Friday, February 6, 2015

Secret Identities

All over the Internet, folks lurk in the shadows, hiding behind their secret identities. At work or church or with their friends, they're thoughtful, caring, tolerant, cheerful and fair. Then they go home, hunker down in front of their computers and the real folks emerge. Safe in the anonymity of the World Wide Web, they let down their hair, spewing hatred, ignorance, and stupidity. They stalk children, women, men from their lair. In roaming gangs, they attack anyone who has a difference of opinion, anyone who dares to speak out against evil.

This is not a new phenomenon. From the time broad use of the Internet gained acceptance, nasty trolls have slithered from their hiding places under the bridges and dared to bombard anyone who disagrees with them with foul language, name calling, and if possible, boycott the individual or company. If you don't believe it's possible to boycott an individual, think again.

Some of my Internet friends are choosing to shut down and withdraw. The insidious negativity, bigotry, and rage is spreading like toxic waste, poisoning everything and everyone it touches, infecting folks with depression and discouragement.

What to do?

I see a time when like-minded people will go back to their own little groups. Social media isn't very social as it's structured now. I expect folks will find a few others who believe as they do--whether politically, religiously, or oh, how they spell or punctuate their sentences--and they'll withdraw to the security of their group. That's a sad commentary on our humanity. It's not new. From the dawn of history, we've organized in little conclaves of 'them' and 'us'. 'They' are always the bad guys. Always.

I've spent a good part of my life working to eradicate this mentality, but even I am about ready to toss in the towel. I'm just not willing to let rabid politics, religious fanaticism, and incredibly foul-mouthed morons invade my living space. Yes, for many of us, this is part of our living space. And I say, "You're not welcome if you can't demonstrate a modicum of civility."

I believe the folk hiding behind the anonymity of the Internet are revealing their TRUE selves. Here they're demonstrating their idiocy, their stupidity, their lack of morals and judgement. They spew personal information as though they truly don't understand how the Internet works.

Maybe they don't.

Whatever. Fair warning. If you can't be civil, pass on by.  


  1. Anny I could not agree more. This is why I've withdrawn from most social media. I detest trolls. Trolls thrive on the anonymity of the internet. Negativity becomes self-perpetuating. Not worth the time.