One of the greatest attributes of the Internet is the ability to be as anonymous as you want to be. You can go to great lengths to hide your identity, such as using the Tor browser to mask your IP address, or you can let everyone know who you are by leaving information everywhere you go. It’s completely up to you.
However, anonymity also has it’s serious drawbacks. When you are anonymous, nobody knows who you are and you cannot be credited with any of the blog posts, articles, or any other content you may produce. While for some people this might be good (for them) because they escape any rightful justice they deserve from their harassment of others online. This, unfortunately, is the case for Amanda Hess and countless other women every day.
The other drawback is that people can’t give you credit for anything you publish online. Meaning if you wrote an amazing blog post that got picked up by journalists, or received a lot of feedback, nobody can give you the credit you deserve.
I almost learned this the hard way with my post on Snapchat Discovery. While it wasn’t the most amazing post in the history of blog posts, it got picked up by the Nieman Lab. While I was ecstatic to be quoted in one of their articles, my professor warned me the next day that my 15 seconds of fame almost hadn’t happened.
Why? Because I didn’t have my full name posted anywhere on this blog. If the author hadn’t been good friends with my professor, he wouldn’t have taken the time to double check my name. This thing I was so excited about could have easily not happened simply because I did not publish my full name.
While it is scary to put yourself out there,the benefits definitely outweigh the drawbacks. Don’t be afraid to claim your own thoughts and ideas.
xo, Emma vanBree
^Join me in the decision to sign off with your full name, not just your first name!
Shout-out to Beyonce for inspiring this blog title