Don’t Worry. I’m Still OK.

Fri, 20 Aug 2021

If I keep posting on the net, it probably won’t be under my real name any longer. Blame my day job. As I get older I find myself less comfortable speaking my mind online using my real name because I have more to lose if somebody at work takes offense at something I’ve posted.

Also, it’s draining to be the same person to everybody regardless of context. Some people at work think that the side I show on the job is who I really am, and then they think I’m not “bringing my whole self” to work when compare how I act on the job with how I express myself online.

Of course I’m not bringing my whole self to work. That’s generally not a good idea. Besides, to quote danah boyd from a 2011 post on real names:

There is no universal context, no matter how many times geeks want to tell you that you can be one person to everyone at every point. But just because people are doing what it takes to be appropriate in different contexts, to protect their safety, and to make certain that they are not judged out of context, doesn’t mean that everyone is a huckster. Rather, people are responsibly and reasonably responding to the structural conditions of these new media. And there’s nothing acceptable about those who are most privileged and powerful telling those who aren’t that it’s OK for their safety to be undermined. And you don’t guarantee safety by stopping people from using pseudonyms, but you do undermine people’s safety by doing so.

If you know me, you probably won’t have that much trouble finding me. After all, I’m moving most of what I’ve written and posted here to a different site. I don’t plan to make any particular effort to hide my identity; I don’t think anybody cares that much. But as a hobbyist writer who’s no longer trying to quit my day job I don’t see much upside in trying to build my “personal brand”.

So you might see me around elsewhere under a different name. For example, all of my sf is going to starbreaker.org.

In the meantime, stay safe out there. (And consider staying pseudonymous.) But whatever you do, don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine, and in any case worrying about me is my wife’s privilege.