Monday, February 12, 2007

Anonymously Speaking

I remember the early days of my Internet carousing. It was fun - a new experience filled with so many unknowns. Yes, there was danger. But there was also a lot of excitement. One of the best things about getting online was being able to have an entirely different persona - I could have a "new me." And I could say whatever I wanted, because I didn't know any of the folks I was yapping at, and they didn't know me.

But with the anonymity also came a sort of detachment. Sure, I could be rude, aggressive, or incredibly silly. But no one would ever get to know the real me. And so it kind of made the interactive correspondence a little lonely, too.

That all changed about five or six years ago, when I decided to "get real." So nowadays, although I still have a user name for my various accounts, I always try to be sure to fill out the "profile" option if the account has one, and there for all to see is exactly who I am. No mystery. No intrigue. Just Bill Dusty.

I still marvel at the rudeness of some of those out there who use their anonymity to say cruel and ridiculous things to others. You know who you are. Typing away with a snide grin, knowing full well that no matter how vicious or insulting you are, it's just "JoeCool23" doing the cutting. The Mr. Know-It-Alls out there, who firmly believe that they are the smartest people posting to the forums, and if you don't agree with them, then, well, that's just because you're an idiot.

Personally, I think most forums should ban anonymous posting. You'd fill out a form with your name & address, and that would become a part of your profile - with maybe the address hidden, if you wished. But you'd have to have your real name there. Some good folks might balk at that, for whatever reason. But nearly all of the jerks would be gone.

Better yet, here's another idea: could host a forums gathering - "a Forums forum," if you will. They could invite everyone who posts at least five times a week on the Masslive forums (or something like that). To entice folks to show up, they could have, say, an hour-long open bar, with chips & dip and cheese and crackers. At the door, people would be checked off as they stated their user names (this, to keep out the street folks). Then, instead of getting a name tag with their real names, they would have to wear tags with their user names. I think it would all be rather humorous to see how civil everyone is towards one another when the blinders are removed. No insults, no stabs, and everyone would finally get to see what that egotistical SOB really looks like (every forum has one).

Ah, to dream. But I do like the open bar idea.

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At 7:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh please, get off the soapbox, if you so real -- start by posting a clear pic of yourself. Looking arty is only a side product. Physican heel thyself.


At 9:16 PM, Blogger Bill Dusty said...



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