Eva T. Made Vaudeville

Eva T. Made Vaudeville
New York, New York, USA
April 25
Reverend Mother (yes, for real!)
Interfaith Minister/Progressive Episcopal priest.Actress, poet, essayist; fitness freak/geek. Part time acting and dance teacher. Writer for various LGBTQ publications (from my bisexual perspective.) Bronze level competitive ballroom dancer.Extreme Cat Person.Native New Yorker who is madly in love with my city. Currently living in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn and missing Manhattan a lot. Married to my Beloved, the fair Lady Lucia, who works, with me, for the God Squad and for our feline employers, Alice and Gracie.Daughter of some-time OS blogger, Rosy Cheeks.

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APRIL 6, 2009 10:36PM

Please Don't Use Your Real Name or Picture!

Rate: 19 Flag

I have a friend who recently started an OS blog. I won't tell you his name. Unfortunately, he is using his real name. AND his recent picture.

I already gave this advice to my friend, who ignored it. I now give it to anyone who reads this. PLEASE don't ever use your real name or picture on a blog.

A few years ago, I did that. I didn't know any better. I lost a job because of it. My blog wasn't sexual or political. It seemed innocent to me. But it had my real name and photo on it, so it scared my employer. Because I had a blog (any kind of blog) I was a security risk. I was fired for having it (for having had it) even though I deleted it in its entirety and then canceled the account.

I learned the hard way; you don't have to. OS is wonderful. Everyone, jump in the pool and blog. But please, for the sake of your financial and/or academic future, PLEASE use a pseudonym and a fake picture (if you use one at all).


This has been a PSA from Eva T!









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Asked and answered. How many people do you know who are running around with the name of "cartouche"?. Rated and welcome!
Okay Cartouche. But is that sexy picture really you? Inquiring minds...
I mostly tend to agree. I have had some bad things happen using my real name on stuff, so the risks are real. There are some benefits, which is why I post under my own name, but there's a lot of risk.

The other thing you can do, if you start from the beginning, is to develop a public persona of your real name that simply does not talk about your personal life. I've been on the net 32 years and had already been on it for 27 in 1994 when the web became suddenly popular, so I was careful about what I exposed about myself. I try to always write about things I'm willing to be quoted about later, which is a lot of work when one is as opinionated as I am. I also try to be careful about employers and friends and others I could need to depend on, not to say bad things about them, not to expose personal data. So for people who are determined to use their own name, looking to strategies like that are good. Once you've said something publicly, it's hard to take back. Even things that get removed tend to hang around. See the Wayback Machine at archive.org for an example.
But I can't type. (No that wasn't bad math, just a typo. 17.)
This is good advice.
You talked sense into me. I changed my OS image and locked and password protected my Blogger blog. I'd been meaning to do both for a while now, so I'm glad I made the move.
And once again, despite the current misery of my life - thank you, all gods and goddesses, that I don't work in corporate America...
I'm with you, Eva ... it's just not worth it.
You make a good point and anyone who isn't absolutely sure that it is "safe" for them to identify themselves should not do so. I post under my own name because I have been a journalist (in various forms) for nearly 20 years, and what I post here is exactly what I would submit in a paid publication.

As Kent said, it is very important that you consider what you say "in print" if your name is going on it. I do wish that everyone would be thoughtful in what they write, even if they are anonymous, though. I think some people (I do not mean you!) feel free to be rude, cruel, insensitive, etc., when they would not be that way if their identity was known. Write as if your identity is public, would be my advice to all.
My next post is going to be my resume. :D
Too late...fortunately, I am self-employed.
Having no job, and a society that will barely give me an interview, let alone a job, this isn't a high priority worry for me at the moment
Placebostudman: Thanks for reminding me that some problems are (relatively speaking or blogging)good problems to have.
I agree, although I would dearly love to blog under my real name here as I do elsewhere. But the risks are just too high.
I agree, although I would dearly love to blog under my real name here as I do elsewhere. But the risks are just too high.
emma, who you foolin'?? We already know that's your real name and pic!
I have ONLY ONE account on OS - I have used my real name but I am back to using my pseudonym - I confess that the photo of me was taken this past 2oo9 Christmas. My employer loves me and accepts me as I am...the best possible employment world.
New Buddha Fun: I'm glad you learned before it was too late.
Emma: I've seen your real picture. I like the look of real you, 'though am glad you're still being somewhat cautious.
Leonde: Would your employer like to hire me?
my employer knows i blog -- and i blog for my employer. no way i could juggle more than 1 identity. it's hard enough remembering my real name; no way i could juggle another. i guess it would be rather freeing to blog under another id -- i could just let loose. sigh. no. i just write under my name and keep it tame. i basically never say anything on here -- or anywhere on the web -- that i wouldn't say in the office halls.
Heck, I already feel somewhat censored on here, but that's mainly because I couldn't resist sharing some of my writing with family members. Now everything and anything I write here may be viewed by my mom, dad and one aunt. And they know who I am.
But at least the rest of you don't! :D
I try to keep it non-descript. The picture is a more glamour look so if you were to interview me, you may not know it's me :) Will definitely use caution.
Cindy: If someone would pay me for blogging, I'd use my real name and photo, too!
littleboxofspoons: like you, I have friends and relatives (including my mother, the blogger known as Rosycheeks) who read this blog regularly. Because I know they're present, I do self-censor a bit but not much.
A-Muse: Your glamour shot is rather abstract but you've also posted regular pictures of yourself (that dance performance you did with your student, for instance). I enjoy seeing them but do think twice if you suspect that it could put any of your real life job stuff in jeopardy.
Divorce Bard: I'm sorry!
Maybe its too late. My face is already there. For me it was a bold step to show myself literally. It felt empowering for someone like me who often felt shamed into never reveal anything about myself. It was ingrained in me from childhood.
I write carefully, meaning I don't give out information as much as I try to give out the feeling of the incident I am writing about.
Still, maybe I should put a picture up of a cat or something...
Thanks for making me think about this._r
Joan: I'm glad blogging has been an affirmative experience for you. Look at your life circumstances carefully and weigh the risks/benefits of using real name and photo.
I remember a few yarns back, there was an OS dust up with people not using real names and faces against those using fake...very funny stuff. They actually had a gripe about it. How much more interesting would it be if everyone had some skin on the table in this game (as in using real names and faces)? Probably not much. For example, sometimes I give my students writing assignments, writing prompts during class, with the instructions to use a fake name (I see names like Vibes, Chicken, Mercury, etc). In some cases, it's the best stuff--inhibitions are gone in the safety of anonymity. OS is better for having pseudonyms.
ghostwriter: What you say is thought-provoking. I was one of those who was disturbed by the Cartouche/O'Really revelation. Why? Because "Cartouche" essentially invented a whole fake persona. She seemed to enjoy making OS readers care about her, and then laughing at all of us for believing she was a real person, talking about her actual life (albeit under a pseudonym).
I guess it's a subtle difference. You only have my word (the word of a person whose real name you don't know) that my posts are true stories from my life; that I'm using the pseudonym to give me the freedom to write somewhat personal stuff. You could care about me and then find that there's no "me" to care about.
Anyway...believe it or not, there's a real human behind "Eva," writing about genuine experiences. For what they're worth...
Eva--I don't know anything about the kerfuffle you mention, but it sounds pretty good...

In terms of expectations regarding OS persona, I don't harbor such. There is no rule about blogger integrity--only standards emerging from rates and so forth. I'm uninvested in blogger society in that way--mainly because of the risks you identify. I am not identified, likewise, with being perceived in any way in particular. Therefore, I am rarely offended by any occasional personal slight. It doesn't really exist, for me. And yet, I find myself far less involved in virtual smackdowns than many others who rail about them with frequency around here...curious!

Would this be different if I used my real name/face. Most likely yes because I would be very invested in that persona (yes, real names/faces are personas!). Any slight would be greatly felt and need amending. But it's silly because the blogging here is (mostly) forgettable writing. Transient. Ephemeral. Everybody should relax and have fun. "Serious" writers, if they are here on OS, need to be mindful to steer clear of its nefarious social BS.
I don't use my real name, but that's my real face ... under the ski-mask. I've also used my naked face. Anyone who put out a bit of effort could track me down. BUT ... one of the joys of growing older, not having a job and generally not giving a shit is that I don't really care ... OTOH, I never write about deeply personal stuff... OTTH, I'm past caring about deeply personal stuff... It's a way different world than the one I grew up in. Getting old means I can enjoy it (or observe it) w.o. getting too involved...
Myriad: never having seen your face without the ski mask, I can't say how much (or little) it disguises you. If you're okay with the degree of revelation, though, that's cool. I was surprised to discover that someone had bumped this very old post of mine (and that it's now getting more responses than it did back when I first wrote it). You never know...
I am really Sue, and this is my facebook photo. I don't publicize my activities, however I would be happy to defend any of my writings. I have never written a single mean spirited word towards any of my (identifiable) colleagues :)
Sue: Good. I'm glad it's working for you and hope it will continue to.
I know you are right.

I have wrestled with this ever since I started blogging. Unfortunately as my bipolar disorder ebbs and flows, I make different decisions, use different pseudonyms. At the very worst time, when I am manic, I decide to come out of the closet. At least I have only disclosed my maiden name, not my married name.
Maybe I will change my picture, as if it would make a difference.
Redstocking Grandma: Changing your picture might make a difference.
I doubt it; I am still a red girl. But I have always loved this picture; I am about 2 1/2.
Redstocking: "Still a red girl" indeed. What a cute picture. I know it's hard to do the bipolar balancing act. My Dad has bipolar. (Something I wouldn't dare to say under my real name or photo, for fear of harming his prospects.)