huband and I feel more safe about it. I don’t know if that day will ever come but I still feel a bit safer.

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