Thursday, December 5, 2013

Dear Anonymous

You are not really a blogger if you haven’t come across the Anonymous comments. Like ‘em, hate ‘em or filter ‘em but you cannot really ignore them. My relationship with anonymous commenters is as old as my blog. Initially they always invoked a sense of mystery. Some of them left really sweet and meaningful comments while others provided constructive criticism. Some tried playing hide n seek with comments like “guess who” and “I-Know-you-but-you-don’t-know-me”. 

 Off late anonymous comments received are mostly spam. They have a common format, first few lines will appreciate the post you have written and the next few lines will advertise various stuffs ranging from beauty products to MBA colleges. Over the years depending on the content of the anonymous comments I have either acknowledged or ignored them.

Few days back I received a comment on my post about streetfood of Jammu (see the picture above).  The comment was neither about what I had written in the post nor was it a spam. It just didn’t make any sense writing that down (or rather copy pasting it from Facebook) on my blog post which in no way bared any similarity or connection to it. I tried to brush it off as soon as I read it but it refused to go out of my mind. It stayed at the back of my mind constantly nagging me and taunting me. It felt like it was an encoded message which had to be decoded. I started to feel a restlessness akin to something you feel when you keep failing a stage of candy crush saga over and over that too just by a small margin.

And then suddenly just like that it hit me. There it was a very sexist comment hidden very subtly in a seemingly inconsequential message. What Mr/Ms Anonymous wanted to convey was that just like in the message my blogpost (written by a girl) got a lots of comments. Had it been written by a guy it would have been on the receiving end of ridicule or may be nothing at all. Now call me crazy or overdramatizing but I do have a talent for reading between the lines. I have an uncanny knack for such things and more often than not, they turn out to be true. My intuition and sixth sense were in celebrating mode having cracked this mystery comment. But I was far from any celebrations. Now I am really up for any kind of constructive criticism but Anonymous here seems to be a riddle-talker. Riddles are fine with me but what baffles me is that if you are really that bothered by something that it is forcing you to spend some time and post a comment on someone’s space, at least leave the comment right. Talk what’s really in your mind as it is you are taking support of an anonymous id.

I don’t think anyone who is into blogging chooses topics that will please people. It’s not freelancing or a newspaper article that you need to keep readers preference in mind. I for one chose and write about topics that either interest me or are of some significance in my life. I have never thought that “Oh My God, what will people think if I post this on my blog”. It is my space and I will post anything I want to. Moreover it is your distinct style of writing and the topics you choose on basis of which you will have a reader base. All blogs that I follow have something distinct about them. Each person has a different style of writing and different topics to talk about. I respect that and it is exactly this quality that makes blogging so interesting, diverse and fun.

Now attributing the popularity of my blog to the fact of me being a girl is a very Victorian assumption. I mean c’mon you gotta be really dumb to believe or accept an absurd theory like this. I do agree that being a girl there are some benefits but does not mean that everything comes easy. To explain with an example, while waiting at an autorickshaw stand, the richshaw-wala may give you preference over the guys by stopping in front of you but the ultimate decision of whether he will go to your specified destination or not will be decided by him. Your being a girl will not play any role in the scope of his decision. Similarly your gender may give you a platform but it’s your talent and hardwork which will take you forward. So please erase the assumption that states Girls have it easy.

And finally about this whole anonymous thing. Have you ever wondered why people resort to anonymity while posting stuff online? What drives them to hide their identity on normal webpages and discussion posts? According to a survey 40% of anonymous user fall in the age group of 19-29 years. The menace of anonymous users is so huge that many websites have stopped accepting anonymous comments. I feel it’s fair enough. You have an opinion and you want to talk about it too, so what is stopping you to disclose your identity. Say bad things, call a spade a spade but atleast be a man (or a woman) to come out of the closet and own up to your actions. Even if you are posting as anonymous it is not that difficult to figure out who you are and from where you are active with the help of numerous widgets and softwares available. These tools will definitely give you a clue. Atleast mine did.

I wonder what Mr/Ms Anonymous has to say to that.

P.S Also read me talk about anonymous commenter s here


  1. Completely agree with this post! One anonymous commenter turned into a stalker and started leaving really sleazy comments on my blog and I had to start moderating comments. Best thing is to ignore them.. just a bunch of jobless people.

  2. Smart thinking!! Well written Sneha :)

  3. Reading inbetween the lines is a talent. (I do it while reading the newspaper - a little thought put into it and one can decipher what actually happened)
    As for the Anonymous comments, some use it as there is no other way to comment, but at the end they add their name so the blogger knows who it is. If its an advertisement, I simply delete it. No piggy riding please.
    I have taken off those "verifying characters with digits" I know many are put off by it as its very painful to read those words.

    1. The newspaper stuff is so right! And yea the capcha image and text too is a pain.

  4. I have received a lot of flak and rude emails from anonymous readers. Nasty anonymous comments are made by cowards. While I respect that everyone is entitled to an opinion, the opinions of cowards are best ignored.

  5. awesme post... u cracked it well though. liked the 'uncanny knack' wnder u mst have been previously given reference of the same & so it got stuck with ur head.. it was a bit sexist remark.. shukriya fr taking it seriously.

    isn't it... things dat v pursue srsly are the ones we cn anlyz wth flair/ knack.. just lyk u were wth natural emotions all d way here.. emotions r well xpreesd in ur blog..nt nly dis one but all.. way to go.. I ll lyk to keep the anonymity fr d tym being..if pisd leme knw.

  6. Sneha! I swear..I find them irritating when they post all kinda crap on ma blog and they need to get a life of their own. At some point, got so tired of deleting their comments that I let them be. Though, one person posted some nice comment, hailing my blog as featurish. I would like them to be open for interaction. Like the comment above me is quite funny and irritating. Just ignore them and btw, Ive been bullied by them. Just ignore coz they are plain stupids.

  7. They are interested in an anticipated reaction. Constructive anonymous comments are rare as they don't mind coming in open. You react and it serve their purpose. Still I appreciate the clarity about this in your writeup.