The Internet is an odd beast. From the time you’re an infant, you’re cautioned to never talk to strangers (yet when you’re an adult, this somehow becomes OK, even though strangers can still be dangerous), but on the Internet, 99% of those you interact with are likely strangers — people you’ve never met in real life. You have no clue what these people look like or even that they are who they claim to be.
Blogging is an exercise in talking to strangers. It’s the equivalent of standing in the middle of a crowded area and holding up a sign saying “I’m here! Notice me! Read what I have written!” And by doing so, you invite anything and anyone, from trolls, stalkers, and creeps, to people who are friendly, genuine, and actually want to have a legitimate online conversation.
Strangely enough, it’s easier to broadcast your thoughts to a random array of strangers online than it is to walk into a room and proclaim, “Let’s talk about writing today!” Anonymity can cause people to behave in ways they ordinarily wouldn’t, and some people who are nice and sweet in real life turn into complete animals online and vice versa. However, there is safety in anonymity; you might feel more secure interacting with strangers while you are anonymous.
I suppose that starting an online conversation with a stranger is less intimidating than having a face-to-face conversation because nobody can see your face, your clothes, your hair, your mannerisms, and so forth, and that “stranger” may be more willing to consider what you have to say, when in real life, they may have made an instant judgment about you based on your appearance.
So the Internet might have made it easier (and more appropriate) to talk to strangers, but it’s not necessarily that much safer than in real life, and it’s definitely not private.