Pseudonymity and Social Networking

Pseudonymous blogging strikes the right balance, for me, between the ability to project a clear and consistent identity to those interested in exchanging ideas, and buffering my sometimes unpopular ideas from meatworld decisionmakers, some of whom hold power over ways I might want to further my career, and some of whom hold power over my ability to generate income for my law firm. Pseudonymity gives me both an outlet of self-expression and the privacy to protect my livelihood, and that of about a dozen other people, all of whom depend in part on my work for their own paychecks.

Social networking, as on Facebook and Google+, offers convenience, enjoyment, and utility only to those users who operate under their real names. To use them, you must relinquish a degree of privacy — all the more so as both companies have recently relaxed their privacy policies.

I have no Facebook nor Google+ account because a dual-identity online existence would quickly crumble, whether at my hands or by the inadvertent mistake of someone else. If I want to continue to enjoy the degree of privacy that I have found comfortable to date, I must at the same time forego the pleasures and advantages of social networking. It’s one or the other. It’s not clear to me whether I’ve made the right choice.

Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering litigator. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Recovering Former Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.

One Comment

Comments are closed.