When I stumbled into this blogging world, I have no more hidden identity as I needed my real identity to do some of the things that I had done. I run support groups and therefore, I cannot be hidden behind a veil of mystery. Who can trust a mysterious, probably non-existence person? How do I publicise my groups unless I offer my real self? Which professional would help me if they do not know me? Which organisation will sponsor the causes?
So, unlike some bloggers, my real identity has gone before the blogging self. Pretty anti-climax because there is nothing left to hide. I had been on papers, magazines, radio and Tv too should I agreed to their interviews.
Personally, I prefer blogs with real identities unless their blogs are one-of-a-kind that need their secret identity, like a certain doctor, heavenly guy, crocodile or hustler.
However, I like to pretend that people who meet me in real life do not know about my blog, do not read them regularly and do not care at all about my rantings. This is especially so with my own relatives. My kids? I am cool about it. I only blog about the little kids, the older ones, I stay away. Hey, they may disown and sue me. They do know about my blog but whether they read or not, I do not try to find out.
Recently, I stumbled upon a blog belonging to someone who does bump into me regularly. Of course another person, Peter Tan and I had been in contact for sometime. The new blogger I just stumbled upon is Bart. Actually, a new moon brought Bart and Angie into my path. I found their blog under the Penang Bloggers directory and saw that they snapped the same moon crescent like I did. Without finding out their identity, I started yakking away in their comment board. I forgot about that comment. Until...one fine day Bart dropped a comment in my blog and asked about a certain Egyptian song.
I was dumbfounded. I know there is a Bart in my church who often plays the organ during my choir practice. It never occurs to me that Bart is the same Bart that blog. Oh well, now that I know, do I feel awkward? Should I watch my language? Behave like I always behave when I am in church and in my daily routine? (FYI, that is the see-marn/ah soh/prim and proper type. I don't cuss in real life, ok? And I also don't gaduh-gaduh mya la.)
Should bloggers have one real identity in person and another 'let loose' identity when blogging? Or do we act and blog the same? In my opinion, I think I should let loose with my thoughts. Otherwise, blogs will be very boring. Who bothers to visit a blog that is too real? For e.g. I woke up this morning at 8am, I eat breakfast, went to the toilet, read the paper, I cook lunch, I pee, I feed my children, I blah blah.
I take it as a challenge to reveal my blog to my church elder. Knowing that there is a possibility that he may be reading what I wrote, I somehow feel a lot more responsible. Though I know that I may risk people misunderstood or misquoted me, nevertheless, I will put them through because they are in my mind anyway. Thinking about something and saying it out and thinking about something and letting it brews in the mind are just as bad. Therefore, I actually enjoy under the scrutiny of many pairs of eyes. It keeps me grounded.
However, the worrying part is when people take the blogging nature and think that you are for real. For e.g. those whose blogs touches on others' nerves may draw wrath from a lot of parties. In fact, I have seen how a lot of people mistaken the notorious side of some bloggers as the real person. When I communicate with these bloggers through IM, email or forum, I found that they are really nice guys/gals and not like what their blogs portray. Therefore, I have learnt to be smarter - never judge a person by his/her blogs.
This evening, I will be in church, in the choir and fellow blogger Bart will be playing the organ. I had mentioned to Bart that both of us have serious personality/identity problems because I am oh! so timid in real life but eager to take on a flame war on the blog. And Bart is so serious looking on the organ and so funny in the photos on his blog. Ah well, it is fun to know bloggers in real life. But remember to separate the real person from the blog, ok?
(I have written this for several days already but due to the 'smoke' did not have time to put this up. Anyway, my thoughts and prayers are with Kah Shin now, as I put this on the net.)