To be honest, I think our generation relies on anonymity through the web too much. We are the first generation to experience growing up with the internet as an everyday part of our lives. Sure, as a kid we had to disconnect a phone for dial-up speeds that rivaled a sloth’s pace, but now we have built an entire identity through our social media profiles.
Our lives online are generally comfortable. We have so much more control on the web than any other environment. We can control what we want to see and what others see from us. Really, you can create an entire persona of how you want to be perceived through the internet. Which is fantastic, really; it’s a form of self expression and allows us to connect with a myriad of people from all over the world. However, it becomes a problem when we begin to substitute interactions that we would normally have face-to-face.
It only took three days here at Jewell for me to hear about the Missed Connections page, and I can confidentially assume that almost every Jewell is all too familiar with it. Its intentions aren’t to do harm; its aim is quite the contrary. Though it is all in good fun, I can’t help but think about how much more significant some of these feelings would be if they were done by looking another person in the eye rather than hiding behind an anonymous post. The idea of being emotionally exposed to another person may be intimidating, but it may also be one of the most rewarding moments. Call me naïve and optimistic, but I do believe in a certain level of magic behind a conversation. With body language, mannerisms and eye contact, there are countless moments and messages you can never receive through hiding behind a screen.
Between the missed connections and the new app craze, Yik Yak, it is clear that there is plenty on the minds of Jewell students. Whether it be romantic feelings for someone, or problems with a certain class or club, we as a student body have a lot to say. If we want anything to be done with these thoughts and concerns, then we must address them without the shield of anonymity. After all, this is the college experience and I think we could really live if we began to lock our screens more and hide a little less.