It was almost a few days ago. I was wandering around the blogosphere when I found this interesting article. With my desire to engage to the discussion, I leave a single comment, a pretty arrogant comment I guess, without thinking too much. What I have in return was some damaging words from someone. At that moment, I know I’m f*cked. My name was ruined. My professional image was damaged.
After that bite of reality, I decided to do some skimming over the comments. Guess what I’ve discovered? It turned out that the guy who replied to my comment was bashing all over the comments, as if someone stole his cookies. He was fighting even with the author. In my opinion there is nothing wrong with that, as we can interpret his words as a form of extreme constructive criticism. Too extreme. But what caught my attention was the fact that he didn’t use his real name, or didn’t even leave any information about his identity.
Oh… That’s why he was so brave and aggressive!
When I started blogging about 5 years ago, I have this dilemma between using my real name or just use my handle macobex. I’m afraid to use my real identity because I’m afraid to make some mistakes. Mistakes that will ruin the person I want to be. And I’m very much aware that people are judged through their mistakes and not by the right things they’ve done. You know it’s true bro. So over the past years, I’m roaming around the vast world of internet as macobex. Hiding under a mask, but with an intense level of courage to do anything and to say anything that I wanted. During that time, I didn’t give a f*ck about anything I do online. What will happen if I make a mistake? What if they think that I’m stupid? What if they find me annoying? Who the hell cares about that shitloads if you are anonymous. Right?
The first benefit of being anonymous is a crazy confidence level. A dosage of anonymity can cure one’s inferiority complex. You will feel that you are a different person. A person far from the kid that they used to laugh about. A person far from the student dubbed as most stupid in the class. Whatever action you do over the internet, nothing can damage your integrity. They can only damage the integrity of the persona you created online. No one knows that you are the one who made that stupid statement. A simple alias can be your greatest escape from reality.
Anonymity is power. We can’t deny that. Since invisibility cloak is still on experimental stage, anonymity for now can make us feel somewhat invisible. Now, give yourself a short moment to think about this: What are the things you would like to do if you are invisible? Think.
Now tell me, did you just thought of nasty things first?
If your answer is no — oh, never mind. I’m sure your thought of those nasty stuffs too.
The second effect of being anonymous is the courage to do bad things. Real bad things. Cyberbullies gain so much courage to do their work, to ruin someone else’s life, because anonymity gives them a big shield against authorities. This is the dark side of anonymity. And we can see more bad effects when the invisibility cloak goes to market. Just imagine everyone has the ability to be invisible, thus anonymous in real life. f*ck. I’m sure no one can poop with peace of mind if that time comes.
In conclusion, the reason we want to be anonymous is either of these two: To have a courage to do something that we aren’t sure if it is right, or to have a courage to do something that is surely bad. Maybe you want to ask a question but afraid to feel stupid. Or maybe you want to bully and harass someone over the internet. But whatever your f*cking reason is, I challenge you to have the balls to show your identity! Mistakes are necessary for success. So don’t be afraid to sprinkle your name with some stupid ones. And if you are a cyberbully, or in other words a mama’s boy hiding under a manly name, show us your face baby!!
I’m Karl Bryan P. Paragua. I made stupid mistakes, and there are still more to come.