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Wednesday, August 15

Signed, Anonymous

Anonymity. It's still a bit of a hard word for me to pronounce. You should try anonymousness, it's a real tongue twister!

But, what this is really about, is the ongoing discussion about this anonymity on the Internet. Is anonymity a good or a bad thing? For me, it's something that both scares me and is very convenient to me at the same time.

I'll start with the convenience, because the emphasis will be on the scary part. So, as I've already told you in my posts on several occasions, I am physically disabled. It's the first thing people notice when they see me. I'm not at all ashamed of my challenge, but every now and then, it's nice not to be judged on it. On the Internet, people don't (immediately) know or see that I am physically challenged. They judge me on my wit, or writing skills, or on how my personality comes across.

That brings me to the next thing, the more negative side of anonymity. Comes Across, these are the perfect words to describe why I think that anonymity can be a rather scary thing. People can be whoever they choose to be on the Internet nowadays. They can pretend to be someone they are not and still comes across as if they are. You can't actually tell whether it's a serial killer talking to you on some website or other, or in fact your friendly next door neighbour. You could say the Internet is a mask.

Luckily, again, for those who fear anonymity, like yours truly, there is always the choice not to engage in anonymous situations. Yet here I am, talking to complete strangers, who on occasion talk back to me. Sometimes, anonymity is something that cannot be avoided.

With love,


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