Anonymity, Authenticity and Being Brave

Last week, I posted this to my Twitter account:

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As you can see, I’ve been fantasizing about creating anonymous alter-egos to vent online about stuff I’m too chicken to associate my real name with on Google. The idea of doing that bothers me because I’ve always prided myself on being transparent and “authentic” by curating nearly my entire online presence under my real name.

But really, are my thoughts any more authentic because I’m willing associate my name with them? Should the people out there writing really painful, emotional stuff (or any kind of stuff, really) under pseudonyms get less respect and have their experiences considered as less real just because I can’t find the writer in the phone book? That’s not fair, and it’s an insult to anyone who writes about anything online. It’s an insult to anyone that writes, period.

Even though I write under my real name, I still question if I am being authentic enough. Sometimes I think I sanitize things a little too much. If you know me in real life, you know that I speak with a lot more “dude”, swears and slang than I do here. I believe in the “write like you talk” method, at least some of the time (and a personal website is probably one of the best places to write like you talk). Why am I not using that method more? It’s not like I’m writing incredibly highbrow stuff here.

I want to be brave. I need to be braver. I don’t want to write about every detail of my life. No one would want to read it, and I don’t have the time to write it. I just want to be braver about the stuff I do share with the world.

Do you write with the same voice you speak to your closest friends with? Do you want to?

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada
This work by Melissa Price-Mitchell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada.
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