Question asked by Franchesca Puehler.
About Before heading off into the psychoanalytical second half, it’s important to address the initial premise of the question, why bloggers claim to prefer anonymity. From my own experience, when this blog was very young, when even close friends didn’t even know what a blog was and my readership was practically zero, I felt much freer in my ability to write about myself.
That’s eroded over time as more people read the blog, especially people I know and although at first I attempted to misdirect and dissemble, now I simply send links to everything on my twitter feed and Facebook (both narcissistic media too) and try not get too personal It’s just simpler, if much harder.
Total anonymity is different, of course, because it increases the potential freedom even further because not even Google will make the connection (assuming you’re not using your Google account to post to Blogger).
Then you really do have the ability to say how you really feel and if you’re writing on a controversial topic still enjoy watching the feedback, perhaps even join in via a sock puppet.
In that case, anonymity is seductive.
This isn’t something I’ve ever done, but the few anonymous bloggers who’ve either outed themselves or been revealed against their will, have talked about the onrush of freedom it provides.
Which is the paradox.
You're much more open when you’re talking to no one, but blogging only becomes validated when it has a readership. Anonymous bloggers can retain a readership but a readership who don’t know who they are. We’re all narcissistic but in a sense it’s a narcissism which kills the very thing which fuels it.
It has been suggested to me that I should begin an anonymous blog if I really wanted to return to the past style, but my life is unfortunately far less interesting now and I enjoy the challenge of offering you something to look for between the lines, even if most of the time it is just white space.
But on reflection narcissism does provide a useful guide for when it’s about time to stop blogging, in other words if any of the following (seen at the Wikipedia and quoted from this citation) become true:
Positive: Narcissists think they are better than others.Because arguably, now that I think about it, blogs are always at their most boring when they’re embracing these tendencies. Interesting.
Inflated: Narcissists' views tend to be contrary to reality. In measures that compare self-report to objective measures, narcissists' self-views tend to be greatly exaggerated.
Agentic: Narcissists’ views tend to be most exaggerated in the agentic domain, relative to the communion domain.
Special: Narcissists perceive themselves to be unique and special people.
Selfish: Research upon narcissists’ behaviour in resource dilemmas supports the case for narcissists as being selfish.
Oriented toward success: Narcissists are oriented towards success by being, for example, approach oriented.
Best give up now then.