Accountability and Anonymity

First: I have been writing, but I’ve been writing stuff as part of a possible book, so I’ve been holding back on posting it.

As to today’s first real topic: I’ve found that in order to do most things, I need to be held accountable for it. A prime example of this is in writing. This semester I’ve been taking a creative writing class in which we have to write 4 pages of prose or 2 poems or any combination thereof (a poem and 2 pages of prose, for example) every week. I am quite capable of doing this, but when I am on break or once I write enough to fulfill that quota, I stop.

Since I would much rather not not write all Summer, I persuaded a friend from high school to have a writing accountability partnership for Camp NaNoWrimo in July, and I’ll probably get her to extend that to the rest of Summer as well. Basically we’ll send each other what we wrote that day/week, and if we don’t, the other person will text-yell at the slacker.

As for anonymity, my college has a Facebook page that is inspired by the social networking site LikeALittle. In this rendition, students can submit flirts/compliments/kudos through an anonymous Google Form, and the page will later post it to their page. If the person the post is about doesn’t see it right away or doesn’t like the page, friends that see it typically tag them in a comment so they see it, and the usual response is something to the effect of “I don’t bite.”

There was a recent instance of someone talking about someone in their class. However, the class in question was pretty small, and the number of people that would have sent in that LikeALittle was diminished to two with a %92.8 leaning towards one of them due to some other things the LikeALittle said.

I’m mostly curious if the person who submitted the LikeALittle actually expect(s/ed) to stay anonymous or not. It does bring up the question of how much someone can actually say in the LikeALittles and still stay anonymous. Of course, it being a small class is much more of a giveaway than some of the other things (such as saying where you saw the person on campus).

Anyway, I guess a conclusion would be that just being anonymous doesn’t mean people don’t know who you are. Personality and circumstance reveals more about who you are than your name.

Also writing. Keep writing and be accountable.

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2 thoughts on “Accountability and Anonymity”

  1. It is awesome that you are accountability-ing about writing, and that you are possible-book-ing! Regarding anonymity- I was in one stall of a two-stall bathroom recently, and the person in the other stall flushed the toilet. Once I flushed the toilet in my stall, the other person bolted out of the entire bathroom. This could have been for any number of reasons, but it seemed like they didn’t want to be caught not washing their hands. In a case where my impression is accurate, I find it interesting that a person would not mind that I could still judge and tell stories about “some gross, invisible-to-me person” who was their self, but that they did mind it if I had an image of them in their heads when I did, and then that it didn’t matter to them that, even if I’d had an image of them in my head, I wouldn’t have actually known them or anything else about them to attach their bad behavior to. Of course, perhaps they wanted to avoid encountering/interacting at all with another person while not washing their hands. Thus endeth my recent musings on anonymity.

    1. If I were to guess, I would say they didn’t want to be seen, simply based on an experience I had. When I had appendicitis, but didn’t know it yet, I went to the doctor and slowly and painfully walked in. Once the doctor determined that I most definitely did have appendicitis, she offered to get me a wheelchair, and I consented. However, I was embarrassed that, even though I would never see any of them ever again, and even if I did they wouldn’t remember me, people saw me in a wheelchair. My two cents (which is for some reason two cents instead of one or three).

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