Sunday, 3 October 2010

Anonymity. Or, the nature of the beast.

My husband does not get social networking.  This is a guy who loves his tech and has to at least play with the latest gadgets, gizmos and apps, yet he resisted this phenomenon for quite a while.  I asked him why, and he said there were too many nutters out there.  Well, that may be a valid point, but it's hard to resist the lure of social networking sites.

I first used MySpace.  I was intrigued to hear new music and keep in touch with my favourite bands.  However, only a few of my friends used it, and most of the music was rubbish.  Hubby gave me so much grief about creating a profile that I became a bit annoyed with it all and almost forgot about it.

Then along came Facebook.  Then along came an email from my husband saying he'd got an account and would I like to join to.  The cheeky rascal!  So of course I did, and made sure my privacy settings were exclusive.  I was quite surprised to find my bloke's mobile number on his profile page.  His rational thinking was that with his privacy settings at the max, only friends can see it, and most of his friends have his number already.

Which brings me on to Twitter.  I LOVED the idea of finding out what real people were actually doing, especially celebs.  But what was the point of me setting up an account?  Part of the fun was sharing what you're up to, but I'm - for want of a better word - normal; I don't do anything exciting, I have a normal job, and I'm married so there's not much of a wild social life to tweet about. Yet I wanted to be a part of something.  So I figured, what the heck.  So what if nobody reads what you write, what harm can come of it?

The one decision I made was to be anonymous.  I have never used my own photo on my profile, nor have I ever posted a photo of someone identifiable.  I even use an alternative name.  In fact there is nothing on my account to tell you who I am in the real world.  Why?  Partly because, unlike Facebook, anybody could follow you.  In fact, within a week of setting up my account some pervert started tweeting me obscene pics; he quickly got blocked and reported.  The other reason is that I like hiding behind a smoke screen.  In the real world, I'm actually quite shy.  I've learnt to hide it as I've got older, but there is that small bullied child within me that whispers "don't draw attention; if they don't notice you they can't hate you."  Now obviously, as an adult in the real world you try to ignore that most of the time, but in cyberspace, I can be me.

Except...

For one week only I have a profile picture here on my blog.

I don't have many followers on Twitter, I've never mentioned my blog on Facebook, and as this blog is still very new, not many people read it.  If you do, thank you and I hope I don't bore you.  If you want to see what I look like, there I am.  Yep, over there on the right, holding my crystal ball.  What you expected?  Yeah, that's right, normal.  Well, except for the weird witchy thing, eh? :)