Social Networking's Ugly Side

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 11:56 PM

I think I've come to the conclusion that for all of its good, social networking allows a little too much information at times. It lets one see an ugly side of some people that normally wouldn't surface. Twice in the last few months, while looking around Facebook, I've stumbled on some acquaintance I thought highly of only to be shocked and somewhat disturbed by the language and opinions expressed on the person's Facebook profile.

I keep thinking: I'd have been better off without seeing that, thank you very much. I'm not sure why people feel that an alter ego “anonymous internet identity” works when one is using one's real name, but for some reason people do (this has, of course, be reported on in the media). I don't know — I'm quite conscious when I post here, or anywhere else on the internet, that as someone using my real name people I know in the life offline may see what I have to say. Facebook and sites like it, that link many people I know offline with my online presence further this connection even more. However, even if I didn't think people would tie Tim the Blogger with Tim the Person, is it really a good thing to act differently just because you don't think anyone will ever be able to identify you with your offline self?

Don't worry, it isn't anyone who is a regular commenter on asisaid or who is one of my Facebook friends that encouraged this little post. And, the people shall remain nameless who did.


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