Decorative Flower
Her Realm, Personal website and blog of Cole
Nov 06

Anonymity on the Internet

It’s easy to be anonymous online. Indeed, that’s the sole reason some people use it. And I don’t have anything against anonymity per se. I do, however, have something against those who would abuse this.

We’ve all asked an embarrassing question and were glad we weren’t asking our closest confidantes face to face and the internet is full of helpful advice from strangers who might know our situation better than our friends and family think they do. A lot can be gleaned when someone’s reply isn’t depend end upon your identity and this is certainly all, well mostly, positive.

And that’s not my issue. My issue arises when people use anonymity, not to save a little embarrassment or get an unbiased opinion but to hide who they really are, to be deceitful to others, to avoid a life they can’t won’t change.

When is it okay to use anonymity to one’s advantage when it means the shirking of all responsibility?

When one can change his name every time one logs on, how can we put any faith in the internet? When one can fake a relationship, throw insults or wreak havoc on others without owning up to the damage caused or the real people involved, does anonymity serve any purpose? Is there a certain amount of it which is “good” versus an amount that is “bad?”

Who’s the be the judge? Whose morals shall become the standard. I can just as easily sit here and say “You shouldn’t do that” as someone else can say “It’s only the internet; they can walk away from the computer if they cannot handle it.” And, that’s just that. How can we enforce guidelines or punishment (if we can even determine them) when all one has to do to avoid them is turn off or log out?

How do you feel about it? Have you even been glad to be anonymous? Have you ever used it against someone or to avoid placing your name to unscrupulous actions? Have you ever wished you could see behind someone’s else’s mask and make them face up and be responsible for their own words or actions? Overall, is anonymity positive or negative?

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