Jay Cronley: What's in an Internet responder's name? Lots
BY JAY CRONLEY World Staff Columnist
Friday, April 27, 2012
4/27/12 at 2:56 AM
All is not always as it seems on the Internet.
When it comes time to respond to an article or an event, there is a sense of power that comes with being able to speak your mind, or even what's left of it, with the stamp of anonymity.
The rush to proceed in a disguised fashion in such a popular social setting probably happens so a person won't get fired, or captured with a net. Along with a freedom of speech usually comes the freedom of a boss to terminate the employment of somebody sounding like a crackpot.
To go with a new name, the typical Internet responder also gets to go incognito from a physical standpoint, with a photo or illustration drawn from the psyche of the one with something to say.
Here's what could be on the other side of the Internet sleights of hand.
Fantasy versus reality: A picture of a pretty woman: This one figures to be a full-out fantasy in most cases. If you were as attractive as the picture, you wouldn't need to belabor the point.
Here's another thought about all the photos of gorgeous female Internet responders. They don't have to be women.
Handsome guys, usually movie star pictures: bookish.
Funny names and pictures of things like cartoons or super heroes: Anybody using any type of humor is probably worth reading. It's hard to be too hateful with a funny streak.
Pet pictures: Animal photo people are usually more thoughtful and kinder than most. Some could stand to get out a little more.
Idiots: Pictures of lunatics and appropriate nicknames seem similar to the pretty picture fantasy. There's probably something behind it.
Grandma goes online: Real names: Must-read responses. Far and away the most considered, it's that or risk embarrassment.
Age-related nicknames: Must be the real thing; who wants to pretend to be a great-great grandparent?
Sports team or sports-related nicknames: It probably depends.
Respectful nicknames are often measured and insightful. Sports fan responders nicknaming themselves in the most emotional sense probably never attended the school that has become the focal point of their beings.
Here's something to temper the cruelest of the responses: Truly hateful people usually have personal angles. Obviously they'd rather be the ones they hate.
Original Print Headline: What's in an Internet responder's name? Lots