Thursday, September 01, 2005

Why do you do what you do when you did what you did to me?

Ah, yes, a little Jermaine Jackson to get us going today. You see, today I have a topic. Yes, indeedy.

Anonymity in a Transparent Society

I got to thinking about this subject while perusing Gabe's blog and checking out the comments. There was one person who left a seemingly snarky comment while declining to take credit for it. To me, there is something just plain cowardly about that. I mean, if you're going to bother to make a statement, why not own it? Unless you don't really believe it? Or perhaps you're just trying to hurt someone intentionally, but obviously owning up to it would make you the bad guy, and more obviously that cannot be allowed to be true? But secretly you know that your target will suspect it was you, and this garners the ATTENTION you so crave? Without the BLAME? Like that little last barb, that little last word in the argument, the anonymous snark lives to feel superior to their prey. Just like your old shriveled up spinster aunt, they just can't wait to try to take the wind out of your sails. Why? Because they are self-absorbed, insecure and feel entitled to some recompense by life.

Yet, in this society we blog in, where everyone uses site-trackers and monitors their comments and who's "watching" them, is it really possible that an anonymous snark can remain anonymous for very long? I mean, to truly remain anonymous, the snark would have to go to further lengths than merely not signing into blogger to achieve this goal. Hence the transparency of the system usually renders anonymity impotent, for it would be shocking if old snark-i-poo is so dedicated to remaining unknown that he/she/it stops by the NYPL or perhaps a local Internet Cafe to perform his/her/its snarking activities.

So why not own up to it? Why not own it? Because, my friends, obsession is a powerful motivator, causing us to do and say things that we know can't stand up to the light of day. Obsession causes us to stalk each other's blogs, Google variations of each other's names, check when's the last time we were on Friendster. Look up at the light in the window and remember what it was like looking down from it. Obsession is a funny thing. It makes us think we'll never forget things that are best forgotten. And, until present times, obsession was private.

But now, with all of our moves tracked by bots and cameras and satellites, can we ever claim true anonymity? Someone, somewhere out there, is watching. Remember that, when you're deciding whom to call, when to forward and whether to post.

And, by the way, though I used the word "impotent" in the above post, this post is by no means about my, or anyone else's, sex life. Just to clarify.

2 What'd you say?

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I disagree! You stink! I'm...not...Gabe...
(skitter skitter skitter...
SLAM!
VROOMMM!!
SCREECH!!
Skitter skitter skitter
SLAM!
PLANE TAKES OFF!)

11:18 PM, September 01, 2005  
Anonymous marco said...

use the haloscan comments sistem, where you can bann people or moderate the incoming comments ;)

kiss from spain...

11:11 AM, September 08, 2005  

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