Tuesday, October 23, 2007

picture this

I came, as they say, thisclose to including, for purposes of comparison, a recent photo of myself with that last post. And by recent, I mean one that I took five minutes before I drafted the post, by turning the camera around and holding it at arms' length. But, obviously, I decided not to and I'm thinking about why. While this blog is technically anonymous and I sometimes play with the details a little, anyone who knows me could easily identify me after reading a few posts. There isn't much -- or, really, anything -- in it that I would be particularly unhappy for the people concerned to see, but that may be because I just don't care enough about what other people think.

What about you? Would you or have you posted an identifiable picture of yourself on your blog? The key here is identifiable. Pictures of the back of your head or where you've photoshopped a smiley face over your own or so artistically out of focus that it's impossible to distinguish your features don't count. What's the reasoning behind your decision?

38 comments:

Amelie said...

Maybe you did not want anyone that comes across this blog to be able to recognize you in the street?
Since the German law practically does not allow anonymity, that is not a good reason for me. But there are not so many pictures of myself I really like, and I'm certainly not going to post one I don't.

akeeyu said...

I haven't/won't.

It's partly because I don't want to have my photo out there as random weirdo fodder, but partly because as long as I don't post a picture, I feel like I still have a lingering shred of plausible deniability, should someone stumble across my blog and say "Hey Akeeyu, is that YOU?"

LAS said...

I've posted a couple of photos here and there - me with my nephew - but just because I wanted to post the photos of my nephew. I had up a link for a brief while to my photo archive on the web - I left it there for about 2 weeks so people could see photos of my trip to Germany and then I took it down. There are some photos still up on my blog - but someone would have to go looking for the posts. And my name is nowhere on my blog - so I feel okay about it since you don't find it if you search for me. I have to be careful about my anonymity and my blog because of my job. I once had a client google search me and send me a link to every single thing she could find on the web - which was fortunately only my previous jobs - but still - it was weird and she questioned me about my name change. What was I going to say - the truth? Yeah, I stupidly got married because I had breast cancer and then I promtply got divorced. Mostly it is because of AA that I have to keep it as anonymous as possible. Anyone who knew me who stumbled upon it could figure out it is me - but you wouldn't be able to go searching for it unless you really knew me.

Anyway, now I feel paranoid - so I am going to go take all the photos down! Ha ha.

Elizabeth said...

I haven't and won't post an identifiable picture of me. I like feeling like I am anonymous even though like you mentioned, a quick read by anyone who knows me would easily identify me. I like feeling like I can be fairly honest in my blog without screaming who I am.

Good luck with your surrogacy journey. We are pursuing surrogacy as well.

cinnamon gurl said...

I have posted identifiable pictures of me. I don't know why, exactly. Sorry.

slouching mom said...

I think there are maybe two photos of me in my archives, and one of them has me in a Halloween costume.

I don't mind posting such photos -- it's just that there are so few photos of me that I actually like.

thailandchani said...

I did once... and then removed it. It felt extremely uncomfortable. Looking back, it just seemed like an unnecessary thing to do.

Eva said...

I post pictures all the time in which I am very easily identifiable (usually only as an accessory to the baby, but still I am in them). In fact there's one up permanently on my sidebar. I only once got uncomfortable about it, when pictures of my stretchmarked belly were getting way too much traffic; I took that post down.

I figure if someone I know stumbles across the blog (which I don't think is likely) I'll be pretty easily identifiable anyway. And I know I personally enjoy knowing what the people whose blogs I read look like (when that info is available). It makes it easier (for me) to connect.

furrow said...

I don't know. Photos without alt tags or descriptive file names aren't really searchable, so it should be safe. Who knows. Maybe some day.


I, for one, am satisfied having your adult face all to my imagination for now. But if you need to reveal yourself, go for it.

Wordgirl said...

How funny -- I actually did put a photo on my blog -- one that actually you can click on to see it in full size. I guess I felt that I was just out there in the world like a novel and a picture on a book jacket.

I read a blog once that talked about not wanting to become a 'character' but actually trying to convey a sense of self -- I suppose I put a picture on there as my own way of accountability?

Hmn. Thought provoking question.

Catherine said...

I have posted pictures of myself. No reason not to, I suppose. Family and friends all know I write this blog. I think the only people who don't know are my co-workers.

But I have recently taken down my identifiable photos because of the Orkut debacle (and similar photo "sharing" incidents). I don't want people to think that my photos are public property. I'm selfish that way. :o)

Julia said...

I haven't had the urge to post a picture of myself, for any reason. The pictures I post of others in my life are not identifiable. Or, rather, if you know them, you would probably recognize them, but you shouldn't be able to do that just from the pictures. I think I am also still clinging to that plausible deniability thing.

Isis said...

I have not, for two reasons. First, the semi-anonymity or "plausible deniability" that others have mentioned. But I am also sensitive about physical attention, bad or good, and I enjoy being judged on my words instead of my body.

(Of course some random drifter once saw my profile photo and said, "Hey Isis, is that you? If so, you're a hottie!" I guess he never watched the Shazam/Isis hour....

DD said...

I have put up pictures of myself and my son that are identifiable.

Since it's impossible to google physical characteristics to find an image, I'm comfortable with that. Plus, I think living somewhere with a very low population, much less a "blogging" population (check your stats...how many bloggers you got coming here from Nebraska...), the chances of me being identified on the street is statistically nil.

And guess what? If they did recognize me...I might even feel a little flattered.

DD said...

I should mention that I've been thinking about finding a way to watermark the images I post, just to protect what is mine.

Cate said...

I have considered it but I just feel too ooky to do it. Especially since one of my blogs is chronicling my pregnancy.

Tash said...

I have declared myself unavilable for the photographic record of late, so no pix to post even if I wanted to. I guess I'm using my known nickname, so someone who stumbled across it (can't really imagine this happening, but I guess you never know) could probably put 2 and 2 together. Putting a picture up probably wouldn't keep any fewer wierdos away. Forgot to say yesterday that you look v. far away in the portrait, like you're thinking of something a million miles away from where you are.

Lori said...

I did post a photo of myself once (no, twice), but it was kind of a big decision. I really don't know why I did, other than I am a photo nut and so I look having that piece of nostalgia attached to my blog.

Beruriah said...

I haven't and I don't exactly know why. I just don't want to, maybe because I'm vain. I would have to think so much about which photo I would choose that it would feel like such a contrivance. My posts are unedited, stream of consciousness, but if I were to put up a photo, I wouldn't want to post one from before, so Josh and I would lose many hours while I showered, posed, and got myself ready for a new shot.

ALM said...

I've posted photos of myself - and of my kids... and it never really concerned me since I don't have that many readers... BUT - I did notice that somebody did do a search on something & came up with a post I wrote about my brother - who has Down's Syndrome. That concerned me... as it is a small community & he received a small measure of fame for singing at an even... I realized how fragile the anonymity is...

meg said...

No way. Never. I'm not too happy about the baby weight I've packed on, but it's more than that. I just don't want anyone to know what I look like.

Rachel said...

I have posted one photo of myself, it is about 6 years old. Other than that I don't feel comfortable with people coming across my blog and knowing for sure it is me. I haven't changed that much in 6 years, and all my siblings are in the photo, so they could figure out it is me. I guess I prefer to remain as anonymous as possible.

Bon said...

i've posted photos of myself...mostly because my blog was never anonymous. when i started i had very little clue about the blogosphere, i was just looking for a place to reflect and to have those reflections/blatherings "received", and i thought it was high time i stopped mass emailing people with bedrest updates. it probably took me close to a year to put up a photo of myself, but i have to admit...i like seeing shots of people, knowing the faces of the souls/personas i am so fond of reading...

painted maypole said...

at first I didn't post pictures, but then i enjoyed seeing pictures on other people's blogs, and figured that, like you, it wouldn't take much for someone to figure out it's me if they knew me, so why not go ahead and post a picture. I don't think anyone is going to stalk me because of my blog!

Aurelia said...

I have political people who read me, so that would be an issue, and of course there are other ones we've discussed about my family.

But for me, it's also because it would be so much easier to figure out it's me, and my husband and kids might not like what I've said about them. I don't think it's bad, but some of it is personal and maybe embarassing to them if their work contacts read it. I've told most of these stories around the dining room table at extended family dinners to great amusement, but strangers might not view it the same.

And my older kid is already embarassed that I am his mom as it is.

I have thought about setting up a fl;ickr account and emailing the password to people who read me, so I could share a little without getting too problematic.

Biggest reason of all? I discuss my medical termination and pro-lifers as we all know, are not always so peaceful towards women they'd rather see shut-up and go away.

Katie W said...

I have, in fact I post under my full name. However I am thinking of starting up a new anonymous blog, as I do not want pupils (I've just started training to be a teacher), finding out things about my private life. They do not need to know when I get a new boyfriend (btw is it wrong I already have my eye on someone else?). I'll be sure to let you know where it is if I do though.

Anne said...

I know that my friends and certain members of my family read my blog - it was the original intent. Still, there aren't any focused pictures of me unless the one on the sidebar counts. I figure if those I gave the address to want to follow my opinionated rant, they may, and I expect them to be sensitive and discreet about the information. That said, my husband's best friend's wife is still reading along and keeps her husband informed - that bothered the husband a little bit.

Anyone that stumbles across my blog, would, like most others, know it was me. That's mostly okay. I just don't need the coworkers all reading up on my life. Rambling . . .

LAS said...

Free stuff, how did I miss that? I thought I was checking your blog way too obsessively (cause I enjoy reading the comments as well), so I restrained myself, lest you think I am a freak since you probably know my work's IP, and I missed the free stuff! Drat!

Becky said...

I have posted pictures of myself on my blog, mainly because I don't really care who reads it. Most of my readership is people I know for reals, so they know what I look like.

But then again, there is much that happens in any given day that I don't post about, so I suppose I sort of censor myself for that reason alone.

Renae said...

I have pictures on my blog but it actually started as an update page for family and friends. It's morphed into my online journal/record. I haven't given the new address out to anyone I don't want reading it, including family. I've thought about taking them donwn but haven't done anything about it yet.

I know you can hear me... said...

That is such an interesting thing to talk about -- I think that everyone's responses are fascinating!

As for me, I have a few pictures of me on my blog, but not too many. Not because I am really opposed to it, but I am the picture taker, so there aren't that many. And I sort of like the thought of my appearance being a mystery. Although very few people that I know actually read my blog, so I don't keep pictures off for fear of being identified - the people who read it that know me are people that I gave the address to.

Melissa said...

Hmmm...It's a toughy for me. It depends on my mood that day. I mean-I've posted identifiable pictures before. However, I end up waking up in the middle of the night, freaking out, and taking them down before morning.

Angel Mom said...

I have posted pictures of my family and me but took them down within a few days of being posted. I don't suppose it makes much sense though. Anyone that knows me IRL could certainly identify me thru what I've written without the pictures.

Grad3 said...

Wouldn't ever do it. Because of the work I do, I do my best to try and stay as vague as possible at all times. It makes it hard to give the big picture- but I want and need to protect my privacy as much as possible in such a 'open space'.

Rebecca said...

On my LiveJournal I'm very transparent, except I don't use my surname and I still don't use Himself's name. On my blog less so, but that's partly because to begin with the only people who read it were people who read my Xanga, and they "knew" me, by then.

I have posted photos, and most people know where I live generally, I think. But there aren't many bloggers from hereabouts, so maybe I'm really identifiable? I dunno.

LeRoy Dissing said...

I'd like to see how closely you look to the picture of you at six years old just for comparison. I have posted pics of myself before. In some ways it adds flesh to the bones; a face to a name; and gives greater life to a person. We are more than a face to be sure but a face is part of the sum total :)

Christine said...

i didn't at first, but like pm LOVED seeing other people's pictures. i really liked putting a face to a name. so i posted a picture one day and now i do whenever the mood strikes.

daisies said...

i have posted too many photos of myself to even count, i partipate in a self portrait challenge ... they are all recognizable and i'm mostly okay with that. i was interviewed by our city paper last christmas with my blog and a photo of me so there is little chance of me being anonymous at this point without tearing the whole thing down. i don't think i posted any photos of me in my first couple of blogging years and when i did, i found it liberating actually ... i can just be me. it has only been a good experience i think :)