Writing under a pen name. Lots of authors do it. And it can be surprisingly freeing.
I've written a few .. er.. genre books under a pen name, and have even done some promotion under that pseudonym. I would imagine that if these books had become more successful, I would have wished that I had written them under my own name. As the saying goes, you can't argue with success.
Over the years, with all the data breaches and media scares about Uncle Google or Aunt Apple (and definitely Crazy Neighbor Microsoft) snooping through your private data, I started to question pretty much everything I did online. Back in the early days of the internet, it was obvious that it really was a wild frontier out there, with no one watching, no one in charge. Put another way, it took some time to learn how to monetize personal data. Go back to 1950 and tell someone that you'll pay .10 to know what's on their grocery list. These days, it's becoming more clear to the average Josette just how much value businesses place on customer data.
Because we realize it's not just that a bunch of crazy hackers want to expose data at random. Sometimes those crazy hackers are exposing how deeply legitimate businesses have their info-hooks into the world's private lives.
In a few years, this fear will seem antiquated, not because the situation will improve, but because it will become unavoidable. You want to use this device or this app? Then you have to consent to data mining.
Here's where the fun comes in. To some extent, that analytical crap can be undermined by millions of people injecting noise into the system. Problem solved, right?
Dude, no. Machines are doing the grunt work, but plenty of perfectly reasonable and very smart people are behind that machine muscle. So, the data mining adapts, becomes better.
My solution, my personal solution at this point, is to see my online interactions as the work of a persona. Maybe that sounds weird. Let me explain. As I learned that google, for example, is not just some magic machine available only to me, I found myself censoring or at least growing more self-conscious about my searches.
Gradually this self-awareness became more distinct, and now I find myself using the internet basically as a work-appropriate corporate nob. I reserve my real self for in-person interactions. I could see the possibility of using different user accounts for different things, or different browsers, or different machines as different personas, different aspects of myself. But instead I would rather behave as if everything on the internet is part of a permanent record. I understand very well that I am just one of several billion, and I am of very little interest. My scant book sales are evidence enough of this. I just feel bad for kids these days growing up under such a paradigm. Here's an example: I started a web page of my own when I was 13. If I had done that these days, it would be hard to get rid of it once I became an adult. And when I wanted to run for Senator, well...
Oh, and I don't use facebook. At all.