Recently my blog was discovered.
I've spoken many times about freedom of speech on the Internet, especially for medical bloggers. Protecting your identity becomes a lot more than just wondering what your boyfriend will think when he learns you've been ranting about your sex life online. When you have a real job, with real patients, and unfortunately very real whackjobs for colleagues and superiors, blogging becomes a catharsis of sorts.
But unfortunately it can also get you into very real trouble. Remember HospitalPhoenix. Remember Angry NHS Doctor. Even The Little Medic got into some trouble back in his student days. And now people are whispering that the highest of the high, the Big Daddy of Go-Ahead-Try-And-Find-My-Identity-Out, NHS Blog Doctor himself, was forced to retire because someone finally found out who he was.
It never mattered to me, because right from the start I wasn't anonymous, and my only real enemy was the University of Cambridge, whose policy on hate mail is basically "nyah nyah we're bigger than you". But it had to happen someday - and now it has.
I've been discovered.
And by people whose opinions, unfortunately, matter to me. You can only adopt a screw-you-I-don't-care-what-you-think policy for so long, because as every movie villain in history knows, there's always someone whose opinions you can't afford to ignore. So these days when I drag my sorry carcass into my room after a long hard day and just feel like jumping online and ranting about that midwife who yelled at me using the most colourful expletives possible --
I stop. And remember that somebody's watching me.
It feels horrible.