As I read an article this morning, Blogging can be a dangerous game, I was reminded that one reason I began this blog is that I hoped to be a more moderate voice than some of those who are already speaking. While I respect many of those people, I can’t agree with some of their absolutist prescriptions (and proscriptions) intended to help you be safer on the internet.
While the article I was reading wasn’t by any one I’ve encountered before, the advice given reflects that of many safety authorities. For instance, women in particular are advised:
Manage your blog anonymously or adopt an alias for all online posting. This will help protect you in the event that you draw unwanted attention.
Obviously, by my own example I do not agree that one must stay anonymous or avoid all personal interaction in order to achieve a reasonable degree of safety. Despite being targeted, I am not anonymous in any of my blogs or other online interactions. I am not in any more danger due to blogging than I was before I began blogging, despite the fact that my family has already been targeted by a stalker.
I and the rest of the family do continue to be careful about what we do say online, but anonymity isn’t necessary as long as we follow basic guidelines such as not referring specifically to our schools, workplaces, or places of worship. When we mention that we will be at a particular event, it is a calculated risk.
Restricting all online interactions to carefully distanced, pseudonymous or anonymous postings rejects the deeper possibilities of interactivity. Be careful, but don’t fall prey to paranoia.