Being a Pseudonym

February 9, 2014

It’s interesting being a pseudonym because no matter what, you’re still you.

With respect to RAFrenzy, this is me, and yes, I’ve toyed with being the “other me,” but then I am the other me when I’m here. What you see is what you get. There is no difference (a rose by any other name…;-)

If I ever thought there was a difference, my friends who knew me before I started this place have disabused me of that notion by laughing when they’ve read this blog and said, “That is so you.”

And what do they mean by that? I take very little seriously, and myself most of all. Oh, sure I take some things seriously about life and myself, but it’s my belief that way too much is made out of most things. Have I lapsed into being pompous and taken myself way too seriously on occasion? Oh yeah. I’m human aren’t I? Last time I checked I was, but I try to remember I’m not God and don’t make perfect choices.

I do try to correct my poor choices as quickly as I can, and one way is to laugh at myself. If I can do that, I can laugh in general. And laughter really is good medicine.

Please notice I don’t mean ridicule — the laughter designed to create pain. Granted, there is sometimes a thin line between ridicule and just the joy of laughing, and when it is crossed, there is usually misery. But happy people do not want to create misery. Maybe put out some snark sometimes when they see something that is just utter bullshit (as opposed to regular bullshit)? You bet. But to try to do harm to someone? No, that’s what miserable people do.

And if I don’t know anything else about this RAFrenzy thing, I do know one thing — I am not here to be miserable. :D

No picture with this post. I’m too lazy this morning to find one that would fit, and dare I say, I’m on my way to church. Yeah, I know that bugs some of you, but oh well. I can’t be someone I’m not, and I do believe in God (a very specific one at that), and He loves me bad language and all.

Maybe after I’ve heard a lesson this morning, my mind will be more clear and I can select a good pic.


  1. I don’t think of it as *being* a pseudonym as much as *using* a pseudonym. Perry and I are one and the same, though as a blogger, I may let my fuse burn a little longer.

  2. ‘Being a pseudonym’ is mostly the reader’s perspective unless they get to know you apart from your blog.

  3. Everyone knows who I am and have from the beginning. I suppose it’s because I was already accustomed to being out there online through the newspaper. So for me it wasn’t a big deal, but I can understand if others need to retain that cloak for a variety of reasons. I do applaud those who feel comfortable enough to throw it off and/or find it freeing. That being said, I am also Fedoralady and Ladywriter and I enjoy those identities. They are fun. ;)

  4. And that’s the point — fun. For me, I think the more people learned of my identity, the less fun they would have. Not because of who I really am but because people too often think in stereotypes.

  5. Or let me put it this way. If I had started off revealing my identity, which includes being a vicar’s wife, being a homeschooler, being married a long time, being of a certain age, being white, or whatever else people get hung up on, I know it would have kept me from being received as I wanted to be received.

  6. Oh, I definitely get where you are coming from, Frenz. Sometimes I feel like such a bundle of contradictions re my public persona and my RA fangurling. Proves there’s more to me than what’s on the surface . . . and don’t make assumptions about respectable, sweet-faced middle-aged white female newspaper writers/videographers/video editors from conservative Southern Baptist backgrounds.

  7. Don’t get me started on Southern Baptists. LOL!

  8. *grinning and winking*

  9. Interesting post. I guess we all have our reasons, no matter what option we use. I would use my own name, but I really can’t because of my job. It’s at my job that I have to be “someone else”, though! On my blog it’s the real me! :D

  10. Marie,

    The main reason I became anonymous was someone (an extended family member) took something I said out of context when I was posting with my real identity. I hated having to explain. Actually, it really pissed me off that I had to explain something that should have never been misconstrued. I knew then, no way I’m going to put myself through that.

  11. Oddly enough that same family member stumbled on this blog through my error and has since laughed about it and totally gets it.

    I wrote about her finding the blog here.

    But in hindsight, I’m glad for what happened with her initially misunderstanding my comment because I did feel freer on this blog than posting with my real identity. I don’t feel that way any longer, and this blog helped me get over that. So it all worked out.

    Life is weird.

  12. I came onto the internet in a time and place when people didn’t use real names, except in some forums. My early experiences made me believe that this was the best way to go. I don’t understand people’s need to make everything about themselves public, but if they want to, that is their choice.

    I agree with you that having people know all about you (age, ethnicity, etc) often means that people pre-judge you. Or (I would add) twist your words or actions in a certain way.

  13. Well, it’s like Irene Adler/Steven Moffatt said, “Do you know the big problem with a disguise, Mr. Holmes? However hard you try, it’s always a self-portrait.” People who change their sign on and come back to a message board and other online community, or people who use sockpuppets, are usually discovered within a matter of days/weeks/months-at-the-most as the similarities in opinion and the way they express themselves become increasingly obvious. Very rarely has someone been able to actually pull off a double identity for any length of time. Names don’t matter. It’s what you do and say that ishows who you are. The only point in using sign-on is protect ourselves from some of the less-than-stable people online who would cross that line into RL to try to hurt others.

  14. My most compelling reason for having a pseudomym is my job but I also enjoy the freedom it allows me- although I think most people would recognise me, fangirling is something I had never done pre Armitage so I guess Bollyknickers does say things RL me probably wouldn’t!

    Deciding how public to be is a personal thing but I would be cautious. I’m currently dealing with a stalking situation at work and whilst I need to be clear that the blame can ONLY fall on the stalker’s shoulders, it is fair to say their task has been made easier by the amount if personal information the staff member involved has given out via social media. As I say to my children, once it is on the web, it’s there forever, for anyone to access and I would’ve very cautious about that.

  15. I think there are two concerns: the first is that strangers on line will know who you are and if they know who you are, they can find you and/or learn more about you and publish it. The second is that , if you’re a blogger, people in your RL may find your blog ( or you will tell them about it) and you might not want them to read everything you write.

    In my case, I don’t want people in my RL to know I write a fan blog about an actor. It wouldn’t ruin me if they found out or read my blog – I’ve never dissed anyone or revealed anything very personal, but I’d rather they didn’t know and didn’t read it. That gives me a sense of freedom.
    I’m frankly amazed by some of the personal things people publish when their RL identity is known,especially people who are in business. I guess they are counting on the fact that the people won’t ever find their blog, and perhaps that’s true.

  16. This idea that no one a blogger knows will ever stumble on his/her anonymous blog is dangerous thinking. It’s happened to me countless times!

    In my ip log I run a job that tells me if there is a local ip. Last week there was an alert to me that someone was reading my blog from a resort area 15 miles down the road. It’s not a tiny resort area, but small enough that my family is known by most of the locals over there. This person, who I suspect was a visitor, must have stayed there for the week ’cause that’s how long that ip lasted. I told SO I’m glad I’m no longer obsessed with my anonymity ’cause that incident alone would have freaked me out, and it still messed with my head anyway.

    BTW, a little word on ip logs. I do not spend time looking at individual ips except those that are flagged with the names of towns near me. If one of those pops up, then yeah, I’ll look at it. The only other thing I look at is weird patterns. Other than that, I don’t give a rat’s ass what anyone’s ip may be. And my friends, it’s too easy to mask an ip, i.e., make it look like you’re one place, when you’re really another, or to be invisible altogether. As I said in a very early post, sometimes I run a stealth ip, and sometimes I don’t, and if I show up in your ip log, and you know anything about me or where I’m from, it will be plain as day since the isp has my damn name on it. LOL!

  17. People adopt pseudonyms for many reasons. Actors use them. Writers use them. I use one for an extra veil between RL and fangirl. Definitely don’t want content linking back on my professional identity. I think everyone at work knows that I’m a fangirl and leaves it at that. At times on the net I’m rather too trusting, although I can be paranoid about identity theft and other security issues. It took me months to write my “About Me” and was pleasantly surprised to find others being as accepting of me as I am of others. Interesting column.

  18. Ironic that my post was marked ‘anonymous” when I did supply my name. That’s the universe playing tricks…

  19. I used my real name to comment by accident more than a year ago. I pushed enter and there it was, i was a little concerned because of what I had read about stalkers, but my children (grown up) assured me my namewas so common it might as well be made up. I am only a commentor so I don’t think anyone would care enough about what I say to react negatively. I love the fandom and those who write for us.Someday I would love to blog along with you, if I am ever technologically capable. Unfortunately that seems about as likely as me running marathon.

  20. Hi Frenz! My name is Joanna …but you can call me Al ;)

    Happy Valentine’s Day!

  21. :D

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