Sunday, 7 August 2005

Behind the cyber-mask

A couple of friends I met over the www wondered recently about identity on their interesting blogs: they were so in tune with each other that they even unwittingly gave the same heading to their posts. This has exercised my mind as well for a while.

It’s bothering us because we are genuine, trusting people, who tend to open up readily and reveal fairly intimate details of our lives, and we are worried that others may be taking advantage of our candour.

The Internet has been a boon for those who like to play mind games; who amuse themselves with creating multiple personae with which to mystify others. They claim it’s just a bit of fun and does no harm to anyone. I don’t agree. I like my relationships to be based on truth and trust. Just like in real life, if I’ve been talking to someone for a while, I don’t want them to suddenly slip away and become someone else, and to thumb their nose at me while they’re doing it. I don’t want to be wondering who is hiding behind this or that username, and whether they belong to the same person.

There seems to be a certain type of person who derives pleasure in concealing their true identity.

Today I’m slapping all of their sly and lying faces.


  1. Second your slap, and here is one of my own. Big, fat slap goes to the state of Washington, who have not yet passed a law to make bestiality illegal. It makes me sick, and I am going to do my best to find out how to contact the powers that be and get them to make this filth illegal, and to PUNISH the perpetrators!

  2. I have one more slap of the day, if that is okay with you. A slap goes to Ariel Sharon for selling out the Jewish people and making them pull out of Gaza. The Israelis took that desert and made it green. They earned the right to that land! How DARED Sharon do this to his own people. And good for Netanyahu for resigning over this appalling mess.

  3. Slap away, A! That's what this space is for.

    I wonder whether bestiality is illegal here. The Brits can be so lax. I'll slap the state of Washington with you.

    I don't really know what to think about the Israelis pulling out of Gaza. I agree with you that they have earned the right to stay there, but I always thought those settlements were temporary. I'm for anything that could bring peace to the country.

  4. I have created other identities for the online gift exchanges and two in specific for certain people but would find it far too tiring to be anyone else other than myself the majority of the time.

    My account was suspended recently and I could have easily created a new name but I wanted my original one because it's such a big part of who I am.

    I still like to step into the suits of Gucamole or DarkHersheyKiss every now and then but never in attempt to manipulate people.

    I'd like to slap the current administration for trying to down play the war they built so hard to build up. They seem quick to change their tone once they hear how the general public feels about it. I honestly don't know if I should feel more anger or frustration at this point.

  5. May I add a slap to a group of people so deserving of one? This doesn't rank up there with bestiality or the crisis in the Middle East but.....a slap to the township for mowing down the wildflowers on the roadside. They are destroying the nesting areas of small animals, the feeding sites of butterflies and insects and robbing us of beautiful surroundings. Ignorance abounds.

  6. S, if not to manipulate or fool anyone, what are you using those identities for? I truly would like to understand what makes someone want to pretend to be someone else. So far I haven't heard anything that makes sense to me.

    A, I can't stand vandalism and "official" vandalism is the worst kind. Slap!

  7. I don't know if I should answer for Sand, but I know she created DarkHershysKiss for me, just to be playful and sweet and she sent me a bag of Hershey's kisses when she revealed herself. Everyone on the board knows that is her. I don't think she was trying to fool anyone, just to play.

    I also have created Quoth_the_Raven and it's not a secret that it's me. I don't think those kinds of alter egos are harmful in any way, just playful and fun.

  8. Both names were created for specific people in mind, DHK for Kate and Gucamole for Lucy.

    Both names were created in humor and meant to be taken that way it was never my attempt to be someone else.

    As both were created for specific people in mind, most never even read what I posted under those names and were never aware that either name existed.

  9. Fantabiloso message. Truely agree but yet agn can't oppose the idea. Internet has changed lives of many with their secret idientities. Some can't make face to face meetings but yet behind a mask they can express their true feelings...

    P.S: well it needs a bit more than a superficial analysis to speak politix!!! a bit discouraging reading some comments here abt EARNING RIGHTS... (just an openion)

  10. Yes, I too had a post on this very issue, about people being who they really are in cyber world.

    Slaps definitely are in order.

    Also, a slap to those people who make you think they are there for you, but turn out not to be so. I guess that too happens under the veil of the internet.

    On balance, however, one must be grateful for the gifts in one's life, and know the difference between reality and fantasy.

  11. Second your slap. And hell, this is one satisfying slap. I can't imagine having the energy or the disposition to want to pretend to be someone else, or to use the anonymity of the Internet to do another person harm.

    I was appalled by a recent comment that this is 'cyberspace' and nothing really matters. This isn't, after all, real life.

    Well, yes it is. It's simply another medium through which to communicate real life.

  12. S and K, I still can't see the attraction, but I'm sure it's just for fun in your case. :-)

    Dr O2, what's the point of expressing your true feelings if the other person doesn't know who you are?

    B, I certainly wouldn't expect people I've met on the Net to be there for me in the same way as my nearest and dearest, if, G-d forbid, something terrible happened to me. Even long-time friends can be a disappointment in those circumstances, I know.

    J, I'm with you all the way. Probably my lack of imagination...

  13. I am joining you on this slap. I think cyberspace makes it too tempting to for some people to misrepresent themselves. Unlike real life, if you don't like yourself or are bored, you can become someone new. What is the point? You are still the same person inside.


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