Whoever said that the internet isn't safe has obviously never used it properly. Where else can you can express things as freely, say things as boldly, or craft opinions of yourself so stealthily? There's no other place where stalking has become, well, totally legal. Nope, this can only happen on the internet.
How else can you follow up on the lives of people you barely know and don't really like, without them ever catching on? You can't just go to someone's house unannounced, pull out all their photo albums, leaf through each one and make remarks aloud with abandon. They would probably think it was rather odd. And depending on how well you know the person, they might even be offended (and why should they be offended? they chose to wear that ghastly outfit and date that total loser!)
And where else would you post questionable photos of yourself, if the internet didn't exist? It's not like you could hang them up in your living room, where your guests could make comments; where you would actually have to answer for your lewdness in person.
If we had no facebook, no blogs, no myspace and no twitter, we would not be able to live our lives through other people - imagine that! - and we certainly wouldn't be able to judge others quite as often, or quite as secretly.
And what kind of outlet would we have for quoting song lyrics at random, pointing out the mundane things of life because we think we're funny, or expressing thoughts that should probably stay inside our heads? What would we do if we had to stop advertising our marital problems, intimate personal details, and got-so-drunk-i-can't-quite-remember-it Friday nights? We would have no outlet at all. It's a sad truth; a sad truth we don't have to deal with, thanks to the anonymity that comes with online living.
We couldn't write out the words we would never say in person. We would never be this bold in living color; we need the internet. We need our suffocatingly comfortable cess-pools of unaccountability.
There is so much safety in anonymity, isn't
there? Before the virtual world we had to try so very hard to hide behind the façade that we were proper and polite. We had to actually walk (in public!) to the store to pick up our devil-pleasing fetish; the risks were great - what if someone caught us? But ah, now, we have the sweet priviledge of hiding our unholy habits behind the front doors of our houses: in the mailbox at the end of the drive, stashed quietly in a kitchen cupboard, or on a screen in a room where we live.
We are safe here. Safe to say whatever we want; regardless of how rude, crude, or brazen it is. Or better yet, we can say only sweet, even-tempered things. We can hide the very worst of our reactions with ease; we are no longer required to react in the face of the person we are dealing with. We are safe to learn the intimate details of the lives of people we don't really care about, and we are able to spend our lives chasing meaningless information. Best of all, we are safe to show only the parts of ourselves that we want people to see; we can become the type of person we want to or wish we could become, without ever having to become that person.
Nope, the internet is the new anonymous. And anonymous is the new black.