Pseudonymity And Social Networking
Pseudonymous blogging strikes the right balance, for me, between the ability to project a clear and consistent identity to those interested in exchanging ideas, and buffering my sometimes unpopular ideas from meatworld decisionmakers, some of whom hold power over ways I might want to further my career, and some of whom hold power over my ability to generate income for my law firm. Pseudonymity gives me both an outlet of self-expression and the privacy to protect my livelihood, and that of about a dozen other people, all of whom depend in part on my work for their own paychecks.
Social networking, as on Facebook and Google+, offers convenience, enjoyment, and utility only to those users who operate under their real names. To use them, you must relinquish a degree of privacy — all the more so as both companies have recently relaxed their privacy policies.
I have no Facebook nor Google+ account because a dual-identity online existence would quickly crumble, whether at my hands or by the inadvertent mistake of someone else. If I want to continue to enjoy the degree of privacy that I have found comfortable to date, I must at the same time forego the pleasures and advantages of social networking. It’s one or the other. It’s not clear to me whether I’ve made the right choice.