When I decided to start a blog and my twitter page, the first major barrier was coming up with a name. Trying to come up with something eye catching and witty title is not as easy as one might think. Then came a much more difficult decision - should I use my real name or work on the web under a pseudonym?
There are clear advantages and disadvantages of "keeping it real" vs. going anonymous. If I decided to use my real name, it would be a billboard to the world declaring loud and clear that I had nothing to hide. I rarely talk about work and I am not very controversial, so in theory, this would be the choice.
One of the things that makes the internet and social media incredibly cool is the ability to connect with anyone, anywhere in the world. With a few clicks you can find someone hundreds of miles away to share your love of "Pawn Stars." You have insomnia and can't sleep late at night? That's great because your buddy in LA just got home.
This is also what makes the internet dangerous. I mean dangerous on a serious level, like a stalker showing up at work in addition to dangerous on a far scarier level...people finding you that you don't want to talk to. There are numerous horror stories of people being fired from their jobs for posting on twitter, facebook or a blog because of the content. These folks have lost their employment because of topics that they discuss with the world on their own private time, even if there is no connection to the company. There are those at my workplace that immediately look for people to follow on facebook and the like. I didn't grow up with the internet, so I am not used to sharing all of my life details with the world.
I admit, there are days I feel left out at work, with everyone chatting about facebook status updates, but that makes me uncomfortable. People are now making major announcements on the web for events ranging from wedding announcements to the adoption of a new puppy. I happily enjoy a line between work and play. I don't need Barb in Accounting commenting on my love of pierogies and Christmas Ale. Bill Lumbergh pointing out to me that I am too obsessed with reality tv and Cleveland sports is not something I want to discuss in the office. Most importantly though, I don't think my co-workers knowing how homesick I am for Cleveland would do anything positive for me.
By now you are reading this wondering what on earth the picture has to do with anything. I briefly set up a facebook page under my real name and I was bombarded by not only old friends (which was great) but co-workers and family. The above picture could very easily have been of photos of some family members. Yes, I have trekkies in the family, and the usual debate at the holiday dinner table is which was the better Starfleet Captain. Family members, as much as you love them, are not always the people you want to have follow you all over the place. I can see it now, my mom getting on facebook to yell at my boss, sending an email in all CAPITAL BOLD letters "PLEASE LET MY DAUGHTER TAKE MONDAY OFF TO VISIT!!!!!!!!!!!"
The internet is like my phone...I only talk to people that I want to talk to and the only way to do that was to become ClevelandChick.