I love my blogger pals. As a commenter over at CE echoed, I have more online friends than I do in real life. Yes, it's sad. But most of my offline circle of folks either never went to or never graduated from college. My husband, brilliant as he is, never finished his chemistry degree. Now he's being trained in the military to be a bio-environmental engineer, which is totally awesome. He's very into alternative energy sources and what not, and he knows a LOT about it - but when he tries to talk to me about it, my eyes glaze over. "You want to build a what to do what? Why?" He feels the same way when I talk about psychology - I get "That's cool" as the most frequent response, with no follow-up whatsoever. But it's totally fine with me, because if he was into psych we would probably argue about theory and method all the time.
Now I'm not saying that my offline friends aren't smart. Quite the contrary, actually. But they don't have the same passion for learning things as I do. I guess you could say that I'm a "knower" and they're all "doers."
So when PhizzleDizzle and I met up for some margaritas and had 2+ hours of intellectually stimulating conversation, it was like a wonderfully intoxicating drug to me. I feel that way when I read the blogs of everyone here. I am officially addicted to critical thinking - my own and that of others.
This is what led me to lament on the lack of blogger-types at the grad school where I interviewed. Perhaps if I had never ventured into the blogging community, I would not have had the expectations of what people in academia would be like that led to the disappointment.
But, as CE pointed out, we don't really know each other. We blog under fake names or variations thereof, going to great lengths to protect who we are, lest the wrong people match us to our candid discourse online.
But I think that, at least to some extent, many of us wish that we were known. We also want to know our blogger friends. Because in certain ways, some of them are like the best friends we have ever had.
When I was applying for the RA job at SFRSHS school, I sent my very personal CV and personal statement to several bloggers who offered to take a look at it and swore to keep my identity secret. These folks now know literally everything about me - it was a big risk. But I wanted to get REAl feedback from the folks who know, and it was my only option.
In a late-evening Gchat with Dr. Isis, I confessed to her the names of all the grad programs I applied to. She offered some insight into the nature of those schools, and I was grateful.
Regardless of the purpose, it feels good sometimes to take that risk. I have a couple of friends who know about this blog, as does my husband, and I enjoy knowing that there are a few people who read it who know who I am. I like that PhizzleDizzle has a face to attach to the name. I like that a select group of bloggers know exactly which school SFRSHS is.
Oftentimes I consider just blogging under my real name, with my real info. It would hold me accountable for the things that I say, and who's to say that it couldn't possibly help me professionally in some way?
But I already hold myself accountable for what I write, and once you give up your anonymity, you can't ever really get it back. Though it's hard to say that you trust someone's advice if you don't trust them to know your name or location.
I wish sometimes that we had this secret society - like the Freemasons or something. Or the Illuminati. IDFK. You know what I mean - like we have meetings where we all know each other and have to swear sacred oaths and stuff, but when we see each other outside of that context we have to pretend we don't know each other and share a secret smile about how much cooler we are than everyone else.
Anyway, my point is that I think many of us wish that we didn't have to be pseudonymous, and it's nice to know that some of those folks out there know who you really are.