Anonymity

Sara Leo

READ : Psalm 101

Whoever slanders his neighbor secretly I will destroy. (v. 5)

If I ever want to feel really bad about the moral state of our culture, I need look no
further than the comment columns of any major news, information, or entertainment website.
Protected by generic usernames, average people type things they would never dream of
saying out loud or to a person’s face (at least I hope not). Much of modern technology has
a way of making us feel invisible and anonymous. Unfortunately, too many people take
advantage of that to insult, mock, scorn, and slander in secret. We certainly can’t blame
this on technology. People who utter racist, intolerant, or threatening epithets online
have problems that won’t be fixed if the Internet were suddenly to disappear. However, I
can’t help but wonder what could change if everyone suddenly had to take credit for and
own up to everything they have posted on the web.

The Psalm for today is entitled “I will walk with integrity.” Integrity is how we act when no one is watching. What we do in secret reveals our true character. And based on what I see every day on the Internet, many of us have major character flaws. But as long as those flaws remain protected by anonymity we can never work to repair them. We must not hide behind electronic aliases or anonymous letters. We must own up to what we say and think and do. Only then can we try to be better.

PRAYER

God of all truth, may we speak boldly, but with integrity.