Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Still secret

Since I don't feel like I have anything to write about today, why not return to a defining aspect of this blog? Yes, the "secret" thing.

Donna recently touched upon the surreal nature of having others know your business from your blog and makes oblique reference to an incident in which her site provided an inadvertent avenue for one of my brothers to find this site. In her case it wasn't a bad thing, just unexpected. In my case, well...

A few weeks ago one of my brothers e-mailed me a link to a site that claims to determine how much your blog is worth. (Go ahead, you know you want to try.) I don't follow all of the rationale behind it, but it looked like a fun thing to give a whirl. I responded to his e-mail that my film blog is worth a lot more than my knitblog. I didn't think anything of it, but it inspired him to hunt down this blog, which he did with remarkable ease. Keep in mind that I've never published my name here and only linked once to my other site.

I knew he found it because a look at my site traffic revealed hits from the ISP of his employer, a major company in the military-industrial complex. There was no doubt in my mind it was him. A wave of panic went through me. I don't have anything "bad" on here, but frankly, I don't want family members reading. As soon as I saw he'd been here I zipped an e-mail to him and asked him not to tell anyone. He said that he wouldn't, and he hasn't been back because this holds no interest for him.

Around the same time I learned that a friend has been reading the blog. I didn't give him the link--I think I've only given it to Kristin and Donna--so I was surprised he found it and was reading. (Of what interest would this place be to a non-knitter?) It's fine that he stops by, but I've not felt a need to tell anyone else.

Of course, I've never truly been secret. My identity is pretty easy to ascertain without much work. My coyness about the issue is more of a search engine defeating tactic than anything else.

So why bother staying secret? I haven't adopted an identity different from who I am. If anything, I'm more the "real me" here than that other site, where I speak with a more confident and authoritative voice. I guess it's no different from how we interact face to face with people. For some we put on the mask that shows our idealized self, how we'd like to be or be seen, and for those who are closer we wear a different mask or none at all. (In film terms, think A History of Violence.) If you doubt what I'm saying, ask yourself if you're the same person with everyone.

The illusion of secrecy allows me to feel like I can let down my guard more than if I were writing under my name. For me part of it has to do with being in the public eye and working at a college. What I'm doing here feels more personal, and I'd rather shield that from the eyes of students, colleagues, family, and those who might know of me from TV or the web. So I don't mind if strangers or some friends read? Yeah, pretty much. I don't expect it to make sense.

I don't feel like I've hashed this out entirely, but I'm at a spot that feels like a good stopping point. Break it down in the comments if you like. (This means you too, lurkers.)

FYI, I used a crochet hook to pull those loops through the heel of my mom's slipper. That'll take care of it for now. I suspect they'll slip back to the right side after some wear, but what am I gonna do?


At 6:56 PM, Blogger Karen said...

I know I'm not the same person around everyone - I try to be, but it just doesn't work. I wear too many hats for that to work: parent, school counselor, educator, friend, sister.

My family hasn't sought out my blog, but I don't think it would bother me if they did. They tease me about knitting so much, but don't laugh while receiving gifts. The blog would just give them a little more fuel for teasing since it's mostly knitting related.

Maybe since you're still new to knitting, and a bit uneasy about how you'll be perceived as a knitter, keeping this little corner of space all to yourself is your way of testing the waters as a male knitter. You have your own little cheering section here. I can understand wanting to keep that private, not wanting to share it.

Some people crave traffic and comments to their blogs. I've never gotten the impression that you are an attention-seeking person.

But (totally tongue-in-cheek) is your knitting blog worth more, or is mine? LOL

At 10:00 PM, Blogger donnadb said...

The illusion of secrecy -- or the illusory barrier between the self others know and the self expressed here -- is really important. I have no doubt that you would not find as much to write about here, nor be able to keep up such a regular pace of writing, if you were writing as [your name here]. This is a confessional of sorts, even if you don't give us your deepest darkest secrets. Just knowing you have it validates that other side, the one family and co-workers might not understand (or they might, but it would be complicated). That side needs validation. The secret knitter needs validation, in all his many and varied forms. Keep feeding him.

At 6:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have given my blog to SELECT friends, but the thought of other people I know finding it freaks me out too. It's not that I write anything bad, it's just that the blog is a place where I express other parts of my personality that I usually guard quite closely in person.


Post a Comment

<< Home