Blogging: A Risk Assessment

balance“Even a fool, when he keeps silent, is counted wise.”

-Proverbs 17:28, World English Bible

 “We thus end up talking about “unimportant but discussable” matters and telling trivial stories essentially designed to cover up untold ones.”

-Eviatar Zerubavel, The Elephant in the Room: Silence and Denial in Everyday Life, 84

We enjoy discussing ideas, thoughts, and life—often in a sauna, and occasionally at the side of a pool. Unfortunately, these discussions can’t continue in person, due a series of moves, so we decided to start a blog. Our opening post discusses the decision to withhold our names (at least for now).

Discussing things can be risky; you can offend, lose a job, strain a relationship, or look stupid. Even issues that you believe are completely settled, or totally non-controversial, can—in certain company—be horribly offensive or unacceptable. Perhaps you even consider some of your own (reluctantly held) beliefs to be distasteful or even reprehensible.

Withholding our names may also have undesired consequences—anonymity can come across as disingenuous. If you really believe what you say, then why not own it? Embrace free speech, get some skin in the game. Additionally, understanding an author’s background can be important in gauging potential bias. We’ve decided that the benefits of anonymity currently outweigh the risks of disclosing our names.

So, what is our motivation to write? It’s fun, it’s a good way to practice writing, and we can keep our sauna discussions going. We can use the blog as a tool to hold ourselves accountable for writing. Hopefully it’s a way to share some ideas that are—in our opinion—not particularly or deliberately controversial, but may be interpreted that way.

Fast-paced social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter do not offer an ideal platform for discussing and sharing careful or considered views. Personal or thoughtful posts get lost in your friends’ feeds, or are relayed around work by a nosey coworker. We predict that anonymous blogs and zines will increase in the years to come, as these alternative outlets can be more easily controlled by the author, and minimize some of the risks outlined above.

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