The person who receives an anonymous letter is forced to have a passive role, deprived of any chance to get further in the communication.
Nevertheless I realize that anonymous letters, in this old fashioned style, belong in a certain way to the past, when still people used to send real letter. Nowadays the principle is the same, but the form has changed and has been amplified and enlarged by the caution which, in a motivated way, most of people adopt for their communication on the web.
One of the paradoxes of Internet is that huge quantity of social contacts is kept among people who actually don’t know each other’s identity.
If you are casually here, now reading my erratic thoughts, you might have a more or less precise idea about me. It’s my website and I post openly my name and my personal email address.
But there is nothing which can give you the absolute certitude that I’m what I affirm to be, even though in a superficial and not too personal way. I might be a Dutch butcher who pretends to be a middle aged female Swiss photographer…who knows?
In all cases , if you feel like reacting to some statement which is posted here, it doesn’t matter if by a female Swiss photographer or a Dutch butcher, you have the possibility to do it, since I give some elements which allow people to contact me personally and usually I answer.
The matter is different if someone leaves comments or make any kind of criticism to what I display in my websites or my photo galleries in a totally anonymous way, hidden behind that banal common label “guest” which identifies in all forums of website those people who express their opinions without accepting to get any reply.
I suppose that it’s very common on social networks, but I have nothing to do with social networks, which I happily avoid in all their possible kinds and forms.
Personally I have not been affected by anonymous remarks very often. I post my photos on a couple of photographic sites and this is all or nearly all as for my presence on Internet, beside this sporadic display of casual thoughts here in this half-hidden personal journal. The very few times I have received remarks from people who considered better to stay hidden like scared little mice under the shelter of totally anonymity in order to not allow me to answer, in case I had felt like doing that, I have found their statement quite stupid, so honestly I have not had for a single second the intention to answer, event thought they had given me a chance to.
In many cases I found the whole matter half hilarious (for me) and half sad (for them). There are so many more important things in life!
Today an anonymous person left a comment to one of my photographic galleries posted on PBase. This person took the time to log out from his/her PBase account to be sure his/her comment could not be related with it and then wrote to me a totally stupid question, to which I cannot reply, even though I had decided to, because, obviously I don’t know how to address my reply.
This little fact without any importance made me think over in a more general way. This person was not directly offensive or rude in his/her words. He/she asked me how I could get have my galleries in the popular page of PBase since I received only few votes. It was a very naïve and silly questions and I would have answered kindly, explaining to the mysterious writer, obviously so concerned by the ephemeral “glory” to have a series of amateur photos a little more visible for a week, that it’s impossible to know who really voted for a gallery on PBase and it’s not necessary to receive hundreds of votes of preferences to appear for a few days among the favourites of the week.
Well, after all, I don’t think I’d have answered. What for? An adult person, who remains stuck to such useless little matters and has not the honesty to take the responsibility for his/her thoughts, doesn’t deserve any attention. Generally speaking it’s a bit melancholy.
Oscar Wilde said:
“Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.”
It’s melancholy that some people need to hide themselves behind a mask to express their opinion, melancholy and mean.