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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I Am A Female And I Am So Over Feminists

I believe that I am a strong woman, but I also believe in a strong man.

Beliefs are beliefs, and everyone is entitled to their opinion. I'm all about girl power, but in today's world, it's getting shoved down our throats. Relax feminists, we're OK.

My inspiration actually came from a man (God forbid, a man has ideas these days). One afternoon my boyfriend was telling me about a discussion his class had regarding female sports and how TV stations air fewer female competitions than that of males. In a room where he and his other male classmate were completely outnumbered, he didn't have much say in the discussion.

Apparently, it was getting pretty heated in the room, and the women in the class were going on and on about how society is unfair to women in this aspect and that respect for the female population is shrinking relative to the male population.

If we're being frank here, it's a load of bull.

SEE ALSO: To The Women Who Hate Feminism

First of all, this is the 21st century. Women have never been more respected. Women have more rights in the United States than ever before. As far as sports go, TV stations are going to air the sports that get the most ratings. On a realistic level, how many women are turning on Sports Center in the middle of the day? Not enough for TV stations to make money. It's a business, not a boycott against female athletics.

Whatever happened to chivalry? Why is it so “old fashioned" to allow a man to do the dirty work or pay for meals? Feminists claim that this is a sign of disrespect, yet when a man offers to pick up the check or help fix a flat tire (aka being a gentleman), they become offended. It seems like a bit of a double standard to me. There is a distinct divide between both the mental and physical makeup of a male and female body. There is a reason for this. We are not equals. The male is made of more muscle mass, and the woman has a more efficient brain (I mean, I think that's pretty freaking awesome).

The male body is meant to endure more physical while the female is more delicate. So, quite frankly, at a certain point in life, there need to be restrictions on integrating the two. For example, during that same class discussion that I mentioned before, one of the young ladies in the room complained about how the NFL doesn't have female athletes. I mean, really? Can you imagine being tackled by a 220-pound linebacker? Of course not. Our bodies are different. It's not “inequality," it's just science.

And while I can understand the concern in regard to money and women making statistically less than men do, let's consider some historical facts. If we think about it, women branching out into the workforce is still relatively new in terms of history. Up until about the '80s or so, many women didn't work as much as they do now (no disrespect to the women that did work to provide for themselves and their families — you go ladies!). We are still climbing the charts in 2016.

Though there is still considered to be a glass ceiling for the working female, it's being shattered by the perseverance and strong mentality of women everywhere. So, let's stop blaming men and society for how we continue to “struggle" and praise the female gender for working hard to make a mark in today's workforce. We're doing a kick-ass job, let's stop the complaining.

I consider myself to be a very strong and independent female. But that doesn't mean that I feel the need to put down the opposite gender for every problem I endure. Not everything is a man's fault. Let's be realistic ladies, just as much as they are boneheads from time to time, we have the tendency to be a real pain in the tush.

It's a lot of give and take. We don't have to pretend we don't need our men every once in a while. It's OK to be vulnerable. Men and women are meant to complement one another — not to be equal or to over-power. The genders are meant to balance each other out. There's nothing wrong with it.

I am all for being a proud woman and having confidence in what I say and do. I believe in myself as a powerful female and human being. However, I don't believe that being a female entitles me to put down men and claim to be the “dominant" gender. There is no “dominant" gender. There's just men and women. Women and men. We coincide with each other, that's that.

Time to embrace it.

Cover Image Credit: chrisjohnbeckett / Flickr

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It's 2019, And I Can Confirm One Size Does Not Fit All, At All

I'll take feeling good over meeting your standards. Thank you.


We live in a society where being yourself and expressing who you truly are is something that is becoming more and more accepted and is actually trendy. Left and right, people are coming forward and declaring who they are and want to be in life and there is a crowd of people there to cheer them on.

There is also always that small percent sitting in the corner, ready to throw derogatory comments and taint the self-love, respect, and acceptance that's flowing.

Every single time this happens, the internet breaks and feuds form in the comment sections. How many times does this fight have to be had before people just mind their own business? How someone looks is frankly none of your concern. Whether you think the person is too fat, too skinny, too girly, too rough, too whatever, it's none of your business.

I'm a firm believer that one should focus on their own life instead of living to tear others down. You should be more concerned with feeling good in your own body than wasting your energy trying to make people ashamed of theirs. It's not your place to comment on someone's appearance.

We should work on building up confidence and feeling good in our skin. Exercising, working on your mental health, and surrounding yourself with good energy will improve your life exponentially. DO NOT do this to achieve an aesthetic or try to look like an Instagram model. Only do it to feel good about yourself internally. What you look like on the outside should only matter to you.

I would be lying if I said I didn't fall victim to countless beautiful women who post their swimsuit photos looking like they stepped out of Vogue magazine. I would be lying if I said I didn't struggle with my own body image and have to remind myself daily that it's okay to not fit their mold. I won't lie to you. We live in a world that feels the need to comment on every inch of our skin rather than focus on more important issues. Shut off the noise and ignore the words that are given in hate. You have better things to do than focus on their negativity.

Make your own mold.

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