Anonymity and the Internet

The Internet is making us horrible people. Take listen people, because if we keep headed in this direction we're going, and we all know we're going to keep doing whatever we please because we're humans and we're entitled and all that, things are about to get sadder for the lot of us. The Internet has taught us that we should get everything in two days or less for free. It's taught us that information should be always at our fingertips and we should never have to wait for it. It's taught us that we can say whatever we want because there'll be no repercussions except for maybe a comment in reply. We don't even have to be ourselves online if we don't want to.

It's making us cheap punks, taking potshots from afar not because we should or because it's worthwhile but just because we can. What a horrendous freedom we've been offered, like some information age Lord of the Flies.

Maybe it's no longer adequate to say that we are what we repeatedly do, like Aristotle thought. He didn't have the Internet and texting and customer service numbers and return policies to worry about. Maybe we need a better yardstick to measure ourselves. Though a ruler seems more than adequate for a lot of the ones I run across.

How about this? You are the person you seem to be in an online comment.

You can be the type of person who doesn't finish something and still finds the justification to criticize.

You can be the kind of person that threatens.

You can even be the kind of person who hides behind a fake name and email address.

I realized all of this one day when I was arguing that something I made was valid. It was a YouTube video and I put a lot of effort into it and someone didn't like it. Someone I had never met. Someone I would never meet. Someone who had absolutely no bearing on my life at all except that he didn't like something I had done.

What a momentous waste of my time and emotion.

It seems a recalibration is needed again. In my diligence to write as much as I can and put as much of that as I'm willing out for you all to see, some people have decided it's not worth their time, so let me spell this out very clearly for them.

It isn't.

If you don't like my blog, I don't need you here. Your presence does not at all benefit me or anyone else who chooses to come here because they actually want to. There are those people, by the way. They've told me. Looked me right in the eye and said it.

To be clear, feel free to analyze and criticize and pick apart my posts. They're not the word of God and I'm not bringing them down from a mountain. I don't expect you to take them as law. You also can't expect me to take everyone's opinions as fact. Want me to? Show me some credentials. I'll be a lot more willing to listen.

There are just some things a man can't allow. Criticizing my being as a writer is one of them. If I believe I am a writer, I am a writer. There is no second word, no other opinion. Do you see these words laid out in front of you? I made them. They're mine. That's everything you need to prove that I am a writer and that I'm meant to be a writer. Get it?

If it comes to it, I'm able to be more judicious with the comments. A lot of sites instate "Living Room Rules" which means that if you wouldn't say it in my living room, you won't say it on my blog. I don't want to have to come to that, but perhaps I've been just a little bit too nice.

I wouldn't want any of you to mistake that for a lack of passion.