Lately I began reading a friends new blog. Its their first attempt at blogging and is really interesting to read. The thing I've noticed though, is that when someone comments on their blog, they do not use they're actual name. Instead they use some kind of nickname I guess you could call it. Ex: he wrote a post about getting up early and a commentor put they're name as 'earlyriser'. I think I'm the only person to comment on the blog who used my actual name.
The reason this really bugs me(like, really bugs me) is that there is absolutely no accountability online anymore. You can just make up a name and never have to answer to what you say.
Growing up a principle my parents reinforced over and over again was accountability for you actions. If you did something that you knew was wrong, you had to face the consequences. Not so much anymore thanks to the Internet.
I hear a new story every week about a cyber bullying case. Students who are being bullied via facebook or myspace. Of course we can't always hold these bullies(read:cowards) accountable for their actions because they don't have to use their actual names.
Please don't think that I'm going to be all "The Internet is of the devil! Ban is from you home!" I'm not. I'm a big fan of the Internet, but more than that I'm a fan of accountability and responsibility. I encourage you to not hide behind a 'username', but to hold yourself to a higher standard online. I completely understand the desire to not give out too much personal info online, but that doesn't mean you get to say what you want without facing up to the consequences. Before you say something online ask yourself this: what would my reaction be if someone was saying this to me? Lets lift each other up, not tear one another down.