On Anonymity And Exposing Yourself

On Anonymity And Exposing Yourself

Social media, pseudonyms and group mentality


I am a very private person, possibly due to personality traits such as being introverted and shy, to the way I was raised and educated. I haven't posted anything on Instagram for the past year, only use snapchat to talk to my close friends and don't like texting in large group chats. Writing for the Odyssey is probably the way in which I most expose myself online, and that's even considering the fact that I don't advertise my articles through my social media.

I have always liked writing though, and appreciate how the Odyssey helps me be more disciplined with it, as I have to write 500 words about something every two weeks. Recently though, I have been having trouble coming up with topics, and at times I write a whole article only to decide at the end of it that I don't want that posted online. Although it now seems obvious, it took me a while to realize that it was because I didn't want to expose myself too much online, and its not like this page is read by many people. However, I don't feel particularly motivated to write if my work isn't read by anyone, which sounds paradoxical even to me.

These thoughts made me start reflecting on anonymity. I think that if I wrote anonymously under a pseudonym, I wouldn't have a problem with people reading the more personal things that I write, so long as the content wasn't associated with me. And isn't this bizarre? To want your work read, but not associated with you? To want your work recognized, but to not want any credit for it? I had always thought pseudonyms were stupid, until I started thinking about creating one for myself.

Anyway, regardless of my personal thoughts on the matter, I began to reflect on anonymity as a whole. I remember a psychology lecture from my freshmen year, in which my professor talked about the power of the group. I have written previously about the human tendency to divide ourselves into groups, but what I want to discuss now is the anonymity that comes with being part of a group. If your whole group of friends decides that they are going to apply to the business school, even if you aren't interested in business at all you will consider applying too, even if for just a second.

If your whole English class decides they are going to write about a novel for the final assignment, you might consider writing about a novel as well even if you prefer poetry. And so on. By being part of a group, you assume a part of that group's identity, which gives you a sort of anonymity. A personal decision becomes a group decision, and the group answers to the consequences, not just you. Groups are alluring because their formation is part of the nature of all social species, humans being just one example in the animal kingdom.

I want to argue that the allure of being part of a group goes further than it is human nature as a social species, but also caused by the anonymity aspect. This anonymity aspect, in turn, seems to be alluring, in my view, because of the shared responsibility. Could this be the allure of anonymity then? To be able to act, but not deal with the outcomes of your actions?

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12 Signs You're From Jackman Maine

You know you're from Jackman just by these few things.

1. You never lock the doors

The entire parking lot at the store is filled with running cars, all of them with the keys still in the ignition. All are so easy to steal and yet no one touches them.

2. You almost never miss a sports game

Whether you are a sports fan or not, you almost never miss a game. Either you go to watch a friend play or to hang out, there are very few games that you have missed.

3. The cold doesn't bother you

I can't tell you how many times I've gone out in 20 degree weather in a t-shirt to do chores, or have shoveled off the deck in bare feet. Almost rarely the cold seems to be a bother.

4. You own either a snowmobile or ATV

Because what else is there to do in town? Seriously?

5. You've walked down the street all night

And you know that after 5, the road is silent. Unless it's on the weekends when everyone from Quebec is driving through.

6. You go to Old Mill and not the Town Park

Let the tourists go to the park and enjoy it, we'll just enjoy our sandy little b each.

7. You LOVE going to Slidedown

If you don't love the falls, are you even from around here? How can you not love going to Slidedown?

8. The tourists are hilarious

Now we won't say that to any of them because Jackman is a tourist town and needs to have the tourism, but some of the things that people say or do are laugh worthy.

9. Everyone has seen a moose in their backyard

And I mean everyone. I've seen one walk around in the Post Office parking lot, if they're wandering around there, they will be everywhere.

10. Hunting is a way of life

So is fishing. I don't think I know anyone in town who doesn't hunt or fish.

11. Everyone is shocked at your graduating class number

Every time I tell people I graduated in a class of 11, people stare at me like I just grew horns out of my head.

12. You know everyone


Cover Image Credit: Bill Jarvis

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Donald Trump's Ilhan Omar Tweet Fuels Islamophobia In America

His tweet only encourages Islamophobia and potential violence against Muslims in the United States.


Rep. Ilhan Omar is a name that has sparked much controversy since her election to the House of Representatives in 2018. Omar was first widely praised for being the first Somali-American to serve in Congress as well as one of two Muslim women elected to Congress. She later faced backlash over her views on Israel and has been accused of being anti-Semitic. Most recently, Omar has faced controversy over her speech at a CAIR event, during which she stated that "some people did something" regarding the events of 9/11. Donald Trump responded to this statement on Twitter, posting a video repeating Omar's words over footage from 9/11.

Taking a look at the replies to this tweet is enough to understand just how Trump's response influences his supporters as well as others who may see the video. His tweet has inspired a storm of very blatant Islamophobia: among these replies are images of Ilhan Omar over a background of photos from 9/11, tweets associating Omar with ISIS, and condemnations of the Quran and Islam as a whole, using either out-of-context quotes or simply false information to support these claims. Whether or not you support Ilhan Omar, it is not difficult to see how harmful Trump's tweet can be to the Muslim community.

His tweet only encourages Islamophobia and potential violence against Muslims in the United States.

The statement taken from Omar's speech is also only a minute portion of the entire speech, which is available on YouTube. Omar's speech focused on the association of all Muslims with terrorism - the response to Trump's tweet, in effect, only proves her point. Her statement that "some people did something" was taken extremely out of context.

Omar's intent was to highlight how 9/11, in particular, created a very hostile environment for all Muslims in the United States.

Her point was that all Muslim Americans faced consequences for the actions of a few, only due to the fact that the perpetrators of 9/11 claimed to share the same religion. Personally, I understand some of the outrage at her statement about 9/11, but I do not feel that Omar intended to diminish the events of 9/11. I understand her statement as diminishing the perpetrators' roles in the Muslim community, emphasizing that they are only a small fraction of the group and do not represent all Muslims.

Regardless of your feelings towards Omar's statement, it is clear that her quote was still taken out of context, and that the wave of Islamophobia directed towards her and all Muslim Americans is unwarranted. She has not, in any way, supported the actions of terrorists, nor has she tried to justify any of their actions. In fact, she even says later in the same speech that Muslims should speak out against members of their own community, stating, "... as Muslims, we are called on to stand up for justice and to speak the truth, even if it is against ourselves, our parents, and our close relatives."

Ilhan Omar is not a terrorist, and she does not deserve to be likened to one.

Donald Trump's tweet was both distasteful and irresponsible on his part. He took one line out of an entire 20-minute speech and used it to condemn Ilhan Omar, and, in effect, attack the Muslim community as a whole. Whether he intended to do so or not does not matter. What matters is that his portrayal of Omar's words will have an effect on people's views of not only Omar, but all Muslims in America. He is instigating Islamophobia and possible violence against Muslim Americans, and in the role of President, he has the platform to have a widespread impact on the environment that Muslim Americans must live in.

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