- 4 thoughts
- Log in to add a thought
On our drive back from dinner at a nice little Italian restaurant today, my Dad - for reasons only known to himself - decided to go on a mad rant about anonymity on the Internet and how it's such a bad, dangerous thing. People, he argued, should be willing to stand up for their opinions, put a face and a location behind it. Like that guy from the famous photograph in Tiananmen Square, he said. He took a stand for what he believed in and he didn't fear the consequences - except nobody now knows who he was and it's widely believed he was executed by the Chinese secret police. But hey, he took a stand right?
My sister, my boyfriend and I were in the back seat and all three of us were very definitely opposed to this argument. As children of the age of Youtube and 4chan, we value our anonymity online. We see the value of having places to think and talk and exchange ideas without having to put names and faces to our arguments and beliefs. We know the dangers of speaking out against the powers that be; whether it's complaining about corrupt moderators on a private forum somewhere or airing the horrible truths behind the institution of Scientology.
The argument went back and forth without making much headway; neither side were willing to budge on our opinion of the matter. I'm not sure what sparked that argument, but it makes me uncomfortable to know that my Dad believes that the only people who value anonymity online are trolls and would-be terrorists.
The word spontaneous is the same way.
As far as I can tell, everyone on here knows at least a few other people IRL. This makes sense since this appears to be the brainchild of only a few people, and since Ether doesn't advertise, it spread by word of mouth through scensters, and then their friends. Now it's old enough and big enough it seems to be growing outside of Muncie. I know one poster on here is in MA, she found the link through a post I made on a forum. Anyway, my point is, I only know one person on here IRL. Well, I probably know more, but I don't know what color they are on here, so it doesn't mess with the anonymity. The person I know I've never had a problem with reading my stuff or telling my thoughts (probably to the point where they see a post of mine and go "Oh crap, it's her. I'm not reading that.") and the other people I've communicated with I don't know. So I get total anonymity as far as I'm concerned. But I don't think it's that way for everyone, and that seems unfortunate. Has knowing someone you know will read your stuff affected anyone's posting habits? I'm curious.