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Ken Wilson challenged me to write something about the many Anne Hodgsons I’ve come across online. There are hundreds of us. It’s like being a Mary Smith or Hans Müller. When I first joined Facebook, an Anne Hodgson “friended” me and immediately wanted to play some social game. She had a longish list of Facebook-friends, all called Anne Hodgson, and to avoid the fate of getting lost in a virtual House of Mirrors, I’m afraid I unfriended her.

I’m clearly not the nicest Anne Hodgson online.

One of my nephews thought I was another Facebook Anne Hodgson. She looks that much like me.

Now, being confused with namesakes or similarly named people doesn’t worry me in the least. On the contrary, there is safety in numbers. Here are my favorites:

  • The similarly named Ann Hodgman has written children’s books with great titles like “The French Fry Aliens” and “My Babysitter Bites Again”. Please feel free to confuse me with her.
  • Ann Hodgson is a professor of Education at the University of London, with a special focus on 14-19 education and training and life-long learning. I’ve found her in connection with IATEFL. I’m afraid she’s got qualifications I’ll never have.
  • Anne Hodgson & Co, a group of lawyers headed by my namesake, lends a touch of class to our dogsbody name.

No, what really has me worried is what happens when I type my tag annehodg into the internet. I did so last night for a laugh,  and looking over all the links gave me a bit of a shock. I work hard to create a professional online presence, only, and to protect the privacy of people close to me, and I’ve been relatively successful. But using Twitter in particular means that the things I’ve written all over the place this past year do come together in a rather disconcerting way.

I’m turning over a new leaf for the sake of privacy. I’m off Twitter for anything but professional networking, for one, and it’s time to change my tag.