Thursday, September 13, 2012


Identify Yourself

Nathan Bierma @ Think Christian wonders about the use of psuedonyms on the internet:
Can Christians find better reasons - ethical reasons, not commercial ones - to combat pseudonymity? The answer probably lies in the distinction between silly and shady pseudonymity. By itself, a pseudonym isn't necessarily a problem, a danger or a sin; it's why you took the pseudonym and what you use it for. (After all, many books of the Bible are pseudonymous.) And so, even when using a silly screen name, conscientious Web users could agree to fill out the first and last name boxes that usually accompany screen names on Web-based e-mail or social-media services. That would allow for the silliness without the shadiness.

More importantly, I think conscientious Web users should avoid pseudonymous comments, as the temptation seems stronger to go nuclear on someone when hiding behind a screen name. Even better, of course, commenters could aim to be civil and constructive. The real problem here is human nature in a fallen world, and no pseudonym policy can fully account for that.
You know, it never occurred to me to use one. After all Christ said:
Matt 5:37 - Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one. (NIV)
I can think of very few reasons to want to hide ourselves. There are a few - like if you have a stalker or something similar - but generally if you are a person of godly character, why hide?

Yes, it will route the avalanche of spam to other places - Lord knows it comes to be in buckets. But is that really such a big deal? The important question is what are we hiding from?

Christ also commands us to be the light of the world - so, are you hiding from this responsibility? You can't hide from God, are you hiding from yourself? How's that help us with the whole repentance thing?

If you are going to say and do things on line that you do not want to be traced back to you - maybe you ought just not do them.

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