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Being anonymous

January 31, 2012

The world is changing incredibly fast due to social media, and with it I feel we are becoming more afraid of what people think of us. When you post a status to facebook you judge its popularity by the number of likes that it gets, the same happens on twitter with the number of followers that you have. It all becomes very depressing because you get sucked in to a world where someone clicking their mouse can have a real effect on your emotions.

I will sometimes find something funny that I’d like to share on facebook and I come close to posting it before I think, oh no my young cousin might see that or that I don’t want a family member or even a certain friend to see it. Often I also decide not to post something because it will make me seem really weird. If I comment about how good an episode of Firefly was then the vast majority of my so called ‘friends’ will give me a mental ‘-1’ in their minds. They’ll think ‘oh, what a loser, I’ve never even heard of that show, he must have no life’. The worst thing of all is that even if nobody does think negatively of me I have it in my head that they will and it prevents me from being who I am and expressing myself in the way I would like to. I am censored before I even start writing, censored by fears that may or may not be rational. I won’t get invited to birthday parties if people think I’m too much of a nerd, I won’t find happiness, I’ll die alone, bla bla bla. What a pile of crap, but I think it is the world that most of us live in.

That’s why there is a real incentive to publish something anonymously. Of course, the downside to such a thing is that nobody, nobody in the world will ever read what you have to say. I’ve done a bit of blogging before and in my experience the method of getting hits is to reveal to your world of friends that you have a blog. Human curiosity, nosiness, the desire to find a flaw in everyone will force people to click on your blog desperate to expose you as a loser to make themselves feel better. When you try and be anonymous you lift the shackles upon yourself, but you lose any chance of your message being heard. This however doesn’t matter for the many blogs as their message doesn’t really add much to the world, I’d love to be able to selectively cauterise the Kardashians, Justin Bieber, Big Brother, all that terrible stuff that exists in the blogosphere.

This leaves me in the position that I find myself in tonight. I am free to write without my (ir)rational fear (perhaps pathetic) of my facebook friends demonising me. I can talk about anything I want without someone bringing it up when I’m in the pub. I can be free, which is what the web is really about. What about the fact that nobody will care, nobody will want to hear what I have to say, everyone will be too busy reading their blogs about celebrities and their pet iguanas? I don’t mind that nobody will read what I have to say, the joy is in writing.

I guess this brings me to the main question, what in the world is there to write about that deserves such a grandiose entrance. What am I being prevented from saying on facebook, what do I have to say that can really change things, that can really add something to the way the world should act? I’m not special. I am one of 7 billion people and I can’t promise that anything I write will be worth reading, thus removing the problem of the fact that nobody will read it. What I can say is that anyone who is free from the shackles of  acquaintances’ judgment is in a great position to write.

I want to offer something unique. It is rare to find someone on the internet who isn’t trying to get a laugh, who doesn’t think they are always right, who simply wants to talk, who is happy to listen, who wants to offer an insight into anything and everything and who doesn’t want to gain any popularity, money or power. I’m just here for the ride.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 3, 2012 2:34 am

    I am also ready to ride the ride. Awesome perspective! 🙂

  2. February 3, 2012 4:12 am

    Glad to see you writing here. Looking forward to more.

  3. February 5, 2012 12:15 am

    I had the same kind of hang-ups when I first started blogging, so you’re not alone in that. I started a private family blog a couple of years ago to document my pregnancy and now my son, but starting a public blog with no clear purpose other than to put my thoughts and experiences out there was daunting. I wanted people to read it, but I didn’t want them to know who was behind it in case it sucked or they hated it. While I do have some regrets about allowing my very conservative in-laws to see the newer blog (because I like to swear), I think I just hit the age where I don’t care what people on Facebook think about me or my opinions. I was actually a bit surprised by the positive response I got on Facebook, and the ones that don’t like it have kept it to themselves.

    As a recovering attorney in the US, it will be interesting to hear about your experiences in the profession in the UK. I hope it’s not as soul-sucking over there as it is here.

    • February 5, 2012 2:11 am

      For me it was that if I knew my friends would be reading this it would really limit the way I write and cause me to censor so much that it wouldn’t be worth doing. I guess it comes down to confidence a bit as well as very confident people just won’t care what people think. I’ve been really surprised that a few people have found my blog and I’m not just writing to myself. It’s been very nice getting comments so thanks for reading and commenting!
      I’m pretty sure the long hours will drain on me at the new job but maybe youthful enthusiasm (naivety) will allow me to power through with my soul intact, here’s hoping!

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