Just what is the true measure of how good you are as a person?
Is it how often you go to church?
The number of good deeds you do?
Whether you decide to tell your boss about that piece of broccoli stuck in their teeth or just silently chuckle to yourself? (Which, let's be honest, we're all hoping it's not that one...but if it is, I'll see you and 87 percent of the rest of the world population in hell).
Or is there a new standard of measurement in today's Internet obsessed world? With a new slew of Web sites out there that allow people to post comments anonymously (including this Web site) and a bunch of Web sites having been created specifically for that purpose (such as JuicyCampus.com and GossipReport.com), maybe a new measure of what kind of person you are is whether or not you can resist the temptation to say whatever you want about anything you want with absolutely no repercussions.
If you've ever gone to any site that allows anonymous comments, chances are you've seen some of the worst human behavior, at least in terms of typing, we are capable of.
Just what is it about being able to remain anonymous that turns some people into a cliche straight out of the movie "Mean Girls?" (not that I've ever seen that movie...or secretly hate myself because I just can't seem to stop watching Lindsay Lohan movies no matter how bad they are).
I mean, some people are capable of saying some really nasty things about each other when they don't have to sign their name to it. But while it's no surprise that a small sect of the population is abusing this power, the real question is whether or not this anonymity and the Web sites that encourage posting gossip and nasty rumors is harmful.
A recent slew of articles have come out in several publications about this issue, including a USA Today article about an investigation into JuicyCampus.com, a New York Times article about network bullying and a Heraldnet.com article about troubles arising in schools due to students anonymously posting gossip.
All in all, I think the majority of people realize that anonymous online postings shouldn't be taken at face value and aren't a fact. And I'd also say that a majority of anonymous posters are leaving comments not to be malicious, but to simply voice their opinion.
Let's just all hope that those who are abusing this power don't ruin it for the rest of us.
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