I just had a family member accuse me of being "unsafe" and "attention-seeking" because I have real photos up. I am aware of identity theft and like being anonymnous, so haven't used my real name. I write personal memoir about topics with stigma. My reasons are 1. I enjoy writing 2. I want to help others that have experienced similar situations.
If you look where HubPages gives people tips on getting a new account started, it's mentioned that it can be wisest not to use your real name. A lot of writing sites recommend people use a "real-sounding" name if they want to sell their writing or otherwise have "professional" aims, rather than just personal ones.
A lot of sites that offer "professional" web articles will require people put their own head shot as part of creating a professional image (and to help clients feel like people are seeing the work as "professional". Even on "basic" writing sites (as opposed to, say, Demand Studios) there are "special programs" that people are required to post a head shot. So the thing about posting a real photo of yourself is something that's recommended or required on a lot of sites. I haven't seen what HubPages' latest "word" is, but there was a time when real photos were encourage, so readers know the writer is real and not doing some "anonymous" thing.
Because I wanted to sometimes refer to personal experience I don't use my real name. In fact, my pen name is a "business name" at this point. My friends and relatives know my pen name, but I don't want people like bored, ex-co-workers Googling me and reading some of my personal business. I also don't like the idea of maybe irking someone on the Internet and then having to worry about some freak looking up my family members' names (that type of thing).
For me, it has nothing to do with looking for attention or (conversely) being ashamed of anything (or that type of thing). It just seems like good sense. (I put a bad half-picture of the real me in a couple of my serious Hubs, thinking it might add credibility somehow. Now (vanity is vanity ), I find I want to put up a decent picture so anyone who saw the other one will know I really better than I do in that weird, half-picture. ) The one thing I'm noticing is I'm getting tired of feeling like "some anonymous person behind the Earth picture". So we do whatever we do at the time. I just figure it's nobody business what anyone else does. A part of me would just like to "be me" and "put it all out there" if I feel like it, but I know I'd regret it if I did. I don't think, though, if you use some name like "Matilda95" and post real pictures it's all that big of a problem. Maybe I'm missing some potential risk.
My mother made the criticism (she does say a lot of ridiculous things).- I would be the least attention-seeking person in my family, along with my father. I doubt people would recognise me anyway, as some photos are old.
I use a pen name so potential employers etc don't look me up and pre-judge me.
Just hurts when people that should know me don't know me at all. If a stranger made that criticism, it would be easier to shrug off.
I may be far too cavalier with my identity, but I'm comfortable with some people here on HP knowing my real name. My place of residence is on my profile page; I feel that some knowledge of a writer can be gained by revealing 'environmental' details. Perhaps I'm naive, but I also choose to write about stigmatized topics, Baileybear, and for the same reasons.
As for attention seeking, why the hell not? Isn't that what we're here for? I've yet to meet a hubber named 'anonymous.' We give ourselves avatars that reveal something of ourselves-no matter what image we choose.
I think there's something to be said for being able to just go the "this-is-me" route. I don't know... Sometimes I wonder if there's really much point trying to keep any privacy in this day and age. If anyone's all that interested they can always dig up the private stuff some way or another.
Lisa, that is a critical point! The world has shrunk due to the Internet, and privacy, well, is probably a thing of the past. If you choose to engage with others via the 'net,' then you are definitely out there, zits and all!
lorlie6, I've always battled some remnants of shyness from childhood; so, for me, there's a weird kind of psychological factor involved with the different between the Internet and, say, print publications. I never really thought about this until this thread, but I thought about the shyness thing and wondered why I wasn't uncomfortable with, say, having my name attached to my writing in newspapers. I realized I was picturing one newspaper on one family's hall table (or something) and not thinking in terms of "world-wide exposure" (of course, the papers I wrote for weren't a "world-wide" kind of thing anyway). The very first writing I did online was under my name, and two days after I'd sent it in I got squirmy and told the people I wanted the whole account deleted!
Then I thought about the circulation numbers and realized there were x thousand papers on x thousand hall tables - so what's the difference between that and the Internet? I realize the thing goes back to imagining how x thousand people could be seeing my name at the same time from the same source, so that goes to my shyness/public-speaking "issue". (One person at a time is fine with me. A bunch of people "viewing" /watching at the same time just makes me really uncomfortable.)
So I guess for me, when I'm on the fence about real-name/real--picture or not, the shyness factor tends to push me over toward the "no-real-anything" side". I kind of admire/envy (in a nice way, not a mean way) people who are just comfortable going the "this-is-me" route online.
Lisa, the shyness factor is part of my psyche as well. I have real trouble with people face to face. I've improved with age--somewhat; since I became a sober woman 2 years ago I've been less apt to feel that horrible self-loathing I did while drinking. But that's just me.
Writing here feels like freedom to me, a freedom to interact honestly with fellow writers. I've gone overboard at times and had to pull back from situations on the Internet, but I'm determined to find that balance.
lorlie, my "shyness factor" isn't even there when I'm dealing with people face to face (as long I'm not dealing with a crowd of them at the same time). I'm super comfortable with people in person. I'm pretty much the same in person as I am online (only I know the picture-thing means people don't see me). As a result of that, I kind of feel as if it does me no good to be as upfront online as I'd be with people in real life (who weren't people in my closest circle). It's as if it does me no good to be upfront if I'm just "one more anonymous person" online and separated from what I say.
There was a time I thought it would be good to have "the only thing that matters my words". After separating my words from the "me" that people see in offline life for a few years now, I'm starting to see that if my words "attached to me" that means they're almost separate from "me" - so now the "me" in me is kind of getting frustrated at never "showing up". Oh well.... we do what we do until we decide to do that next thing.
I was a shy child ,and I hate being centre of attention, but I am opposite in that I've never been much good dealing with people face-to-face - is an exhausting exercise for me. My words come out wrong orally, I get misunderstood more etc
This issue of (my often) being misunderstood is a Hub I've been incubating for quite awhile now. For me, it isn't that I don't/can't communicate effectively in person (or anywhere). I'll communicate comfortably and well. I've got a look and demeanor, though, that makes me people take all that "effective communication", twist it, create blanks that shouldn't be there and then fill them in (!!!), etc. etc. So for me it can be exhausting in its own way. One of these days that Hub will reach the end of its incubation stage and get written.
good luck with the incubation coming to an end. I have several incubating too. I'm a lot better at articulating myself clearly, but some people still accuse me of being rude or disrespectful because I don't dress things up to make myself socially popular
Identity theft is a concern, and I don't like the thought of people thinking they know all about me when they don't eg family don't actually know me very well.
yes, my avatar reveals that I relate to cats and I am an out-of-the-box thinker. It's been a big thing for me to self-promote my hubs eg for my hubnugget nominations. I've done it to help raise my profile, which helps raise awareness of the stigmatised topics I write about eg Asperger's, depression, etc.
Guess my family can't handle the honesty in which I talk about such themes - they're not very open-minded.
PS - please vote for me on the Health section of this weeks hubnuggets - there you - some self-promotion (which is not same as attention-seeking)
Avoid Negative people... but tell them WHY you are.
There are so many out there (and close by ) who really don't like how insecure or insignificant they feel when others do well or achieve.
You do it for YOU not for Cynical WuckFits. Writing here is a great indicator as to your talents and abilities. Also a great leveller for many who can't write.
I sacked my mother for her negativity when I was 14. They soon learn to be quiet and watch their children develop, as the alternative is a burren one. I think they call it 'tough love' today.
I write because it cures me of the procrastination of not writing.
Believe in you.... Others will follow!
Well said, Pearldiver-APPLAUSE! Tough love is a lost art...
he he - sacked your mother! My husband and I both had critical parents who don't really wish us well. I've always been better expressing myself in writing than orally (and I lack people skills).
I've had more encouragement from strangers visiting my hubs than I ever got from family. Living in a different country has its benefits
Well the answer to not expressing yourself orally is a very easy one... especially if you have children as you make it a habit to read and talk with them... which in turn builds their confidence. If you don't have children then you borrow some from friends who have (after you've explained the mission of course).
It doesn't take long to develop your own confidence as kids are very open to having the ability to talk with adults as if they were also adults. Win - Win.
I was lucky as I had some positive adults around me in my early teens (a bit like what I have suggested above) So I sacked my mother by telling her what my coach told me to say: "From now on - I'm not listening to anyone more negative than me - which means you if you're negative, as I'm always positive!"
And then I got outa her space! She stuck to her guns and so did I for a lifetime. You just have to Not Buy into it.. It is very hard to do. But what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
@ Shopping-Online .... I think anyone calling themself that.. and giving advice like that... probably is sales motivated
It's good advice to someone considering a $500 pair of shoes and worrying what their hubby would say!
I am more confident orally now - but still get misinterpreted as being rude/disrespectful. My son is very articulate, yet misses cues like tone of voice etc (we both have Asperger's Syndrome).
You & your mother haven't spoken at all? My brother-in-law didn't speak to my parents for years (might give indication of how annoying my mother is)
I got bored n tired of talking to myself in the mirror lol, jk it feels good to write what I know and answer questions that people have asked me in the past or those that I can recall, had a discussion about one time or another .
Honestly, I can't wait to read it, Lisa! Being misunderstood is horrid and as you said, exhausting. I think I communicate fairly well, but sometimes I don't know if my 'audience' really gets what I'm saying. I tend to be somewhat sarcastic-but in a loving way. Does that make sense? I use humor to deal with sorrow-with everything, and I'm not sure I'm getting through.
Incubating hub? I've got a couple of those poor things...they're just loving the womb, I suppose!
Baileybear-I'm not sure if I like being the center of attention or not. Actually, when it comes to writing, I'm pretty sure I do...
I guess what hurts it that my own mother does not really know me. I think too she might be projecting her own insecurities onto me (I actually think she is the most attention-seeking one in family, because of her insecurities). I find it sad when parents do not know their own adult children, because they have been too fixated on forcing their own beliefs on them, and haven't accepted how they have developed
If it makes you feel any better, I think one reason my mother didn't really know me as well as she thought (and even as well I thought) was that we thought a lot alike in a lot of ways. As a result, she jumped to the conclusion that I was "just like her". Then, when I'd do something "out of character" (if I really had been "just like her") it would throw her off, and I don't think she could figure out why "on Earth" I was "going out of whack with" with what she would have found more comfortable and right.
Whether it was my mother or someone else, I almost think it's worse when you have a lot in common with someone, or when you find what you have in common with them in order to relate to them; than when they plain, old, don't relate to you, or know you, at all.
I'm on the other end of it now. I have grown kids who think they know what I'll think or do think - and they have no idea a lot of the time. It's fine, though. We all kind of joke about it most of the time.
I'm going contradict what I said above, but I go back and forth on all kinds of things. For me, I write because I enjoy the process of writing, so I don't want to be the center of attention. If what I've written is something I took at all seriously (while I was writing it), I think of each piece of that kind of writing kind of like I think of children - I do my best and then send each one out into the world. While I'm not this cold with my kids, when it comes to each piece of writing, I kind of think, "You're on own. Sink or swim. I did my part."
So once I'm through creating a piece of writing I pretty much separate from it and move on to whatever enjoyment I get by creating the next piece. This will sound really strange, but I don't even want my writing coming back "for a visit" or coming back to bring me whatever writing might bring its author. I think about the reader as I'm writing and aim to bring the reader something (whether I do or not - separate matter). Then, though, I see each piece of writing as "its own thing" and hope it will make itself useful once its out in the world. (Weird, eh? ) So for me, my reason to write is usually just because I really enjoy it.
Why bother about what anyone has to say if it makes you happy and you are not doing anything wrong?
it wouldn't be a big deal if I was attention-seeking - it is not this trait that is right or wrong. It is just the reality that my parents (and my husband's parents) really do know know us at all by saying I was the opposite of what I am. Sometimes I kid myself that things could be better relationship-wise. Glad we don't deal with them on daily basis
I am LOVING this thread, ladies! (It seems to be strictly ladies at this point.)
Anyhow Lisa, if that's weird, then I'm a monkey's uncle! Writing is letting go, after all, of whatever force within that must be released. Now THAT'S weird, huh? What you said about sinking or swimming is perfect-I don't even like to edit. At all. I take so long to write hubs that once one is published, I wish it well and try never to look back.
The attention factor is, on reflection, more complex for me than I indicated before. HP is small enough that I don't feel I'm a big fish in a small pond-it seems almost intimate at times. I do like positive feedback when writing, but I also appreciate folks that simply drop by to read, even criticize.
Baileybear-was it your mom who said you were too 'public' and attention-seeking? It's cool if you don't want to say, but I remember my mom accusing me endlessly of selfishness when I was essentially the opposite. It has stuck with me to this day-I always second-guess my motives-doubt my intentions. How family gets into our heads!!!!
yep, my mother said that. She also says things like "chocolate is 100% fat" (she has no logic). Families can be the strangest things. My husband and I are not very close to our families (we can't stand their constant judging and criticism).
God, I hope you live far, far from them. Most of the judgmental members of my family have passed, but before they did, I moved away-from California to Alabama -in order to get perspective on myself.
Pretty drastic, but it really helped.
lorlie, I'll edit (or course - it goes without saying) if I'm writing for someone who is paying me. It's part of the deal to produce high-quality, grammatically correct, material. When I'm writing for my own enjoyment, though - forget it. I "incubate" whatever it is until it's done, put my brain on print, and run spell-check to catch typos. I'm not out for perfection under these circumstances. I aim to come up with something that's got whatever quality I can come up in it, but I'm not going to go back, labor over what's done, and try to think up better ways to say whatever I said. When I'm in the process of writing there's a reason I'll say one thing and then something else. I have this thing (at least for some kinds of writing) that I try to "take the reader for a little ride", and that means "saying this first" and then "saying that next".
There's a reason for every word, every sentence, and every dash I throw in because I think it will do one thing or another (regardless of whether it's what grammar rules would have me do). To me, some kinds of writing shouldn't be edited into perfection at the expense of what's sometimes that "little ride" for the reader. Probably one thing that makes me enjoy writing is that once in awhile (and probably only once in awhile) some reader somewhere gets taken on that "little ride" and may even come away feeling he's read something worth reading. I think if you're comfortable enough in knowing that you can produce perfect grammar if/when it's required, it's icing on the cake when you become so comfortable with words you feel free to break the occasional rule once in awhile. I'm not even above making up words if I think they'd be more effective.
I think you're right, though. HubPages is set up in a way that makes it feel like something other than "The Whole Internet".
I'd LOVE to be paid for my words, but that's not happened yet. When writing on HP, I tend to edit as I go along-see, I've already contradicted myself! I'm terribly anal about spelling and punctuation, even though I break rules all the time-just as you said. Strunk and White would be horrified!
All in all, though, I write for personal pleasure and release.
I'm too chicken to go to our local paper with articles, although I did write one hub that I may submit-IF I can screw up my courage.
I don't think I would have just submitted to newspapers; but when I was expecting my daughter I answer an ad for a daily paper and got hired, so I'd be sent on assignments. Then I saw an ad for a weekly paper, which hired me to write a weekly feature. So, if you're interested in newspapers, watch for ads (not just in local papers, but wherever classified ads for your area show up). (It was kind of neat at the time. I had one of the first laptops - a Radio Shack that I paid $400 for but that eventually paid for itself. The only way to upload my stories was to use a "special" cable and the telephone.
There are lots of sites online that let people take assignments if they want them and that will pay (although not "big bucks" by any means). It doesn't mean you couldn't write Hubs and earn from them. You could just add article-writing for the spare "whatever" you could earn from them. Some sites require strict adherence to AP guidelines (but you can learn them for free online). Some require you apply and submit a sample (but you wouldn't have a problem with that). I don't know how much you've looked into writer's markets and that kind of thing, but sometimes small publications will buy something. The online-articles thing is pretty much finding an assignment that's at all "reasonable" (as compared to "unbearable" ), but there's lots of sites out there.
Good morning! Lisa, I just had to chuckle when you mentioned 'my area' because Bishop has around 3,500 souls and one paper that comes out only 3x a week! There are 2 feature writers, and I personally know the editor! I suppose that could be considered a grand slam, but I don't want to make her feel obligated to hire me...so what I guess I'll do is submit my hub-on 'Paradise'-very professionally. I can't just ask her for an assignment, you know? BTW, I'm not trying to self-promote here, just giving you a clue about the article. It is a part of the history of this area.
lorlie, I'd think that thing about knowing the editor could help. (Hey - with fewer than 4000 in the area, you could start your own newspaper. )
What I understand about your situation is this -
You say you have Aspergers therefore you don't express yourself well verbally but do a better job through writing. (suggestion - write a letter to your family explaining how you intend to stay safe online and why they shouldn't worry. basically, let them know you're aware of the threats and have taken steps to protect yourself and them.)
From the other side of the fence - since I'm highly critical, I think I understand where your family is coming from. They are mostly concerned for you and worry that you haven't thought it all through. I know with my son (who has Aspergers) he can be very impulsive and doesn't consider alternatives or consequences before taking action. He's an excellent negotiator though, and can wear someone down before being taking advantage of - if he isn't emotionally involved.
You're family needs to hear from you that you know and understand yourself to the point of compensating for your own weaknesses, whatever they may be. It may be difficult to hear, but your family is having trouble trusting your decision making because they don't know how you intend to manage it. (this would be worse if they had reason - such as prior poor decision making)
I think your family cares but struggles with showing it.
You're right Rafini - they do care but are irritating in the way they try to show it (by criticising etc). I sent an email back saying I haven't used our real names, and I used real photos (many old) to show that people with Aspergers look 'normal'. Said what my motivations are.
My husband said I shouldn't have bothered, as they never 'get it". I've asked her to clarify her concerns, but I don't think I'll get a reply.
My family are religious and not very open-minded. My mother won't like what I write about eg my writing about a grumpy old neighbour- she can't handle my honesty.
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