A very common advice on starting a blog is to let people know who you are because readers are more likely to engage with someone who has a name and a face. While personal branding is a priority for many bloggers, it is not mine. There are many reasons for going public. There are also many reasons for going anonymous, which are equally valid. And here are mine.
- Names are not crucial to the story. Context is what’s important. I could write about the time I took a road trip to see my good friend, and she could be Maddie or Christina or Leanne. Her name does not change the story.
- Cross-cultural relationships are tricky to navigate. Whether you are dealing with your husband, boyfriend, partner, in-laws, friends, colleagues, they are tricky. Even if you try your best to be open-minded, gracious, patient, non-judgmental, you are bound to have both hits and misses. And I don’t want names on the misses.
- This is related to Reason #2, but specifically considering our careers. My partner and I are both academic researchers, and it is important for us as members of the scientific community to maintain our professional image. This is more difficult to achieve these days, when personal and professional connections are blurred by social media. I would like to be able to write about personal matters but if a prospective employer decides to run a search on my name, I hope my academic credentials come up on the search, not the story of when I first met my future parents-in-law and mistakenly put salt in their tea.
What about you? Do you think revealing your identity is important to authenticity?