I am curious about why so many paleohackers are shielding identities? Are answering these questions particularly risky? Is there some reason that anonymity is preferred?, especially for some of y'all with giant reputation points? I'm beginning to wonder whether my profile ought to be wearing a disguise, too. Am I going to end up on some nutritional blacklist or something? What's the deal?
Plus, if I'm going to google-stalk my peers, I should probably be braced for them to google-stalk me.
I'm a very private person, really, and it would disturb me to know that a complete stranger could walk up to me and go, "Oh, hey, you're Kaz, and I read all about your poop online!" Now, if I initiated a conversation with said stranger about poo, that's fine. But, I don't want them to automatically know that bit of minutae about me. (Of course, you can sub out any topic that I've discussed on here in place of poop, but I really don't want strangers/no-so-strangers to know about my history of ED, or any of the other things I've shared with you guys and be able to pin it to my name or face.)
Also, like Olivia said, I don't want to be off-putting to future employers, and I don't want old acquaintances looking me up, and I don't want my exes to know what I'm up to. I'd be mortified if my high school friends (or enemies! c'mon, we all have them) knew all of this stuff about me.
You do your own thing, though, Nala. If you don't mind anyone knowing your dietary habits, feel free to keep your name/image up. You're loads braver than I, though. :)
Did I mention that I'm shy, too? Seriously? I'm really shy.
I work for a large investment bank. In one part of our bank we release people from portions of or all of their mortgage by a short sale or a deed in lieu of foreclosure. We also modify their existing mortgages to make the payments affordable. The investors we represent require review of hardship to justify whatever program is being requested.
Let's say you want to quit your corporate job and start a business as a nutrition consultant or sell pemmican or something.
Your hardship letter to the bank states you were laid off or had a decrease in pay and therefore can't pay your mortgage.
All the underwriter has to do is google you to see your latest blog post on your new dream web-site..."I finally did it...I quit my job and decided to do photography full time." Or on facebook, "Just got back from our trip to Europe. It was really great." Or a newspaper article..."Local real estate investor donates $200,000 to local charity."
It is no different to the underwriter than looking at the credit and seeing they just bought an Escalade but have not paid the mortgage for 36 months.
(There are other people who apply for these programs who can barely eat and desperately want to keep their homes--who typically don't have time for facebook etc.)
My advice is...don't put information on the internet you don't truly want everyone to see.
Let's turn this question around... who benefits most from having a person's every online activity directly tied to their real-life identity and easily searchable?
Because lots of people (yes me included, clearly) don't like to put a bunch of information about themselves up for potentially anyone to see, if they can help it?
I just like to keep internet activity/forum stuff separate from real life, basically. I guess I don't have a good reason, it's just how I feel. I like that when I google my full name, only my facebook profile comes up (and also stuff about a college athlete with the same name as me), and nothing else that might potentially be off-putting to future employers or whatever. Maybe I'm a little paranoid. But I feel like on the internet, sharing less information is better than more, because you just can't know who's reading.
I dunno. I don't feel like it's so weird to not want to put up a photo of yourself or whatever.
edit: also, what Kaz said re: shyness and such.
Once upon a time, when interweb forums and chat rooms (IRC) were relatively new, having an alias was the norm. Being a child of that era it's just habit as much as anything for me to use an alias. Frankly I like the privacy aspect of this.
It is of somewhat more recent times, since the explosion of social networks, that using your real name on the interwebs has become much more common.
Ugh, posts like these make feel so out of step with the zeitgeist.
Although it may feel like you're just sharing inside the nice, safe, fire-lit corner of the internet that is the Paleo Hacks community, this is unfortunately just an illusion.
All things considered, for me the question is more like "why not anonymity?" even though I'd probably garner a lot more upvotes if I swapped my current tortoise avatar for a photo of myself batting my eyelashes at the camera.
Ever had a stalker? I have, and it was alarming to see what my stalker was able to find out about me on the internet. He used that information in his attempts to threaten and intimidate me and my family. Since then I've worked to keep my real name off the web altogether. If a site requires that I use my real name in order to participate, I just leave.
Because I'm crazy paranoid that my incessant ranting about how healthy saturated fat and red meat are could lead to higher health insurance premiums considering they routinely send me reminders to avoid those things.
My main reason is that I don't want people who are searching online for me to realize I'm part of a fringe movement of sorts.
Primarily a lot of paleo thought tends to be against most conventional thought, and I don't know if I want everyone to know that it's a way that I think.
This way, if no one knows I'm paleo, I can just keep my mouth shut if I'm at a discussion with some big-wigs and the topic of vegetarianism and it's benefits come up (or the benefits of increasing American agriculture output).