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The Joys of Anonymity of the Internet

The internet has done so many wonderful things: it has shrunk the globe, made information readily available and it has given companies and individuals a great way of marketing and communicating, in a much more efficient and effective manner.  However, it has also given a lot of creeps an opportunity to come out from under their rocks.

When I first started, my goal was to help people…to help people find balance in their every day hectic lives.  Nothing more, nothing less.  When I started my blog, however, this changed the dynamic.  I put myself out there, gave the brand a voice and started to provide opinions on things that I thought were either relevant or thought provoking.  Not only did this increase traffic exponentially to the main site (which is obviously a good thing), but it also gave people a person  with whom to identify.  For the most part, I’ve been really fortunate.  I’ve gotten great feedback, heard some interesting perspectives and have had thought provoking dialogue with many individuals.  I have had people agree with me, disagree with me, debate with me, etc.  All good in my mind, for without questioning or debate, we rarely have progress.  But with all of this good-stuff also comes the seedier side of the internet.

As a result of my blog, I have seen individuals who are rude, inappropriate and disrespectful.  Unfortunately, the anonymity of the internet brings out the worst in a lot of people.  The irony of it all is that those who are most rude and obnoxious, never put themselves out there to actually say anything on their own.   They RARELY, if ever, have any blogs themselves.  They only criticize and degrade others.  Thank goodness for comment filters!

In short, having an anonymous outlet with which people can state their minds, enables abusive and disrespectful behavior.  It is truly pathetic.  Over the last year these are some of the delightful things that I have had the pleasure of putting up with:

  1. Pet Names: Warm fuzzy names, including: Bigot, B_tch, f_ckin idiot, and more.
  2. Sex Changes: Perceptive individuals who think I’m a man, calling me a ‘chode’ (which I actually had to look up in the internet dictionary), a gay pr_ck, a d_ck, and other colorful terms.
  3. Legal Counseling: “Legal assistance” from anonymous individuals who spend lots of time finding remotely similar articles and topics and have been kind enough to accuse me of plagiarism.
  4. Private Investigation: “FBI wannabes” checking out my credentials and telling me that I could never go beyond an undergraduate degree and will never make more than 40K.
  5. Expert Opinions: Individuals pointing out that I have no relevant experience or knowledge to discuss any of the topics that I do.
  6. Open-Mindedness: Individuals telling me that I have no right to my opinion.
  7. Constructive Critics: Written paragraphs upon paragraphs complimenting me on how useless my articles are and that I’m stupid; and sometimes will even be so kind to correct my grammar and spelling.
  8. Pen Pals: I’ve been emailed directly and verbally abused via individual’s rants.
  9. Crushes: I’ve been stalked on Facebook.
  10. Strategic Partnerships: And, although I would never say that this is email abuse, I once received a HUGE package from the President of the Corn Refiners Association, containing every lab result, every piece of data, and every piece of positive press coverage that they ever had, asking me to have an “open mind” about High Fructose Corn Syrup.

Going into this business, I never really thought I’d have to develop a thick skin, but I guess I was overdo.  In all honesty, I probably benefited greatly.  So on behalf of all bloggers and internet media companies, I’d like to thank all of the anonymous internet bullies.  You really brighten our days!  Keep up the good work!

Have you ever been subjected to mean and inappropriate behavior over the internet?  How have you dealt with it, if at all?

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Posted in Brett's Blog, Mind-Body Tagged with: , ,
  • Gurla

    Exactly! I can’t believe how everything can connect from FaceBook to Twitter and everything else. Don’t you just love the technology today.

  • Flo

    I am totally shocked! These people obviously have way too much time to spare and must be very unhappy with their lives.

  • MysticMeg

    Freedom of Speech in America. Now with the internet this takes on new meaning. We are now talking to the world. A world which does not include freedom of speech.

    We have a relative who does not allow her children to speak to other relatives unless she approves of the conversation. Her children are now in their 40’s and she still tries to pull this!! I sent back a message to her -Communist countries endure this type of control of speech. Not in the USA. We can talk to whomever we choose. We do not need her flashback control. If I need to speak to one of her children I will call them directly and talk to them without her approval!!!

    Thanks for the information on the site. We all enjoy Knowledge and different Perspectives. Keep up the good work.

  • Flo

    Hmmmm, MysticMeg, are you implying that only in America is there freedom of speech? And does freedom of speech allow people to transgress basic politeness rules?

    If Amercia was really the land of freedom of speech, then French Fries would not have been renamed Freedom Fries a few years back when then French President Chirac strongly opposed the US decision to enter war with Afghanistan. And anti-war protesters would not have been so strongly muzzled and qualified as being unpatriotic!

  • Airbrush Makeup

    Ya I totally agree with you that internet has its own world. U can have any type of stuff and friend here. and cant get bore.

  • Diana


    I love your articles. I think you are a very wise woman. You are healthy and balanced and whomever calls you names, should be ashamed of themselves for thier bad behavior!

  • Thanks Diana! I appreciate 🙂

  • Holey Moley Batgirl! Thanks for the heads up. I’m about to venture into the world of blogging after too many months of thinking about it. Time to check it off the To Do List and jump right in. Your info is very timely, useful and greatly appreciated. In a few months I’ll share my delightful stories with you. 🙂 Ms. Brett – You’re Amazing!