Thursday, February 08, 2007
To the Anonymous
I remember, not long ago, I was leaving the Ohel - getting a ride back with a group of girls, only one of which I knew.
One of the girls asked me my name.
Upon my response, she said, "Yoooou're Mimi Notik?"
"Ah hah, that's me."
"You're the one that wrote that thing...?"
"Yup, that was me."
"Wow, you're so normal!"
After her explanation, I understood that this Crown Heights girl was not accustomed to writers giving their real name. She had thought that since I gave my real name on my pieces, I must be one of those real whackos. After all, the average person in close-knit Jewish communities like to keep their real identity far away from the web-world's written content. So who is this strange person putting her name on her writing?!
I see from people who comment on my pieces, remaining anonymous is quite the trend. But why is it that everyone thinks that by giving your real name, you're abnormal?
If anything, a person with normalcy understands that written expression, in whatever form, is a serious thing. A person with something to say and stands by it, will give their identity. They hold no insecurities and invite personally directed reactions to what they have yielded.
You will never see something I wrote without my name. Furthermore, if you love or hate what I wrote, I have an e-mail address that invites you to personally praise or complain. A reader should always know from whom the work is from. Then, the communication is healthy. You can understand the context. The bigger picture comes free, and the world is less afraid.
I recently got an e-mail of complaint from a person with a created anonymous e-mail. She actually wanted me to engage in dialogue about a very personal matter. I was baffled. Entering a discourse with a anonymous person didn't strike me as being all too fair. So that's how I responded, and I have yet to hear back from her. Apparently, the fact that I may know her is a little scary for her, because, well, quite frankly, she wasn't so nice. So, remaining anonymous gave her the excuse.
If you have reasons for being anonymous, that's really fine. Really. Spark my curiosity. Comment anonymously! I appreciate all comments, no matter who they are or aren't from. Furthermore, I recognize the desire, comfort, and even the ease in being anonymous.
However, remaining anonymous oftentimes gives people the excuse to say things that they don't have to stand up for, represent, or explain.
So, if you're going to choose the anonymous route, use it responsibly.
How much more unified we would all be if the writing we produce - even small comments - were able to be seen as a part in parcel of our true identity.
Few of us will make our mark on this world while giving in to the non-demands of anonymity..
Fully identified and never incognito,