Anonymous on the internet
elizabeth tobey

This is a very timely article for me personally. The past two days, I have experienced the negative side of anonymity first hand as an article I wrote on hair care went viral and prompted an unexpected slew of hateful comments. As a relative rando/nobody in my field, the idea that total strangers would take the time to write out lengthy commentary on what they presume to be my most negative qualities never entered my thoughts as I shared my humble little article with my 352 closest Facebook friends and family. I spent most of yesterday mired in an inexplicable, yet powerful sense of fear — actual, physical fear — and foreboding. If these anonymous entities could feel such hatred towards me over such a small, dare I say inexistent, slight, what might one of them do to me should we meet in person? Irrational, maybe, but if my lizard brain fight-or-flight instinct could be triggered by a few pixels on a screen, then maybe a commenter’s kill-or-be-killed instinct could as well. At any rate, sorry for the ramble and thanks for your thoughts.