Don’t like your name?

Why do people hide their identities on the Internet? Why do people blog without writing their names on it? Why do people post to forums hiding behind weird nicknames (I’m Flask, by the way).

In ancient times and even now, names possess power. Our names identified our life, our future and our personalities. My name means “God is gracious” and indeed He has been. Isaac means “He laughs” and goodness, the boy cackles too much. And that is why you should not name your child weird names like XX, XX and XX (censored because some friends have done it to their children)

But why do people not dare to speak in their own words online? I have never been able to understand this, and it is not because I have a relatively larger ego.

If you have something to say, and yet nobody knows it is you who said it, why even say anything at all?

2 Replies to “Don’t like your name?”

  1. For some of us, it’s mainly for safety concerns. When I first got on the internet about 8 years ago, I took part in a photography chat. I disagreed with one guy who was being obnoxious to everyone, and he promptly tried to get hold of my e-mail address, he was bound and determined to send me nasty emails with viruses attached. It gave me a heads up that not all people that log onto forums or chat are nice people with good intentions. Last year I spoke with a guy in Texas who had someone go so far as to find out where he lives and to stalk him and his children. The stalker would send messages such as “that was a pretty pink outfit your 10 year old daughter wore to school today” and other comments of specifics that showed that someone indeed had to be watching them. And all because he simply posted a few comments on a forum that the stalker disagreed with. I never heard the outcome of it all. Granted, that’s an extreme example. Of course there are many people who hide behind an alias, they feel much braver sniping from the cover of anonymity. Still, on several topical forums that I visit, I’d rather have people speak out even while using a false name than not saying anything at all. I’d rather see many points of view and more information added to a forum by anonymous writers than having the majority remain silent and not share some the gems I have picked up along the way. Just one more unfortunate example of the world we live in that makes it necessary to be cautious, even in the world of cyberspace.

    Rose-Marie….aka Chelsea

  2. Very true Chels, it’s a reflection of the sad state of affairs of humanity. Too many morons running amuck. However, it is possible to have a civil conversation online where the moderator makes the ground rules clear (eg. Rob Galbraith’s excellent photo forum) and everyone has to identify themselves before they speak up. Start being an ass on that forum and the others will take you to task.
    The problem is that no matter online or offline, people exchange freedom of speech for civility, and that’s where all the trouble occurs. My concern is more with bloggers – often I read blogs and I have no idea who this person is. It’s just their thoughts and their fears, which are expressed only because they believe nobody will find out who they are. But we all know you cannot hide behind a nick forever!

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