Do you remember MySpace? Don’t laugh! It’s a serious question. Well if you do, do you specifically remember the ‘truth box’? They basically allow your friends to send you comments anonymously. Oh that was so much fun.
For most people, it seems like the only way they can express themselves is through anonymity. I don’t blame them for that. It’s a lot easier to say something when no one knows who it’s coming from. There are times that I wish Facebook had an anonymity feature so I can send some people anonymous messages. Don’t worry; none of them are negative. But I’m actually pretty glad they don’t. That would cause a lot of altercations and we really don’t need more of that on any social media platform.
Anonymity gives us the courage that we just couldn’t muster. I admit that I almost made this blog anonymous because I wanted to write without second-guessing myself. I was terrified of how others would perceive my writing. But I’m glad that I associated my name with this blog and allowed others to know the face behind these words.
The internet in particular houses those who feel the need to be anonymous. But with the growth of anonymity, it’s almost become taboo to express your opinions. You’ve noticed it too, haven’t you? These days it seems like the rule is “you have the right to your own opinion only if it’s mine.” I agree that what some people may think about a certain subject is completely mad and out of line, but it’s their belief. If they’re forcing their belief on to or negatively impacting others, then that’s a different story. I can go on about this but I’ll save that for a later musing.
So do I support anonymity? Yes and no.
Like I said, it gives us the power to say whatever we want without thinking about the later repercussions but at the same time it gives us too much power for the same purpose. It just seems like without anonymity, hardly anyone will come up to the podium, break the silence, and say how they really feel about something. And yet, it’s mistaken as an opportunity to be rude and callous.
What about anonymously published works? Or even the hacktivist group Anonymous? They’re freedom fighters to some but cybercriminals to others. They’re noted for being courageous for their attacks and yet cowardly for hiding behind a mask.
The whole idea is, of course, subjective. So what do you think of anonymity? Are you a coward if you hide behind your computer screen or are you just conscientious?
Maybe I’m just overthinking everything.