Dear Anonymous

No, not that Anonymous.

I am referring to anonymous with the small letter ‘a’.
In the internet, we are relatively anonymous*. Our real life names unknown until we choose to reveal. Social, economic, political, and/or geographical barriers made null.

Where we are only identified by our username, we interact with others, who identify themselves in a similar way. Friend or foe indistinguishable, lowering guards or heightening suspicion, with text as the primary mode of communication.

How a real and natural person maintains a persona and image surrounding his/her peers in real life, one can do so too online. One can hold several identities in a similar way how one maintains a certain image to certain circles of friends, the only difference is that online, one can go so far and claim to be a different person entirely. This is the beauty of anonymity: we can choose who we are and what we can be, and what we would like ourselves to be. We can choose who we are by adjusting our settings, carefully choosing what we post, formulating our words in a certain fashion, adopt a different name, build an alter-ego, or by simply being ourselves.

It is interesting to see how someone you know in real life and his/her corresponding username react when someone in a persona other than yourself poses them a question online. You, as not yourself, by portraying yourself as another character asks him/her a question as compared to you, as yourself, by portraying a character as the self, poses him/her a question. How would their reaction differ? How would their answer differ? How would their behavior differ, in the belief that it is not you who is asking the question?

Our identity online can and will differ from our identity offline. People are a little bit more honest with certain things around people who they do not know.

*Anonymous in the context of this post means the relative anonymity achieved by an entity such that it is not easily identifiable to a unique person, without special warrants or investigation.

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Carefully twist your words.

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