by Mike Masnick

On The Internet, Everyone Wants You To Know They're A Dog

from the woof,-woof dept

The famous cartoon from the New Yorker pointed out that "on the internet, no one knows you're a dog," as a way of highlighting the supposed anonymity of the internet. While online anonymity often turns out to be less anonymous than people believe, Michael Kinsley has written up a column at his old stomping ground, Slate, pointing out that it often seems like the hot trend online is the opposite of anonymity. That is, people use the internet for its exhibitionist qualities -- and that trend has only grown stronger over time. He talks about the trend from basic personal websites to social networking to new tools that let you broadcast exactly what you're doing all the time. For many people, the internet seems to be empowering in the fact that it allows them to get rid of the anonymity, in part by assuming that someone, somewhere, actually cares about who you are and what you're doing right this very minute.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    SearcH EngineS WeB, Nov 29th, 2006 @ 12:26am

    'People who Need People are the Luckiest People in


    Prior to The Internet (1970's)

    Most people had to limit themselves to:
    Fan Club letter exchanges

    if none of them satisfied you, you stayed alone.....or just watched Televsion or Listen to the Radio for comfort


    In the 1970s CB radios - and call-in Radio Talk shows allowed people to interact outside their in person group.


    In the 1980s Talk Lines became another outlet for extending your reach outside of an in person network


    In the 1990s there was Web 1.0, it brought about forums, message boards, Web blogs, Emai, Personal Homepagel and Chat


    In the 2000s there is Web 2.0, which offers Web personal Web cams, Video Sharing, Music Sharing, Tagged Web blogs , Social Bookmarking, Online Learning ...(and the decade is not even over!)

    You can now extend your potential reach to the entire globe, then choose people who exactly harmonize with you.

    If you are introspective, there are more personlized, private options -

    if you are extroverted and just want constant 24/7 contact regardless of whether your harmonize or not, there are many more options for you.

    You can judge or be judged by the world if you so choose.

    It will be intesting to see what advanced occur in the 2200s.

    Can anyone predict? :-o

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    kuronoir, Nov 29th, 2006 @ 3:46am

    Re: 'People who Need People are the Luckiest Peopl

    it it go one of three ways... 1) the consolidation of mankind into a peaceful harmonious mass, 2) the destruction of all mankind because of the lack of will to compromise 3) the aliens will come back to tell us about the experiment ;)

    I guess there could be a fourth, people will be like they are now only with more cool stuff.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Protoplasm, Nov 29th, 2006 @ 4:04am

    The internet is the MATRIX, and everyone caught up in it plays their role until they un-jack. Few realize the extent to which they are immersed, and unless they see the disconnect of social networking, and personal development they will continue down the vapid path of idenity dissolution.

    Meanwhile, Agent Smith and his Spam Droogies; The Viral Villains, and the Cyper Snoops, are tirelessly working 'round the clock to find and erradicate us! But that's part of the "game".

    Hold on, I'm jacking back in...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Alex, Nov 29th, 2006 @ 4:44am

    That exact same article was in the guardian yesterday, what's the deal?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    PhysicsGuy, Nov 29th, 2006 @ 5:37am

    the sad part is nobody really cares who you are or what you're doing, what you like, what you dislike, what you favorite movie is, what you had for breakfast this morning...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Faz, Nov 29th, 2006 @ 5:58am


    i am brushing my teeth people.... brush brush.. ok i really need to go back to work

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Michael, Nov 29th, 2006 @ 6:17am

    No, the internet is not the Matrix.

    AOL is the Matrix. People on AOL think they're really on the internet, when they're really protected in a microcosm, buffered from harsh reality.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    joenewbreed, Nov 29th, 2006 @ 6:23am

    sad sad world

    its sad, isn't it? with all its flash and wonder, web2.0 is still just a great big dating service...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    dad, Nov 29th, 2006 @ 7:14am

    safer world?

    According to NBC dateline, there is no anonymity, and they are saving the world from predators. That is good since I have a young daughter. However, I believe that for every fire extinguished, the web plants new seeds and fuels new fires for other would-be pervs and creeps. I am just hapy for something like wikipedia that lets me know stuff like Smuckers has a patent on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. This has surely improved the quality of my life since I did not realize dateline was going to bust into my house while I was making a crustless PBJ sandwhich for my kids and bust me for patent infringement. Yep, these are interesting times in which we live.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Joe, Nov 29th, 2006 @ 8:23am

    Re: 'People who Need People are the Luckiest Peopl

    Realistic robots will replace human interaction and mankind will die as they can please themselves with robots instead of human interaction (sex in futurama)

    Why worry about rejection when you have a robot?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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