Honesty, Anonymity and Being Real
It’s only been 30 years since the world wide web took off and all of our lives have been changed forever. Writing from 2016, I can safely say that we have adapted very effectively. People are connecting with childhood friends they never thought they would see again, finding things to do at the speed of light, and hell even finding jobs without ever having to leave the house. Life is great. Or so it seems.
Something’s happening that’s so regular among internet savvy individuals it couldn’t even be called a phenomena. It seems that we have adapted almost too well, the dividing lines are beginning to blend, our online identities have now become closely intertwined with each other; and with this comes a slew of many problems that prevent us from actually being connected in a world that’s never been more accessible.
I don’t think many people would of ever saw this coming, it seems pretty silly honestly when you first think about it; but it makes sense. A little lighting and some touch photo editing and BAM, you’re like a whole ‘nother person. Maybe even a bit sexier. It only takes half a minute through any social media to see the images that people have fabricated online to represent themselves.
Now I’m not against this, not at all. On the contraire I actually think it’s pretty cool that we have this capability to re-brand ourselves however we wish. I mean hell, I’m the one with the pen name here for Christ sakes. Reason why? Well that’s a story for another time.
Oddly enough, taking on a pen name does something very interesting for a (novice) writer such as myself. It’s almost liberating. Creating an empty catalyst as simple as a name allows you to walk away from everything that’s associated with your everyday life. This is nothing new by the way, It’s no figure that anonymity liberates the soul to do as it pleases, for better or for worse. What I’m really pondering about is, what’s the other side of the equation?
If we can create online brands for own identities, and liberate ourselves from them through anonymity, what’s happening to the entity of the individual in the real world? Is there really a point of separating the two in a world where the internet is so heavily integrated? I think there is. I think on the inside, a lot of us are suffering because we’re not as polished as the personas we see online; and really I think the silly is that nobody is as polished as any persona online. But that’s easy to forget. So when we have forgotten this concept in the moment what effects does this have on us?
I believe that we become crippled. We become scared and afraid for we believe that who we are is not adequate enough to be allowed to exist with the other well polished human beings among us.
The truth? Being real hurts.
In today’s age, being real is to be extremely vulnerable.
Being real is to invite criticism and controversy.
But it’s what we’re missing most in the world day.
Sometimes I feel that using a pen name lets me be extremely honest, brutally real, imperfections and all without abandon. And I think that’s beautiful. I’m not trying to toot my own horn here. There’s something to be said when man goes into the wilderness and finds sights that have surely had to been man made, but they’re natural. Waterfalls, perfectly round stones, gigantic fields of skyscraper tall trees; all of these natural, imperfect in their own way, and beautiful because of it.
The internet is great, it’s a large part of what makes today one of the greatest times to be alive. But let’s not forget that no matter how cool your online brand is, it’s got nothing on the raw beauty of a human soul.
That includes you too.
Thanks for reading.
- Lance Ludens