When I started this blog almost four years ago, it never crossed my mind – for even a second – to reveal my identity. It was never an option for me to not blog anonymously.
The primary reason for this is professional: I’m a high school teacher. It is common practice for students to search for their teachers’ names on the web, and I wouldn’t want my blog to be found by a student. I don’t write about anything particularly scandalous and I certainly don’t write about my students or my specific school, but I want to write this blog honestly, and there’s no way that I could do that if I felt that there was a substantial chance of student finding it.* (Sidebar: I also don’t have a personal Facebook page, Twitter account, Instagram, etc., and if you’re a teacher you shouldn’t either. Period. If you want to use social media, develop an alias. I’m serious, people.)
I’m very confident that anonymous blogging is the right choice for me, but that doesn’t stop me from sometimes having uncomfortable feelings about it because of the topic of my blog. I’m a personal finance blogger, and one of the goals of personal finance blogging in general is to make discussion about money more open, honest, and transparent. I sometimes feel that by choosing to remain anonymous, I’m participating in a culture of secrecy surrounding money that I don’t agree with. I feel a certain tension between what I feel I “have” to do in order to protect my professional standing and what I feel is “right” when it comes to being forthright about my financial ups and downs.
In my particular situation, I don’t see a solution to this problem. I really don’t feel that I have a choice to not blog anonymously. But I’m not the only anonymous personal finance blogger. Are we contributing to “the problem” of a society in which talking about money is taboo by not attaching our numbers to our names?
Why did you decide to blog anonymously (or not)? Do you think that all PF bloggers should reveal their identities, if only to break down all the secrecy surrounding money talk?
*Clearly, I understand that no one with a blog who reveals even a modicum of personal information is completely anonymous. If a reader (or a student) really, really wanted to find my blog and figure out who writes it, they probably could. I just don’t want that to be easy to do.