Anonymity vs Plain old Decorum

It worries me, and the fact that it worries me worries me!

I am generally a very optimistic person. I like to focus on moving forward and finding solutions or alternatives rather than dwelling in the problem or “worrying”. I am also frustrated by scare mongering and blatant propaganda to incite mistrust and panic.

BUT….it worries me that we respond to a problem with solutions that treat the symptoms and not the cause.

What I am talking about is the uprising of anonymity and invisibility. Watch the clip below from Mark Cuban (businessman, investor and as I know him, owner of the Dallas Mavericks NBA team).

There are several things that concern me about this clip, and whilst most of the comments and endorsements on his message express horror and concern that the minority report or worse is “happening”, I am more concerned that our solutions lie in deleting our histories, for them never to have existed.

Don’t get me wrong, I am an absolute advocate for privacy.  I talk to students on a daily basis about protective behaviours, yet I also talk about being positive online and treating each other with respect.

In a short time I have seen the rise of anonymous messaging and posting by students on platforms like and the trust placed in “self-deleting” apps such as SnapChat.

At the core of it, these spaces only magnify a problem that is reflected and facilitated by these applications. When I walk down the street and someone “greets” another by sticking up their middle finger and the reply is something to the likes of “how are ya c…” it makes me wonder if the way we treat each other and expect to be treated is eroding in our community.

Maybe, I am just old fashioned?

Instead of a rise in anonymous messaging and self deleting applications, I would like to see us promote and foster plain straight forward decorum. Do we talk to our children or our students about “trolling“, do we talk about “haters” or even for that matter “doxxing“?

We all make mistakes, now these mistakes are often online. Shouldn’t we be teaching our children more about forgiveness, more about kindness, respect, human courtesy?

Couldn’t we teach our kids to disagree, without putting others down, without making it personal, without losing our cool?

I would rather see the rise of more @westhighbros than more of “this message will self destruct”.

What do you think?

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