That’s a long story. The short version is…security, old-age, and camera-shy.
I began this blog because I wanted an outlet for my writing, and because I was tired of being lumped with the rest of America when news pundits proclaimed first-hand knowledge of how Americans felt, about everything. Who died and made them Rupert Murdock? But for a baby-boomer still in the semi-dark about technology, I believed what many my age felt about the internet…a scary place where the bad guys lie in wait to scam me out of my identity, my money, or both.
As a middle-aged blogger I felt I’d always be operating behind the eight ball. I knew enough to get started, but wending my way through the magic and mystery of WordPress would be a challenge. But I plunged in wholeheartedly with the help of a couple of books, Blogging for Dummies and WordPress for Dummies. I also enrolled in a Blogging 101 class at the local college taught by writer-instructor Cat Rambo. She definitely relieved me of some anxiety, but not completely.
With upwards of 30,000 spams caught by Akismet, there’s a niggling uncertainty that remains about the safety of the Internet. And all I have to do is hear of someone hacking into a system, like what occurred here at WordPress in the not too distant past, and my qualms about exposure return full force.
My user name, hugmamma, was chosen on a whim. One day my daughter and I were reminiscing about a children’s sitcom she use to watch in the 90s. It depicted the lives of a family of dinosaurs in which the baby use to say “Hug the baby!” Laughingly, my daughter and I transformed the phrase into “hugga the mamma.” That, in fact, was my user name on my first blog at blogger.com. I eventually found my way to WordPress and hugmamma. Thereafter I ascribed an even more significant meaning to the name…a loving gesture to my mom’s memory. I use to call her “mama.”
When asked to choose a gravatar, there was no question that I’d not be putting a photo of me out in the blogosphere, again for security reasons, but also because I don’t like how I photograph. As a friend from exercise class explained it some time ago with regard to herself, “When I saw myself in my daughter’s wedding photos, I didn’t look like the me I pictured in my mind.” “How true,” I thought. I too am dumbstruck when I see a different version of me than I imagined when I look at a photo of myself. Only now that I’ve been blogging more than a year, do I feel comfortable releasing my photo likeness. I no longer grimace at the prospect.
Having grown accustom to my gravatar, floating water lilies, which reflects the inner calm I strive to maintain amidst life’s ups and downs, I’m not yet inclined to relinquish it in favor of the real deal.
I can’t say that I’m blogging in total anonymity, since there are images of me sprinkled throughout my posts, with my name having been the topic of one, what’s in a name…someone’s life, is all. Let’s say that like the hobbit with whom I’ve often compared myself, I step out of my cave now and then. The child in me still likes to play games, I think. Of course if I decide to author a book or some literary piece, I may have to step out from behind the curtain of Oz once and for all. Until then, however, I’m still up to my old tricks of…now you see me…
now you don’t………hugmamma. 😉