Sunday, August 8, 2010

why I do what I do

When I started blogging it was total anonymity.  Total.

Not even my husband knew I had a little slice of the web.

After a while I eventually told him I was blogging, and then ma came to find out, then a friend or two, my brother and his fiancee, then a cousin found me thru my brother and twitter and hence the blog...  you get where I'm going.

There are times that my anonymity feels like a smoke shield at best. But I still keep it up.

We all have our own take on PERSEC {personal security}.  Some people use their names, locations, show pictures of their husband in uniform with rank and unit insignias in full view.  Some blur certain things out, some put the base but use nicknames, some people don't put pics of their kids up.  Its all personal preference. 

What feels right for one doesn't feel right for another.  
I didn't want to put all our information out there, even now as more and more of you know me, I still don't. We aren't stationed at a "normal" Marine Base, but rather a small base where the number of Marines is in the low hundreds not thousands, not to mention that flyboy's MOS is quite possibly the smallest MOS at this time in the Marine Corps. 

Couple that with his coming and going, and putting his face, job, rank, everything out there didn't feel safe. Still doesn't.

Now don't get me wrong. I have loved sharing the strange little uniqueness of our family.  Right now my son is walking around with a Nemo floaty around his neck and just uttered "great googly moogly" and I have told anyone who wants to know on the world wide web that my husband has armour all-ed his shop vac and cleans the bathroom with a steam cleaner in his underwear. 

I have even put pictures up of my absolutely adorably fantastic kiddos.  Flyboy is slightly less then thrilled about that.  But in the almost three years this blog has been up, not one picture of him has graced these pages. 

Not one.

Not one utterance of his rank, not one picture of his blues or his flight suit.  Not one wordless Wednesday picture of his rack that I'm oh so proud of.  {And by rack I mean his ribbons and when he hit his sixth row it was hard not to snap a pic of that}

Nothing too identifiable to trace back to him.  It's just not safe. 

For a while I thought I was being melodramatic about this all.  Then there was a plot to blow up his base, more specifically, to blow up the military airplanes, ie. his ride, coming into and out of the airport. 

Just a reminder of the state of the world we live in. 

Not to mention that my husband would prefer for this blog not to become a must read around the squadron and I'll agree with him on that one. {The kids aren't around his work ever so I don't worry about someone seeing one of their pics and putting two and two together}

I think some might think that bloggers who don't put their face and name out there are somehow not quite as authentic.  I can see how they might think that, but I am or at least I try to be.  My views are mine and mine alone.  I'll tell you what I think and how I'm feeling, I'll share my honest thoughts and opinions, I'll answer any questions asked of me, I'll share a lot, good, bad, ugly, funny, you name it it's be published here, by me, under my little cloak of anonymity.

Any questions?


  1. I can completely understand! When I first started my blog I never put pictures of or even mentioned my living area. Then slowly family and friends started finding out about it. I'm just now even starting to mention the boy. So I completely get where you're coming from, definitely with the military connection.

  2. I understand and agree. I walk a strange line between being a photographer and being a wife. no one told me about persec, so I'm just now finding out about it. Thanks for the post. ^_^

  3. I'm with you on this, 100%. I start to feel naked the more personal items I reveal on my blog.

  4. I think you said it right with "What feels right for one doesn't feel right for another." I hope no one ever feels they aren't as "authentic" or that someone else doesn't feel that way because you chose to not use real names or put up faces.

  5. This is a struggle I've dealt with also. I try not to specifically state which base we're located at (since there are a handful in our area). I do post pictures but I try to magnify them to see what can be seen by prying eyes, especially when it involves anything military. There are four "Matt"s in Matt's squadron alone, but if his name was Ickabod or something I'd probably use a false name for him. :]

    Also, another struggle is informing family of OPSEC and PERSEC-- sometimes I work hard to keep things on the DL and then someone on Facebook or a blog or twitter will put something out there that I've been protecting for a while. It's a struggle for sure!

    You've been more consistent than anyone else I know though, and I really respect you for that.

  6. I can completely relate. I try to keep personal info (especially of my husband) off the blog. It does mean that sometimes neat things (promotions, etc) don't make the blog, but I'd always rather be safe than sorry!

  7. It is so hard to decide what to post. I use the first names of me and my husband. Not the kids. I will probably mention the baby's name a couple times but then switch over to a nickname too. I blur out our last name, rank and usually brigade.

    Like a previous poster said I think if my husband's first name was less common I probably wouldn't use it.

    Being a photographer it is hard to not share photos but there are a lot of times I have taken photos out before I hit publish just because I felt like they gave too much away.

    I think you do a great job letting your personality shine through your blog :)

  8. I don't think it makes you any less authentic. When I started my blog it was mostly for my family and military friends, but now that it's grown I've begun using nicknames for the kids and the hubs. Sometimes it's hard to find that middle ground. You want to share your stories with the world, but you don't want to divulge too much information.

  9. I definitely don't think it makes you less authentic. I've debated about this as well. P has a semi unusual name, and I won't use it on the blog. I also use "P" when I write notes to myself or when making to do lists, so it's a habit for me now.

    I've thought a lot about this, and I think that when our status changes (ie marriage), I will probably redo the blog and adjust accordingly. No more photos, no more locations.

    I'm sorry that there was a scare like that at your location, and I'm glad that it was prevented.

  10. I am not military (and I don't have husband or kids) but I also strongly believe in personal security.
    I try to never use names of persons or towns in which I live(d)/study on my blog, and I don't put pictures in there with persons on them.

    And don't worry, I think you are authentic. :)

  11. I totally understand where you're coming from. If SoldierMan ever felt uncomfortable with the level of information I put on my blog, I'd change it, no question. He reads the blog all the time, so I know he's good with how I handle it. In fact, at this point he wouldn't even care if I put his real name and everything out there right now. But everyone's comfort level is different. I know bloggers who have been a military family for a long time now, and they do put everything but their physical address up. So, like you say, it's a matter of preference.

    And I don't think you are not authentic. :) I love reading your posts and your activities. Some people, I think, let the anonymity become a crutch and eventually the blog becomes something generic and less interesting, but not you. Not at all.

  12. Hmmm, I don't think you are not authentic because you don't post names or places. That seems silly. Who thinks that?

  13. Anyone who thinks you are less authentic doesn't live with the same level of risk. When I started my blog, I was less worried about OPSEC than PERSEC, but that has changed a lot in the last year...Even with no locations and no names, I hesitate to post things on my blog because it is just too exposed.

    I also feel what lala was saying about trying to get family and friends to understand OPSEC- it has been pretty impossible.

  14. If there is one thing you are, it is authentic! When I first started my blog, I thought it would be just our families. Now I regret using our first names. Although my husband doesn't go by David! I don't use our last names or tell where we are stationed. That makes me feel somewhat better. Great post!

  15. I use first names and lots of pictures; I always have though and now I suppose I waiver and wonder if I should have stuck to nicknames but it's a little late for that now. I never post our exact location, no last names now (used a former last name for awhile). I've gone back and forth on whether or not I should have pictures or not, but I can't blog without pictures. Just not the same for me.

    I don't think pictures make a blog more authentic. It's fun to get a glimpse into people's lives through pictures, but obviously not necessary. And people protecting themselves by not using their real names doesn't make them any less real.

  16. I'm with you on this, I don't post pictures of myself or my husband on here, only the cat and objects. We don't live on or near a base, but I still try not to reveal too much about us, especially him.

  17. I haven't popped by in a long time. But, "Hi, how are you?" Hope you, Fly Boy and the family are doing well.

    As for incognitoness - I'm sort of there with you. I try to be as anonymous as possible. I think someone near me just figured me out though. LOL Hmmmm. Guess I need to be better about that.

  18. Hello my friend,
    I do understand. I don't talk about my Marine hubby's job specifics either. I do post a few photos here and there of him helping me hang drapes or plant some new trees. I have a decorating style blog and they fit right in. My husbands safety is first in my mind always. I do have our wedding photo on my blog. Never really thought about it that he is in his uniform. Hmmm...It's almost a dozen years old though so I'm sure it is okay. I'll ask my hubby. You've got me wondering.

    Come say Hi! You're always welcome.
    ~Melissa :)

  19. I use pictures and our first names on ours. I always have. If hubby ever feels uncomfortable he knows that I will take whatever it is down or not post it. We talked about it all before I started blogging so we both know what is okay to post and not.


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