The case against anonymity

or 
‘Another kind of tweetgret’
[Disclaimer: Tongue not in cheek for this post]
As a few of you already know, late last week I met with one of my ‘follower/friends’ (and no, I’m not naming names unless they give the the nod).
Anyway, for those of you who know why I keep my anonymity (and that I’m pretty strict about it) you can imagine this is/was a bit unnerving.  Of the thousand or so of you out there, up until a few days ago, there were exactly zero that had ever (knowingly) seen or met me.  
The mini-meet went great (IMHO).  We talked about twitter (and its weirdness), our significant others, how we ended up in our professions, non-work related projects, etc. 
An interesting side note — this person, notwithstanding evidence (i.e. the meeting itself) that I might actually share it with them, respected (wc?) my anonymity enough that they didn’t ask me who I really was and as far as I could tell the thought didn’t even cross their minds (that might not be the case though as I’m not psychic).  Then again, they just might not care (entirely possible as well).
Overall this was the type of person I would enjoy getting to know better – trustworthy (I believe), smart, funny, kind, etc. – and likely would if we were in the same office or met under different circumstances.
And there’s the wrench – of the hundreds of you I’ve had conversations with, odds are there’s a significant number that I would enjoy real-life business or personal relationships with (in the platonic sense – seriously people – happily married w/ Coglings, remember?).
Of course, without my anonymity there’s little chance I would’ve ever met a fraction of you, or if I had, there’s little chance the relationship would be the same.
This mask I voluntarily put on every day, gives me the freedom to spew hellfire about my clients and co-workers, make inappropriate comments, and do what I do (not sure there’s a suitable word for it).  At the same time it keeps me in the shadows (at least while at this place of employment) when it comes to really interacting and taking anything to the next level. Quite literally this persona (with the exception of #Masquertweet) is 99% talk…140 character talk…but talk nonetheless.
It’ll be interesting/challenging to see how this progresses….

0 thoughts on “The case against anonymity”

  1. Well, I "know" you on Twitter and what I know I like. I'll share a similar story. About two years ago when in the heat of stress about my last book coming out I started an anonymous blog. A really funny, evil blog that provided details of my life that I never share. To say that I spewed hellfire would be a very kind understatement. I got to let another side of my personality come out to play- the one I can't show in my professional life since I have a reputation for being nice to a fault. Long story short (if it's even possible at this point) my blog got popular. So popular in fact that it eclipsed anything else I was working on. The traffic went wild, agents came sniffing about and book deals beckoned. I mean talk about irony, my faux site was doing better than the book/blog & promotions I'd poured my life into. Even after I stopped updating, the traffic was still thousands more per day than anything I'm currently working on, so much so that I finally deleted it.

    So, there's a case for anonymity but imagine if your dark side in some ways becomes more successful than you are. It sucketh.

    More irony is that I sometimes question my writing on said blog, could I have subconsciously been using my marketing skills to make it popular? Is that style of writing more popular than the kind that I put my name to? Mind blowing questions after that experience.

  2. I keep myself fairly anonymous too. I never mention my last name, town or ANY of the Authors I represent on twitter/my blog, etc. That said, I’ve outed myself (directly) to a dozen or so people and they have all been great about not outing me.

  3. Cog, my friend, I’m torn about your choice. On the one hand, I got to know you through your smart, funny tweets. On the other hand, I’d like to get you to know you better. I think we’re both in NYC and I’m confident you are a smart cookie that I could learn from. But it seems unlikely that I’ll get that chance. And I think that’s a shame.

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