Behind the Scenes
Let’s talk about the cult of the anonymous comment. Seems like a significant portion of the comments in forums of this nature where someone actually comes out and says something directly criticizing another person for something they feel strongly about, it is done in an anonymous context. No link, no email, usually a goofy name. Being able to see the ISPs behind the comments, I can tell you that a lot of the time these comments come from people who had posted before while supplying their real name and links, and their veiling only began when they actually had something to say.
Which is, obviously, confusing, supposedly being a group of ‘writers’. [For the record I hate referring to people as writers, because every person is a writer. It’s like saying I’m a breather.] But these people who under the guise of the idea that they write regularly and more seriously than people who are just writing down grocery lists or whatever, it seems like these would be the kind of people most willing and fully ready to associate the words they are saying with their personas. Right? You are a ‘wordsmith,’ you say things that other people are supposed to want to listen to, so why go anonymous when you are actually saying something with some balls behind it?
Sure, this is a social forum, and a comment ultimately means nothing in the scope of it, but I really don’t get the idea of ‘writers’ who don’t take credit for what they say, perhaps under the idea that they will be scorned for it, or somehow affected, like an editor they offend might not let them into joesdickshed.blogspot.com magazine anymore.
Part of me imagines that these same people who comment anonymously when they feel blood are the same people who turn stories in in workshop that smell like mega-watered down Yates.
Listen, the little, if only, value, in my mind, of a comment forum like HTML Giant (outside of the articles themselves) is that inside it people can throw their mouths against a wall. Some blood can get stirred up, and toneless statements made, and sometimes the result can be compelling, if not enlivening, and often irritating. I like to be irritated. It reminds me I still feel something, in a social nature. Sure, many people already know this, and say what they will with their own mouth, but the other trend is still prevalent enough to need to name.
What is the true motive of the anonymous comment? To send shockwaves to their target, and disappear? An evil Santa Claus? Or is it more like free therapy or forum porn?
Take credit for what you think. Even if it’s anti-, or disagreeable, people will respect you that much more. Or (imagine this) try to take things more positive more often, even the ones that on their face seem made of sass. Because all we’re really doing here is jacking off about what we love, no? Otherwise, this web browser should be closed, and a Word document open (it should be anyway).
All this said, next week at HTML Giant will be the second annual Mean Week. No anony-mouses allowed.