Friday, March 19, 2010

Anonymity Makes Dicks of Us All

I loves me some internets and wouldn't trade its existence for all the money trees in the world. It's got some interesting pros and cons but the great thing about the webbie is that you can almost always avoid the cons. But what about when one of the pros IS one of the cons?

One great pro of the internet is that it gives everyone a voice... but then one huge con of the internet is that it gives EVERYONE a voice. Whether you've got a truly informative agenda or you're just trying peddle some of that "useless information" Oscar Wilde missed so much (sgwordy takes a bow), you can say whatever you want, however you want, about anyone or anything you want. And, well, freedom, it's a mighty tempting thing.

The relative anonymity of the internet allows many voices to behave in ways they probably wouldn't face-to-face. It's said often and by lots smart people you shouldn't post anything on the internet that you wouldn't put your name to. Since I like to get wordy about books, movies, policies, and whatever else flits across my brain this is advice I should and, I think, do take. It's not like everything I say is positive (or even well thought out on some days) but I don't think I take easy pot shots either. Admittedly, I probably wouldn't say fuck and jizzwad quite so much if I was actually conversing with the sources of some of my topics, but I take responsibility for everything I've said and will say in the future; be it good or bad it's sincerely meant. As in, what I say is an honest reflection of what I think and I'm happy to put my name on that.

So I'll be one more person to say it. No matter what medium you choose to use for self-expression you should always be honest. But, honestly, if you can't say it in your real life than you might want to think twice about saying it in your digital life.

4 comments:

  1. It's an interesting point that you and I have discussed before. How does one write a review that balances the competing interests of being both critical and entertaining while not saying something that would be perceived as a potshot at the artist/designer? It's a fine line between making a joke and making fun of someone's work. I guess the first step is making sure to avoid personal attacks...

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  2. Well said! If you're getting personal than you have to wonder why you're doing it in the first place. The point is to discuss the work I think.

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  3. That's true. I often wonder why some people attack someone else's work on the internet. If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.

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  4. Hey Chuck! Well, I think I've had many things to say that lots of people would consider 'not nice' but I do specifically try not to make anything personal. Also, I try to be clear about my reasons for saying something rather than just throwing out a bunch of random negativity. Course, we both know you're a much nicer and more considerate person than me so maybe you can keep me straight. ;)

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