I hate anonymity on the internet. I understand the need for it; I've run into more than a few socio-psychopaths over the last 15 years I've hung out on this thing. Once upon a time, crazy people used to hide in their basements, making voodoo dolls or mixing poison to coat the Halloween candy with. They'd hear little kids' feet scampering across their lawns and they'd run outside wielding their hammers and axes screaming quotes from Revelations or whatever. All psycho and frothy; everyone knew to stay away.
Then, the internet was invented. And all the crazy people left their basements, ran to the store, bought themselves a computer, and went right back to their darkened lairs to download Netscape Navigator. And here we are, a decade and a half later, and the internets are just rife with riff raff. Some are pretty open about their psycho frothiness--you can see it right through your computer screen. For example, true story: I was once stalked online by Jesus Christ's personal right hand psychopath who really needed to connect with another human being. He did this by sending me passages from the Bible about bloody lambs screaming while being dismembered and let me know I might be next if I didn't start agreeing with him that God, the Holiest of all Holies, can only be a MAN. With a long white beard. And X and Y chromosomes.
But I also think the internet provides opportunities for normal, nice people to behave like the sociopaths they usually are only during fits of road rage. In other words, I think anonymity encourages socially subversive behaviors. I think it lets normally very nice people write and say the most horrendous things to other normally very nice people. Which is why I think you should at least know the real first name of who you are dealing with online, and at least have a small, fuzzy picture so you can see what they look like. They can wear a fake mustache and dark sunglasses in their fuzzy pictures if it makes them feel better.
You are you with your own life experiences and opinions that influence what you say and do online, and I am I with my own life experiences and opinions that influence what I say and do online. But I've provided my real name and a real picture; which I think is my way of pleading: please, I am a human being with real feelings. I am perfectly okay with your deep need to reach out and communicate your obsession with spilled lambs' blood and vengeful deities. All I ask is that you please remember I am someone's mommy, wife, daughter, sister, and friend. I spend a lot of time crying over pictures and stories of children affected by the Haitian earthquake tragedy and animals dying in the wake of the Gulf Oil spill. I like rainbows and sunshine, and soft kittens and butterflies. Okay? I'm not here to ruin your world; I'd just like to make mine a little better.
I wrote all of that to say: in the past, I've been really (I mean really) open about myself, like giving my first and last names. But on this blog? I've decided I can't. In addition, I'm a teacher. And teachers are paranoid technophobes these days if you haven't heard. Also, I'm married to a former CIA agent. (Actually, he's a brutal contract negotiator. But his level of state secret shadiness vs. my level state secret shadiness gives him the appearance of possibly being a former CIA agent and so after ten years of knowing him, I still can't rule it out.)
But mostly due to all the subversiveness I've been noticing on the internet lately. And on the account I have an extreme queasiness around lamb blood.