Hey everybody, if you are going to take your pants off online and you think that pseudonyms offer you anonymity when placing your pecker out there for all the world to see, think again. Tom, alias "Tomcowan," made that fatal assumption when submitting comments to the Daily Mail's website regarding Kelly Brook's lingerie layout. The reaction -- including from his own wife -- stands as a very public reminder of how powerful the "pen" can actually be when castrating a man well beyond his vital parts. In this case, ol' Tom is probably headed for a divorce or, at the very least, a long-term stint on the couch.
Truth be told, though, there are countless men and women who shed their clothes every day when responding to articles and blogs shared online. And it seems that our comfort level with regards to how naked we all get with each other online of late resembles that of bygone orgies. We let it all "hang out" and in doing so, like Tom, we begin to share too much of ourselves so convinced are we that the aliases we hide behind mask us from the responsibility, intention, and harmfulness (in some cases) of our own words.
Unlike news and print of old, where information and opinion move in one controlled direction at all times as per a chosen few, today everyone has a voice and the direction both thoughts and journalistic dialogue move, likens itself to the immediate aftermath of a bomb exploding. There is no guarantee of where things will land, who will actually get hit, or what the ultimate fallout might be when the smoke finally clears. We've all become experts, authors, and newsmakers per se. Unfortunately, some of us really aren't cut out for these positions, if for no other reason than sheer naivety as to how influential one viral seed sown in the right soil can be.
Certainly, I believe in freedom of speech but I think we all must be reminded that such a liberty arrives with an implied morality each of us should truly consider prior to placing our fingertips on the keyboard and shooting from the hip. I am certain Tom's wife would have appreciated if he had executed a little "morality" in the form of privacy as Tom wrestled with his own sexual urges and the many other issues he is obviously contending with, compelling such a thoughtless and crass response.
Just as they advocate "protected sex" at all times but especially to those new to realm, so might we extend that same cautionary measure to the comments we post online and whatever else we are writing that might very well be read by countless others. Even if what we say can't be traced back to us as individuals, that doesn't hold us any less responsible for the impact of our words.
After all, when you strip everything else away, "true character" doesn't change whether the lights in the room are off or on. Maybe it is time we get back to remembering that prior to hitting that "Enter" key and possibly landing on the couch for doing so. Something to think about for the rest of us!
Meanwhile...Tom...if you are out there...leave a comment!