By Eireen Manikan
For as long as anyone can remember, Anonymous has been used anyhow and anywhere with the main purpose of giving out brazen statements or opinions and hiding behind this powerful word to escape accountability. It can be through fake names, social media accounts and handles with not an iota of clue as to the real identity of the user/handler. And the moment they get hold of their fake identities, these Anons go at it like freed banshees spewing words that can kill…if it could.
Years ago, the main purpose was to hit, hurt and call out sometimes rightfully but escaping the pain of accountability or ownership of the words. I call this kind Anon 1; they want to be heard, to lecture you on stuff or shame you without knowing them and giving you the right to assess if they have the right to do so. They get a high in publicly bashing but climax in the secrecy of their identity. Honestly, these are the worst of the lot as you will know when I present the other kinds. There is a simple reason really. Cowardice. They want to drown people and their victims with their ‘powerful’ words but do not have the bravery to face counter attacks or retaliation.
Ahh, the second kind, Anon 2 is the mildest relatively, if you care to spot them and not be taken in. Of course, they hide their identities because they want to con people. Mainly for financial gains. So, they may pretend to be someone else when they call or communicate with you to ask for what you can give. Some of us, with good intent, still fall for this sadly. I have heard of a guy who has been pretending to be somebody he is not, claiming he is single and with a brain tumor and has earned a lady’s affection and trust and having the lady financially supporting him for years only to learn later he was married without a tumor. This lot are the poorest kind, literally and figuratively. To be anonymous by assuming a fake identity and have the strength to con others so you may spend it for yourself is the most pathetic way or earning really.
Lately though, I have been witnessing a different power that Anonymity brings. The Anon 3 peeps have a different kind of high. They actually want to air their dirty linen (undies included) in public with their identities in private of course. There is a new feature in soc med that allows a handler to post in a page anonymously and, boy do they have a field day posting everything that is happening in their lives from the infidelities of their partners to their financial problems and the meanings of their dreams.
These types leave my mouth agape in sheer admiration and pity. My admiration for their ability to open up for everyone to read albeit in masked ways and pity for their lack of having to talk to maybe in their immediate vicinity that is actually experienced by anyone at one point.
And as I have previously stated, it also gives everyone the ‘power’ to give their opinions and direct the course of your life, if you allow them. In the end, I am always confused with the strength being anonymous gives. Or is it the most cowardly act possible?