When I was in the fifth grade I was in love with my math teacher. She was young, vibrant, wore a mini-skirt and sat on top of her desk. I sat on the front row and gazed up at her every day. I was completely head over heels. One day she put a box on her desk and told the class that it was a suggestion box. That we should drop notes in it on how to make her a better teacher, or how to make the class more engaging, or even tell her problems we’re having in her class. She promised to address each and every suggestion. She even said we could make the suggestions anonymously—we didn’t have to sign our names on the suggestions.
I stayed up all night writing my suggestion. I slipped it in the box the next day and waited impatiently for her to find it.
Here’s what my note said:
I love you. I love your mini-skirts. You have pretty legs. You have a pretty face. I love math. Yours truly, Miscellaneous.
She didn’t read the note aloud in class. And it was not until several years later that I realized I had mistakenly written miscellaneous instead of anonymous.
Which brings me to the point of this story. Since I didn’t have to sign my name to my note, it freed me to write something I would not have written otherwise. This isn’t always a bad thing. But sometimes it is.
Sometimes… Anonymity is a cloak for evil.
Think of the KKK. They covered their clothes and their faces. They did not want to be recognized for the evil deeds they committed. Hiding under a sheet was the only way they could lynch and burn. They took great pains to not be recognized.
This also brings me to the idea of reviewers on Amazon. Some are also known as trolls.
Some also have many anonymous names – known as sock puppets.
There are some nasty, nasty reviews out there. And what do most of them have in common? They are done anonymously. They are done hiding behind a fake name. Or in some cases, names. I am not equating a nasty review with the KKK, but the principle is the same. They are doing something they know is wrong and have to hide under a sheet to do it.
The next time you read a nasty review check and see if the commenter had the guts to leave their own name.
I am not advocating for all reviews to be positive or glowing. I am advocating for a modicum of kindness. Is it so hard to be kind? To write what you truly think in a review without being cruel or personal?
You want to see examples of cruelty? Read any comments on any article written about Hillary Clinton or Amy Schumer. Boy, do the nasties come out of the woodwork when a strong woman is mentioned. And, most of them, are written anonymously.
If you can’t sign your name next to something you write, then perhaps you should NOT be writing it?
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