There is a quote I’ve read somewhere that says something along the lines that your true character is who you are when you think no one is watching.
To me, this explains a lot of why online things have gotten to the state that they have. People feel like they are anonymous, that no one (who counts anyway) is watching, and they let their true characters shine. They flame each other like nobody else has feelings that matter, they scam each other at every turn, they form little cliques that go to war with each other. They make posts of things they would never in million years say to someone in person.
They feel safe to be the person they know that they should not be, and that they know enough to try to hide, if not remove, from their real lives.
This is an incredibly frightening thought when you take a trip through the net. If humanity is inherently good (as I keep reading people say they believe), they sure don’t like to show it around here.
Another person escaping from my memory once said that the one major accomplishment of the internet is its ability to connect people based solely on interests. I’m going to ignore the “one major accomplishment” part, but it definitely is an interesting effect. All of the sudden people who have spent their entire lives being alone in an interest suddenly find they are far from it.
As with any tool, this has effects both very good and very bad entirely based on how its used. The person struggling against a disability has a source of support with true understanding of what it means to live life with their struggles. Even as right maybe next door, the sexual predator is learning he isn’t the only one who has the same warped desires, and in the companionship opens doors towards further actions he may never have allowed himself in isolation.
However, connection is not always friendly. Big fish in different small ponds may very quickly become competitive, having never felt their position threatened before. And others will discover that they really weren’t so big after all. What does this do to the person who has for so long been the big fish to discover they are a minnow? Most would adapt, and in time figure out that in the bigger fish they have great resources to tap into for their own growth, but I imagine for some the experience of a bursting illusion is one they would have rather not experienced.
To me, this makes the internet a true testing ground.
Who are you, really?
When feel like you can get away with saying whatever you want, what do you make the choice to say? When location and physical limitations are removed, allowing you to associate with whatever sort of people you choose, who do you choose to associate with?
When you have access to all sorts of different ideas, viewpoints, and influences, which ones do you choose to fill your mind with? Do you have the ability to read other views to understand them without feeling a need to defend your own as if you were attacked? Can you explain your views without attacking when the coin is flipped? Are your views held deeply and close enough to your heart to not be swayed or torn by the experience?
Are you able to stand as your own person independent of all else? When stripped of all of your past, all of your real life, and left with just who you are, what is your response? Do you run back to your titles and authority to pull them along with you for support? Do you disconnect from the real world entirely to project someone who only lives in your imagination?
It’s customary when starting a new blog to write a post about who you are, typically filled with chosen details of real life. A/S/L, pets, occupation, and relationships mostly.
I choose not to be usual.
You will find out about me along the way, much more than the trivial details would have ever given you, and the few of those details that really mattered will make their way into things naturally on their own. The ones that don’t apparently weren’t that important to knowing me anyway.