May 16, 2015
Deciding whether or not to be anonymous
In the last few years, the internet has made a lot of people ask if they should be anonymous? But it's not a new question. And if you're wondering about it, you may find yourself asking some very deep questions about yourself, and how you want people to see you.
Speaking for myself, I chose not to be anonymous very early in life. I was signing my name all over my artwork even when I was a kid. When I started doing freelance Graphic Design, in my teens, I named my business after myself. At every company I ever worked for I answered the phone with my name. I still answer the phone by saying, *hello, this is Brad*. Yes, it's ego, but I never wanted to be an anonymous voice.
On Social Media, I'll admit to being a little bit creeped out by anonymous people. You know, the ones with names like *Avenging Angel* and an avatar of a horrible skull, or something. I know that most of these people were just told to be careful on social media, and their real names are just Bob or Sally or something, so I understand. And I give them a thumbs up on the photo of their flower, or dog. I understand.
There are a lot of valid reasons to be anonymous, both in cyberspace and face-to-face. And if you just want to go to the party on social media, by all means be anonymous. Use an avatar of a chicken, name yourself *the Great Chicken!*, if you would like, and if it makes you more comfortable.
But cyberspace is the real world. Like talking on the phone, just because someone can't see you, doesn't mean that they don't realize that they are communicating with a real person. And if you want to present yourself in a professional way, I recommend that you don't be anonymous. If you're a Real Estate agent, put your face out there. If you do consulting, use your real name. Yeah, it's an ego thing, but if you've already published books, for example, you have long since gotten over that.
I tell my clients that if they're not wearing a chicken suit to a business meeting, their picture on the web shouldn't be a chicken, nor should they call themselves *The Great Chicken!*. If that's what made them famous, by all means, they should use it. If not, they're just creeping everyone out.
Posted by Brad Hall