If you can’t sign your name, don’t say it

Nothing disturbs me quite like the vitriol spewed by the faceless armies of the Internet. Spend 30 seconds on Twitter or read the comments on any online article, and there they are. Noxious flamethrowers of opinion and anger.

But the hate isn’t what bothers me. It’s the lack of ownership. Oh, you dislike Hillary Clinton because she’s being financed by a secret cabal? Oh course, how else could a woman come so far in American politics. And you’re avatar of a cartoon bald eagle holding a gun really substantiates the clarity of your logic. I’m glad that you’ve named yourself “freedomlover99” so I have no cause to doubt your allegiances.

Why can’t you sign your name? Seriously. If you have any hope of starting a conversation, of changing a mind, you have to interact as a human being. If you came across someone hiding behind a paper screen and modulating their voice to conceal their identity, you’re not going to take that person’s advice on much of anything. Something is obviously up.

Of course, we know why people don’t sign their name to their opinions online. It’s because they’re scared someone will see them being an asshole and hold them to it. They’re afraid they’ll have to answer for racism, sexism or just general dumbassery. They’re afraid that they're wrong.

Don’t be afraid to be wrong. Own your opinions. Think them through very carefully, discuss them in calm reasoned tones and be prepared for them to change. Then espouse them with conviction, online and off. Tell everyone that will listen what you believe and why. But be prepared to sign your name.

Professional Amateur & Avid Question Asker

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