Who am I? Let’s start with what is known based on my posts so far. We can denote I have two X chromosomes, red hair, a set of hands, my name is Madi, and I ruined the car seats with a crayon once (okay, maybe twice). The beauty of the Internet is that for the most part people can remain completely anonymous, and in some contexts, forums, and communities it is absolutely preferred. I’ve chosen to have a picture of myself over anonymity because, as a visual person, when I read blogs I like to be able to put a face to the writer/creator. In crafting blogs and other blogs involving more artsy things like makeup and fashion, people like to have a face to put to content. These kinds of blogs usually have a more personable feel to them and this can be difficult to create without a visual as part of your online identity.
Right now, my identity is most similar to Natalie’s in her Crème De La Craft blog. Like her, my tutorials are pretty straightforward with materials, instructions and pictures. However, I differ because I like to write a little bit about what inspired me, background information, or thoughts on the craft. I like beginning with a little story because I think it makes it somewhat entertaining (or at least I hope) and it’s also how I try to shape my identity. It’s my way of showing a more creative light-hearted side of myself that may or may not always be present in my everyday life.
I think a lot of bloggers involved in fashion, crafts, and makeup use their blog as an expression of a particular ‘side’ of themselves. It’s a place where you can let that side of yourself flourish without having to involve other aspects of your life. Some people think it’s lying and creating an identity that isn’t true. To those people, I ask them to remind themselves of any first date they’ve been on. Is it lying to highlight your good qualities in attempts of making a good impression? Is it lying because you don’t share every single little detail about who you are? No, it’s not. It’s identity management. It’s no different when we create online identities. We create identities that are most appropriate for a particular context and what we are trying to achieve. So someone who writes a political blog probably has no need for a picture and may not want to reveal their identity. For myself, I see no reason to hide my identity. I’m not too worried about someone judging my taste in crafts based on how I look.
We all fear judgment and rejection, and while the Internet is full of both, I think it’s a wonderful place where we can choose to create an identity that either highlights certain aspects of ourselves or hides our identity. One of my favorite blogs is Simply Me. The blogger has a picture of herself, but she just goes by Simply Me. She doesn’t always have writing accompanied with her pictures, and yet she still manages to create in identity through her photos. The way she captures images creates the understanding that you’re seeing her world through her eyes. To me, this is still very personal, identifiable, and it’s enjoyable to read/view her blog. The point I’m trying to make is that whichever identity route someone takes, I think they both serve the same purpose to write and express ourselves in the truest way we see possible. For me, I don’t mind sharing a little more about myself and my meanderings.