The Evolution of Anonymity: Fearing Judgement

I’ve been using social media for the past nine years, but media in general has consumed a large part of my life. I can still remember getting excited over a range of programs from London’s six o’clock news with my grandparents to silly reality shows such as Flavor of Love and The Surreal Life with Vanilla Ice. You could say I’m oddly cultured.

Growing up, I was always self-made. I taught myself how to interact with devices, research information, and ultimately use different software and knowledge for my own gain - it’s proved successful.

No matter where I go, you can usually find me attached to the third arm commonly known as my iPad.

Being a millennial, I am consumed with these media devices and different platforms that connect me to those I care most about; everyone else gets blocked - a wonderful feature.
What with the new year kicking in, most people make resolutions to decrease obnoxious habits. Is it possible for us to disengage with our devices in a world so connected? Everything from my appointments to emails are organized on my phone and tablet. This is not a matter of a world disconnected from physical sociality, but a world more organized. A resolution so ludicrous as such is certainly one I will not be making - my Instagram depends on it!

Just like Instagram, I’m an avid user of Twitter - yet my Facebook practices continually decrease with time. I share moments that mean something of substance, usually accompanied with a photo. A handful of other people feel the need to use Facebook as an outlet to source their outspoken and outlandish opinions. As for my mother’s advice:

“Never discuss politics and religion. It will get you nowhere but trouble.”

Ironic, right? But this isn’t social media - I am the media. Her words are especially true in the case of pundits harbouring useless statements and thrashing unnecessary vulgarity on comment sections throughout the web. Has the internet garnered an evolving generation of anonymity? I hate the word; own your speech.

Many websites have, however, made the switch to include social media profiles in their comment sections. While this has certainly added to the accountability factor, many still find it easier to state their opinions behind an online void. The same goes for online courses. Why is it that some are better at sounding off behind a screen as opposed to actually having their voice heard?

Has our fear of being judged suffocated our vocal chords to no avail?

There is nothing I love more than hearing the tune of my voice, just ask anyone. It should be no shock that the influx of social media users has contributed to a more bodily conscious society. Everything from lips to location serves a potential for ‘likes’ or judgement from other users, despite their “friended” quality. So why should the way we look impact our voices? As someone who once weighed over 220lbs, I found the confidence to speak out more because I was comfortable in my own skin. I knew that both my weight and sexuality would be a scapegoat for people to silence my opinion, serving as yet another reason to speak out for what’s right. 

There is a time and place for everything, and for social media, time is a constant; the world never sits still.

I know of many people who claim to hold their passionate ground but are quick to displace when confronted in person. However, when provided an online or technological output to voice their rebuttal, the cowardice continues to flow. Once more, in the words of my mother: “You can’t fix stupid.”


Director: Fifth Year Undergraduate, I/S: History & English

When he’s not frolicking around Toronto or trying to take over the world, you can usually find him swapping paint colors for his condo or picking out new outfits and man purses for his future Pomeranian, Efron.

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