On PittGirl and Anonymous Blogging

Last week, there was an item in our daily newspaper about a blogger, PittGirl, who had decided to “out” herself.  I had never even heard of PittGirl, but I guess a lot of other people had.  I love blogging, I love Pittsburgh, but somehow PittGirl’s blog never made it on to my monitor until I read this article.  Not only was it news that PittGirl had revealed her true identity, it made the papers the next day when she was fired from her job because of it.

You see, PittGirl wrote about things that ticked her off in the fair city of Pittsburgh.  I think she may have said a few unflattering things about the young mayor Luke Ravenstahl (who actually seems pretty decent to me as far as politicians go).  She may have mentioned other things that the powers that be in Pittsburgh were not too thrilled about.  And, unfortunately for her, she worked for a nonprofit organization in the city where lots of butt-kissing is required (like any non-profit).  She pretty much knew her job would be gone once she revealed her true identity.

I read a lot of blogs; some are written anonymously while others boldly reveal their innermost thoughts without disguising their identity.  I can understand the need to remain anonymous even though I admire those that are not afraid to publicly reveal their secrets.  We all have different circumstances.  I’m at a point in my life where I don’t particularly have to worry about whether people like what I have to say.  I’m not saying I don’t want people to like me or what I have to say, but I am saying that if I’m being true to myself, it won’t affect me too adversely if certain people don’t agree with my words.

My kids are grown, and I don’t have to worry about their little friends’ parents not letting them play with my kids because they don’t like my opinions.

I don’t have to face being ostracized by any judgemental church group because I don’t go to church.  I think religion is great, and if you really feel inspired by your religion, that is probably your way to salvation.  I just don’t feel like there is any one religion out there that is the one and only true way to salvation and I can’t pretend like I do without feeling like a fraud and a hypocrite.

Most of my family are still in the yabba-dabba-doo stone age and I can gripe about them all I want without them finding out, haha.  In fact, we already say pretty much the same things I gripe about right to my mom’s face when we get together.  We have actually all sat around at family gatherings and laughed about all the times she has embarrassed us in public.  We all have our own stories, and end up with tears of laughter rolling down our cheeks.  So mom’s already heard most of these tales, although she might not be too thrilled about me putting them out there in public.

Freedom of speech is a wonderful concept.  It might be your right in this country, but you may still have to face consequences.

21 Responses to “On PittGirl and Anonymous Blogging”

  1. 1 myra36 August 24, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    I have to give kudos to those who reveal everything about themselves online. Some say that it is foolhardy to do so. I think that it’s somewhat brave. You never know who is going to read your blog. The online world can be pretty small. I guess how much you reveal depends on how many secrets or skeletons you have. Lol.

    Freedom of speech is great. But, I agree with you. You have to be prepared to face the ramifications of stating your opinions.

  2. 2 Cyndi August 24, 2009 at 8:13 pm

    I’ve never heard of PittGirl either but I just checked out her blog. Of course, I don’t live in Pittsburgh so the content is of little interest to me. I did read a few posts. You know what struck me as funny….she writes just like many of us do! And she apparently already has another job with a magazine in town. It seems that she waited to “out” herself until she knew she’d be ok.

    I follow both types of blogs and it really doesn’t matter to me either way. I understand why several of my bloggy friends need to remain anonymous. Sometimes that’s the only way people can feel comfortable putting it all out there.

    For me, the whole point was to be out there in the open, name, picture and all. The whole point was that I’d been hiding for so long that I’d completely lost myself. The whole point was to step out there and stop being ashamed of anything and everything. So far, I’ve had nothing but good things come from it.

    • 3 les@mamaneeds2rant August 24, 2009 at 8:28 pm

      I was pretty much anonymous until someone ~ahem~ convinced me to join Facebook. I figure if anyone judges me negatively for my honest thoughts and opinions, I probably wouldn’t get along with them anyways. Plus, my life just isn’t all that scandalous. Either way, I gotta be meeeee! Deal with it, peeps.

  3. 4 enchantedflutterby August 24, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    When I worked for a previous company, there was (and probably still is) a whole website devoted to hating the company. Now, being that it’s the internet and the whole free speech thing, they never tried to get it shut down. I believe the general consensus was that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. However, if you were an employee of the company, you could not post on the site and say things against the company. HR monitored the site frequently looking for problems. Everyone gripes about their job sometimes, I know. But I know quite a few employees that received corrective action for some postings on the site. I don’t recall any of them getting fired though. Unfortunately, when the first amendment was written, I don’t think they were even considering the possibility that something like a blog would exist. When you’re posting someting out there for the world to see (even if that world is only a few followers), you run the chance of the wrong person seeing it. If the postings by PittGirl had been posted in a newspaper, magazine, or something of the sort, she still probably would have faced the same ramifications. Part of the reason I didn’t follow my writing degree with a career in journalism is because you do have to censure your writing for fear of what will happen. The Woodward and Bernsteins of the world are few and far between.

    • 5 les@mamaneeds2rant August 24, 2009 at 8:51 pm

      It’s even worse now in this very “politically correct” world. People need to make a living, so censorship is necessary if your job is on the line. That’s why I love the line, “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose…”

  4. 6 robinaltman August 24, 2009 at 10:02 pm

    My poor mom dies a little bit every time she reads something she feels is too personal on my blog. She is very private, and thinks you should “never tell anyone anything”. Can you believe we’re related?

  5. 8 Cyndi August 25, 2009 at 7:04 am

    HA! So, FB was your “outing” hugh? 🙂

    Robin – my mom is the same way. She actually suggested that I start writing Harlequin romance novels instead so I could make some money!

  6. 9 Consuella Banana Hammock August 25, 2009 at 9:21 am

    well, as we all know, i’m an anonymous blogger. i confess i am a chicken shit. i just have one of those names that can be googled and found easily. and to be honest, i write a lot of things on here that would seriously piss my family off. for me it is safer to be anonymous. i needed a place to talk about some issues and get feedback without fearing my family finding out and raising some serious hell. my life is complicated enough right now. maybe someday i’ll come out. just not yet.

    • 10 les@mamaneeds2rant August 25, 2009 at 10:45 am

      I don’t blame you, Consuella, for not wanting to complicate your life. Anyways, your blog name is a hoot. Can you believe my kids had to explain to me what a banana hammock is? I’m so dumb.

  7. 11 Tammy August 25, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    I read this post within 24 hours of posting my most recent post about what I would consider my second biggest secret. I immediately felt self conscience.

    I originally started my first blog anonymously. I then converted to my current blog and slowly began to “come out”. It was not a calculated move, it just happened. Now it’s all out there. Every once in awhile I get nervous thinking about if the PTSO moms are lerking around somewhere because that could overflow in to my sons school life. (gossip, gossip, gossip)

    I, too, have a very Googleable (a new word!) name. I think my mom cringes sometimes at what I am write. Ultimately, I feel the same as Cyndi. I have never been a person to talk about my feelings. My blog has helped me a lot to put things out there so I don’t have to hold them in anymore.

    There are people I would prefer to never find or read my blog, but if they do so be it…I am who I am.

  8. 13 robinaltman August 25, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    Cyndi: That is too funny. I guess she thought it was the lesser of two evils.

  9. 14 enchantedflutterby August 25, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    I believe that is Princess Consuella Banana Hammock. Nice name. Is your husband Crap Bag? I, personally, don’t care who sees what I write. I’m used to being published. I unfortunately paid a pretty penny to learn how to censure myself.

  10. 15 Emily August 25, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    i am appalled. you would like to think the government is invested in protecting our freedom of speech.

  11. 17 Cyndi August 26, 2009 at 12:12 am

    What’t the deal with the pigeons anyway? Are they a major problem in your area?!

  12. 19 Consuella Banana Hammock August 26, 2009 at 9:15 am

    teehee, you didn’t know what a banana hammock was….

  13. 20 Dawn August 26, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    Damn, I arrived too late for the chills and thrills of a story unfolding. But hey, I do get what a Banana Hammock is. I hadn’t given it much thought before today. What a riot … I still learning at 45.

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