being out there

As you may know, I don’t use my full name on this blog. Krys is a shortened version of my name, of course, but it’s not what I go by in my daily life. My first name isn’t incredibly common, especially with my last name, so I’ve tried to keep them both away from my blog. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t write about anything I wouldn’t be comfortable sharing in real life. A lot of it is nonsense, and all of the BRCA stuff is something I’d be totally open about. I don’t generally bring it up in conversation, of course, because I worry that it’s awkward for other people. I also wouldn’t share it with an employer because I certainly don’t want to open myself up to discrimination (yes, there is GINA, but no, it doesn’t actually stop all discrimination).

Obviously I’m taking a risk by having a public blog. I’m smart enough to know that it’s still possible for employers to find me – I just feel that as long as I minimize the risk as much as possible, I’m good to go.

And then on Wednesday, a friend of mine brought up pipl.com. A group of us were at lunch – current and former coworkers – and she mentioned it. I was the only one who’d heard of it before, so when we got back to the office, one of my coworkers searched for herself on Pipl. She was freaked out by all the information out there, and it made me curious. I’d checked the site before (and oddly enough, a lot of what shows up isn’t even remotely to do with me), but this time it was different. This time, there was a link to my blog.

I don’t know how this happened and it does not please me. It’s less about future employers (because will they even check Pipl? Will they scroll down far enough? Will they care? Probably not) and more about the fact that my writing makes me feel vulnerable. I don’t post anything I wouldn’t want my family or coworkers to read – but if they’re going to read it, I’d rather they do so in the privacy of their own home and nowhere near me. I spent the rest of the afternoon terrified that someone would get the bright idea to search for me on the site, read the results, and loudly exclaim, “EITHER EAT THIS SOUP OR JUMP OUT OF THIS WINDOW?! WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?!” and start reading aloud from my blog.

Granted, not everyone has the same intense (and crazy-making) curiosity that I do, and most people have better things to do than go around Googling and Pipl-stalking their coworkers. The likelihood of anyone coming across my blog that way is very small, but it gives me pause. It makes me reevaluate what I write here and the secrecy with which I do it. It makes me think about going completely public – that is to say, actually sharing the link willingly with people in my life.

It’s out there now, and there’s no going back. Now I just need to consider my awkward vulnerability and figure out what to do with it next.

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7 thoughts on “being out there

  1. Omg that is freaky! I mean, I use my name online so I expected to find plenty of hits but just the fact that it’s out there so easily searchable is a little unnerving. Thanks for the link. I wonder whose idea it was to make a site like that?

  2. I have a blogger friend who is completely anonymous, uses a totally fake name, etc etc. Without too much trouble I was able to piece together what his real name was. Freaked him out a bit, as he does say some things that could get him into hot water. Here’s a tip for you, to help stay anonymous. Never partake in any of the wordpress polls that some people put on their blogs. I put one up once, and he responded. WordPress emailed me the response and told me what city and state he was from. That along with other info he’d given to me made it easy to figure out who he was. I.P addresses do it too, and most of us have Site Meter – it tells right where the visitors are from – you can match I.P addresses from that to comments left on your blog and figure out who people are too. Not trying to freak you out, just letting you know that anonymous isn’t always as anonymous as you may think. And now I’m going to go search for myself on that site you listed – very curious!!

    • Yeah, I’m not so worried about IP addresses & whatnot. I’m not trying to really be 100% anonymous… it just creeps me out that my full name is attached to it and can be found on a site that also lists my (former) address and lord knows what else. I have no issue with people I comment or visit knowing who I am… but someone putting my name into a search engine and immediately finding my blog creeps me out. The internet is a creepy place sometimes!

  3. omg! I just searched – sure it brought up all my blog stuff, but it also brought up my husbands name, my address, phone number, and how much we make per year!! WTF??? That is very creepy!

  4. ps – i’m sorry!
    (it’s because i’ve known you so long (years?!) i just didn’t even think twice about it. you know. but as soon as i got your message, it was gone in a flash.)

    heh. why do you think i’ve stopped blogging so much? i kind of switched to just a picture blog, that way i can share and document things for myself without… being so verbally open and getting fired from jobs. 😉

    • Oh, don’t even worry about it. To be honest I didn’t even assume it was because you’d listed my full name – although that would make sense, I guess!

      But yeah, it is hard. I try really hard not to bitch about anything work-related or that would offend anyone in my life, but I guess blogging publicly comes with risks no matter how careful you try to be!

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