Jess asked, in essence, why I camouflage names around here. Yes, I find it annoying, too. The main reason is because I blog anonymously and do not want to be found.
When I first started blogging, I was about a year into my relationship with P. I began using first letters of names as identifiers, but came to find that unsatisfying, so I started making up real names to substitute instead. I have many times thought to make J into Jay, but it just hasn't felt right to change it.
Sometimes if I am dating a Fred, I will call him Dan, using the last letter, D, as my motivation.
Although his name isn't derived in that manner, Richard's name is something equally formal.
There are other exceptions, like Norma, for her being Mormon and it sounding a little like Mormon, but nothing like her name.
Using Dan, Richard, and Norma won't reveal me.
For the pets, I want to use their real names, but I don't want to be searchable. I will mutilate Memph.is, but not Memph, because I think someone would search specifically for Memph.is, not Memph.
Oh, yes. I have been and will again be searched for. It is not mere paranoia.
With P, I never let on I was blogging and I feel like it was a wall between us. I definitely needed the blog as an outlet because he and his daughter made life so crazy. Yet I felt that it was a barrier.
I decided that I would tell subsequent men I date that I have a blog, but make light of it. They don't take it lightly, however. One, a military/government spy-ish guy named something like Luke, was so curious he began looking, would even talk about looking, fitting it into his schedule, and I found evidence of him looking when he asked me to look up movie times on his computer. I warned him that I have a counter and he said they have ways around it at the office. I don't know how much he worked the concept at work, but I sure someone there would have known more than Luke.
Another guy, not Ted, but something close, was equally as curious and, given the chance, I think he would have dived in my computer. He was a sneaky cad.
Neither of these guys knew about blog search engines and I surely did not inform them. Just because, they also had in common child-sized dicks. Poor men.
My friend, Richard, is fascinated by the idea of my blog and will casually ask, "So what is your blog's address?," just craving me to bite and slip up. For him, however, my blog would not be a big revelation. He hears it all already.
I have been aware of using terms like butterfly exhibit, a specific movie, or some other activity/situation makes me searchable, but it is a risk I've taken. With pictures, I let them speak for themselves and hope people don't get too specific about locations in their comments. (And I hope they will respect the naming thing, too.)I don't hide where I live; I just don't mention it.
In fact, there are blogger IF or mom or writer meet ups all the time around here; I just choose not to participate, although sometimes it hurts to feel secluded this way. Also, I don't think I could go and refer to myself as Cricket, too strange. I would hate to appear in a bunch of other blogger's site's pictures and lose control that way. With the large mother's organization I was a member of and held leadership positions for years, I know entirely too many moms around here and I DO NOT want a lack of anonymity to inhibit how I blog. And it would. Me being free here is my primary goal.
So the basic answer is privacy, as I reveal my innermost thoughts to the rest of the Internet. I guard my privacy very closely IRL, too. In fact, I was recently asked to be interviewed for Time Magazine, but I had to turn down being revealed. It was just too close.
So, how do you prefer your blogging? Do people you know read it? Does that make it less from the gut? How does that work, to be a known blogger? Are my fears realistic?
PS - When I was included on the wreckers of trains site a year and a half ago, I felt personally threatened, not just bloggidity threatened. Just one example was that my Google ads started saying things like, "Kill Cricket." It was entirely too scary and I did fear for my anonymity, while I valued it very much as well. That's when I sanitized my blog and took over half down.