False person

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Recognition: Not As Ideal As You Think

Luke Young


Managing Editor


What does recognition mean to you? Maybe you think of it as unexpectedly spotting a friend in a crowd and waving them over. You could also picture yourself receiving an award you worked tirelessly for in front of a crowd of your peers. In many cases, being recognized can be beneficial as it may lead to resume items or a friend brightening your day. Though these cases are thought to be more common, many others have the potential to decrease your reputation.

Though being seen as a person worthy of recognition may seem like a goal we should strive for, some of the most recognizable people in history are not remembered fondly. A few individuals of note include Jack the Ripper, Vlad the Impaler, and Margaret Thatcher. These names aren’t remembered fondly but rather are looked on in infamy. Because recognition isn’t all sunshine and roses, many people want protection when sharing things that may get them in trouble socially.

A way of avoiding online recognition to escape the societal consequences of our actions is to utilize the tool of anonymity. People enjoy expressing their opinions from a place of safety, using their online anonymity as an alter-ego to have their beliefs criticized by others objectively instead of suffering personal consequences. For example, if someone anonymously posts a statement online saying, “Taylor Swift is a bad artist, and all of her dresses are tacky,” they will likely escape criticism of their own outfit choices and could engage in a debate about the potential tackiness of Swift’s clothing.

In an effort to remain anonymous, the possibility of your identity being discovered is not out of the question. Anonymous accounts have been doxxed, researched, and traced back to their owners on many occasions. More commonly, during job searches many employers look into the interviewee’s online presence to find ‘dirt’ that may disqualify them from the job. Posts you made sharing opinions years ago could prevent you from getting your dream job today.

Do I believe that people who ‘fuck around’ should not ‘find out?’ Not necessarily. Those who post criticism towards a community should expect retribution from said community. As Sir Isaac Newton says in his third law of energy, “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.” Posting criticism of a niche interest will likely not generate much backlash, but the higher up the ladder you go, the more backlash you may face. 

Remember, making anonymous statements may allow you to stave off current retribution, but the consequences of your actions could catch up with you someday. My advice is to think before you post, and if you’re too embarrassed to post something on main, maybe reconsider posting it at all. Stay safe, friends and remember to practice kindness.