The Internet is a marvelous work and a wonder. Except when it’s not.
On one of the websites where I post my writing, people occasionally chime in, sound off, make comments, and post responses. These people do not identify themselves with their given names. They use online names or aliases such as “Hello Kitty Hat Hair” or “Dolphin Dew Dipper.” They often say complimentary and encouraging things about my writing.
The problem is that I’m never sure if these people are real.
I mean, it would be one thing if somebody with a name . . . oh . . . I don’t know . . . maybe, a name like Ray Bradbury commented on my recent essay about chupachabras by saying, “Nicely shaped paragraphs” or “lovely sentence length” or “good use of the article ‘the.’”
Note: Yes, I know that my writing idol, Ray Bradbury, is dead. But still, how cool would that have been?
Ray Bradbury would be one thing but when Dolphin Dew Dipper sends me a note saying, “You’re funnier than a monkey sitting on a power pole that may or may not be a chupacabra—the monkey, not the pole,” I tend to wonder if Dolphin Dew Dipper isn’t a Ukrainian chick trying to hack my computer in an attempt to get to my sensitive vital statistics.
Or, that Dolphin Dew Dipper isn’t really my husband trying to get to my sensitive undercarriage—also vital statistics.
I want to believe that people saying nice things are real. I do.
But what if Dolphin Dew Dipper is really homeland security, because the word chupacabra is a codeword meaning ‘dirty bomb transport ship arriving from Pissport Nowhere?’ The subtext of which is, “Round her up, boys.”
Or what if Dolphin Dew Dipper is my mortal, sworn enemy come back from my too trusting past to taunt me with manipulative, faux praise designed to soften me up for that Ukrainian hacker chick?
See my problem?
The Internet is a marvelous work and a wonder. Except when it isn’t. Who knows if anyone is who they say they is/are/was/were/am?
But this much I do know. I know who I am, and that I really am who I am when I say that I am that. Even if sometimes I’m less of who I wish I was and more of what I could be, except when I’m not.
Count on it.
Linda (Zippity) Zern