Sunday, August 08, 2010

Mom - Not Specified Enough

My friend Niksmom once told me I was ubiquitous. At the time, I was flattered (I'm anyone's for a word like "ubiquitous"), but it seems that these days I might be experiencing a bit of a double-edged ubiquity.

A couple of years ago, I discovered that there was someone else out there on the Interwebz posting as Mom-NOS. I stumbled upon her accidentally, but, because we appeared to travel in different circles, I thought that the potential for misunderstanding seemed small. Truth be told, in real life I have a fairly ubiquitous Susan Jones sort of name, so I've gotten used to being one of many. For the most part, it hasn't been a problem (except, of course, for the time when Bud's dad and I were dating and he called the Susan Jones who not only lived on my street, but also had a phone number that was just one digit off from mine, and she told him she'd never heard of him... but I digress).

In the years that have passed since I discovered that other Mom-NOS, it seems that more of us have appeared and now I'm afraid we might have started tripping over each other. I have, sadly, not been able to stay current in my blog reading. In recent months, I have fallen behind in the lives of my blogging friends and have failed to reach out to expand my blogging network (which, I swear, is not from a lack of caring, but simply from a lack of time). Despite that, not long ago, I was on a friend's blog trying to bring myself up-to-date. I clicked on a link to leave a comment on a post that was weeks (months?) old, and there, in the comment section, was - I thought - a comment from me. But it didn't sound like me. It wasn't offensive in any way - it just wasn't the sort of thing I'd say and it wasn't said in the sort of way I'd say it.

I kept reading the comments and saw that my blogger friend had responded - and from her response I could see that she thought she'd responded to me. Suddenly, that theoretical potential for confusion that I'd tucked in the back of my mind became a tangible source of confusion, and I started to imagine the hurt feelings that could result if "I" started posting "I-don't-know-you-very-well" comments to blogging friends with whom I'd been through years of highs and lows. I could imagine my friends reading these comments and thinking "you don't REMEMBER that I went through..." and thinking that I'd checked out on them completely. Because, you know how it is - we moms in the autism blogosphere? We have been through a LOT together. We may never have met, but we know each other well. So an ill-placed "I-don't-know-you-very-well" comment? It would be akin to walking up to my brother and asking, "So, do you have any siblings?"

But, the Internet being what it is, and the slippery slope of pseudonymity being what it is, there is really no hope of reigning in this particular phenomenon. If anything, I imagine it will continue to grow. It is certainly another check in the column of "reasons to uncloak" - something I've begun to do in some circles anyway, but something that I still need to ponder a bit further.

In the meantime, know this: When I comment on blogs, I always, always, always link back here. If there is no link or if it links elsewhere, it is not me. I don't participate in chat rooms or discussion boards or support groups. I don't use this name for anything other than autism blogging. Almost all of my blogging happens here and when I post as a guest-blogger elsewhere, I will post a link to that guest post here.

I guess that's the best I can do for now. That, of course, and try to carve out more time to increase my presence in the comment sections of the blogging friends I care about deeply and the blogging friends I've yet to meet. Maybe then, with a little more effort on my part, I can start to reclaim some ubiquity in my own right.

13 comments:

Kitt said...

That's got to be frustrating. It's a little surprising, though, that more than one person would pick Mom-NOS as a handle. But I'm not in the same circles.

(Huh. My captcha "word" is nonosses ... no NOSses?)

Pia said...

HA! Since I use my RL name, which is Pia and so far, in the bloggosphere, is a little like being called "Cher" or "Bono", it works out a-ok. I have always smiled at the Mom-NOS byline, tho, because now that we are NOS as well, it resonates well. However, it is good that you link back... a very good way to know it is YOU.

Pia AKA Pia
http://www.thecrackandthelight.com

Missy said...

Sometimes it is hard to know if another person has already "claimed" the identity you are going for in the blogging community.
And since the blogging community is so huge, you may not know for quite some time.
I hope you get it all figured out.

JoyMama said...

Heh -- that was an issue I wasn't considering when I chose "JoyMama" but one might guess that other JoyMamas out there did not name themselves for their daughters' pseudonyms! Fortunately they seem to travel in FAR different circles.

mommy~dearest said...

Omg... JoyMama just made me spew coffee onto my monitor.

Professor Mother said...

You've got me worried! I googled my "handle", and most of the time it's found as Professor: Mother... (with some kind of research after it), or Professor, Mother after a list of titles after someone. But no one with the name, or the same blog. However, it's a very good thing I didn't go for Professor Mom- that one IS ubiquitous! :)

It's a bit challenging being "out there"... How much privacy do you grant your child? Your family? Your own life? I've met people for the first time who know more about me than my co-workers do. On the other hand, there's stuff that isn't on the blog...

Whatever you decide, your message is one that helps others and helps others, like me, realize that we are not alone- whether you are Mom-NOS, Susan Jones from Little Town, TX, or that woman who lives down the street from me. And THAT kind of help doesn't need a name...

Niksmom said...

Eep! But, you know, it's kind of like really GOOD chocolate. One can always tell the difference. ;-)

jess said...

oh, honey .. there's only one REAL mom-nos. and i have to say, it could be worse. much like what i assume joy mama implies, i found some pretty um interesting stuff when i started playing around with 'diary of a mom'. i'm no prude, but holy hell, that stuff would have made jenna jameson blush.

kristina said...

As far as I'm concerned, you, my friend, are the one, the only, Mom-NOS (no substitutes accepted). You were one of the first to comment and read my blog 'way back' in the summer of 2005 and I still remember how happy I was to discover your writing.

That said, I can see why the moniker would appeal to others.

But I would feel a bit odd to find another AutismVox!

The Romans named girls numerically: Claudia Prima, Claudia Secunda, Claudia Tertia: You're surely Prima, at least in our little Autismland household here.

Sheryl Hurley said...

Hello,
I have just started blogging and ran across your blog. I am a mother of four boys we adopted, two on the spectrum. I just wanted to reach out to other mom's that may know a little of my day to day struggles.

Sara Jane said...

Thanks for the heads up! I need to check out my own identity...

Fairlington Blade said...

Fortunately, there's apparently only one Blade in Fairlington.

I'm actually commenting to let you know that I finally downloaded Up On the Ridge. It's everything you and Bud say it is.

Cheers!

Anonymous said...

How about signing yourself "Bud's Mom--NOS"?