Anonymous Email Just Made the Internet Meaner

4

dog emailingAh, the Internet. It's such a vast, strange place, where people can be both completely anonymous and completely stalked. Anonymous in the sense that you can hop on to any message board or comments section as KittenLover1234, bash every person in site, and none the wiser. Stalked in the sense that, well, Google exists.

The line is getting blurred, though. Thanks to the the new service "This is going to be awkward," you can now do the one thing you couldn't anonymously do before -- send email. It's true, I tried it (to myself to see how it worked). All you have to do is go to their website, pick a topic (Warm and Fuzzy Feelings; Job Security; You're the Better Half; I Have So Many Feelings About You; Life's a Bummer), choose a message, and fire away. Kind of hilarious. Kind of cool. Kind of totally going to make us more passive aggressive as a whole.

See, some of the messages are cute on TIGTBA. You can send things like "I think you're breathtaking," or "You'd be awful nice to come home to." Some are spectacularly naughty, like, "Congratulations! You've made a deposit in my spank bank!" And some are ... not so nice, like, "Get it together! People have been fired for less egregious behavior!"

Although the site is meant to be sort of funny and tongue-in-cheek (and it is!), it could get, well, super awkward if you really don't know who sent it to you. Getting a weird email from someone -- then finding out it's a friend -- is one thing. Never knowing? Yikes! That's another.

It's actually kind of throw-back, if you think about it. It harkens back to the pre-Facebook/Google days of anonymous notes on cars and in lockers. But with those types of things, there was always the threat of getting caught. All it took was some comparing of handwriting or one chatty Patty Bergman, and the gig was up. The anonymous email, though? That opens up a whole new can of devious behavior. Thankfully, all the messages are pre-written, though, and none of them are threatening. I'd imagine they'd get in trouble for that.

TIBTBA is hilarious and innovative, no doubt. But is it just going to be another excuse for people to hide behind their computers? Say all the mean and inappropriate they want without having to own up to any of it? I'm kinda thinking yes. I like the nice ones, though. I mean, who wouldn't want to open an email that reads, "You smell like roses and sunshine and little baby kittens. Gosh, I like you!"?

No one.

What do you think of anonymous email?

 

Image via cogdogblog/Flickr

email, internet

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nonmember avatar Silent Sender

I think anonymous email is a perfectly acceptable form of communication and is protected under our freedom of speech rights.

Taralyn Miller

I think this is adorable and I'm going to try it now.

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