Losing your identity

Editorial+cartoon+for+Losing+your+identity.

Editorial cartoon for “Losing your identity.”

Editorial cartoon for “Losing your identity.”

In today’s world we live in a contradictory state of publicity and anonymity.

Our entire identity can stored on a computer with our social security numbers, credit cards numbers, or just what we “like” on Facebook.

At the same time it can be incredibly easy to lose yourself in the internet.

It has become easy to disappear in the crowd online since many sites don’t require any proof of identity.

While this anonymity can be a blessing for some, many use it as a mask to hide.

Without any consequences for what they say, many cross the line.

Many have heard of recent cases such as Amanda Todd a girl who was bullied online after naked pictures of her were leaked on the internet.

Even after she killed herself many used the anonymity of the internet to attack her, even posting hate speech on a Facebook memorial page.

While it may be easy to view anonymity as a negative thing, it does have value.

The use of aliases and anonymity has had a long history and has led to positive change when used in a constructive way.

When the constitution was being written some of the founders tried to rally support with the Federalist Papers.

At the time many states were wary of establishing a powerful federal government since they had just separated from England.

In response some of the founders, such as Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, wrote the Federalist Papers under an alias to convince the people to support the ratification.

In the 70s the Watergate scandal was exposed by a source in President Nixon’s administration known as “Deep Throat.”

Deep Throat’s actions led to investigations of Nixon’s presidency and ultimately caused him to resign from office.

Our country even has laws in place to protect sources, known as whistleblowers, who speak out against businesses or agencies.

Whistleblowers have exposed companies who were breaking the law or discriminating against its employees.

The anonymous nature of the internet should not be taken away, but we need to practice restraint in how we use it.

It is a personal responsibility that should not be taken lightly.

While you may be staring a flashing screen you are still connected to the world, just through a different medium.

We have to remember that the internet does not exist in a bubble, and that it can have consequences in the real world.