I write over at Lost Daughters from time to time. I love it because there are a wide range of writers and we all have very different experiences. I’ve learned a lot from those women and I’m learning a lot. I will always see things through one lens, but they see things from slightly different lenses. We all have adoption in common but we live in different places, we’re different ages, and we all have different takes on things. I love the great support network I’ve found there as well. It’s truly fantastic.
The question has come up several times about names. Some of us write using our real names. Other’s write using pen names. For others its a combination. Often, we get asked why people don’t always write using their “real” names. I know for every person it’s different. But I figured I’d outline a few of my own reasons here. For the record, I don’t use my last name when I blog and I keep my blogging life separate.
- Adoptive family: My adoptive family does not know that I blog. I don’t have a problem if they found out about it. My main reason for keeping them in the dark is that I think I would edit myself a lot more if I knew they were reading. I love my adoptive family, but things tend to spread very quickly so if I had a bad day and wrote something without explaining fully what I meant (which happens sometimes), I would start receiving phone calls within twenty minutes. I can’t handle that stress or worry, so I just keep things to myself.
- Natural family: I’m reasonably sure my natural father knows that I blog. I don’t know about anybody else. My natural parents aren’t currently communicating with me. I don’t think they should get to know about my life and how I feel about things if they aren’t willing to share back with me. Thus a recent blog purge (and less frequent posts now).
- Their Privacy: Another reason is that I’m very protective of my families (both of them). If someone who knew another person connected to this situation (one of my parents for example), they would be able to read about things that are going on in my parents lives. My parents have the right to decide what gets disclosed and what doesn’t. That’s up to them. So for their privacy, I don’t use my last name. They have the right to stay anonymous.
- My Privacy: I frequently Google myself. I’m not currently searching for a job, but I keep a close eye on my online profile anyway. If I used my last name on this blog, I know this would come up on the first page of Google most likely. I don’t work in a field that has anything to do with adoption. Should I apply for a new job, I know that one of the first things the company will do is Google my name. Should this blog pop up, I’m not sure if it would have a positive affect. Right now, I work with several adoptive parents. Would it make them uncomfortable to work with an adoptee who speaks out about adoption reform? I’m not sure. It’s a conversation I don’t really want to have right now. I feel like I have the right to keep some things private about myself. It’s important to me to not have to talk about this stuff at work. So I keep my professional life and my private life separate.
I give a lot of credit to those who blog using their full names. I think it’s a great thing that some people can be out there. I know some bloggers who have their parents (both brands) read their blogs. I know others who work in adoption related fields who are able to put more of themselves out there professionally. I also know others who have had to take down blogs for other reasons. I guess my point is that I see both sides of the issue and it needs to be said that there are many valid reasons for both.
If you blog, do you use your full name? Do you prefer to stay anonymous? Why or why not?