Anonymity promises a certain security with it. It breeds a certain complacency (n. self-satisfaction coupled with unawareness of danger or controversy) that comes out if (and ONLY IF) life is kept discreet in the dark, kept from the scrutinizing eyes of the public. People write lyrics and poems anonymously because they can use their anonymity as a protective shield. Without fear of being exposed, they can be themselves, no pretense, no hypocrisy to satisfy public demand.
But anonymity also condemns people into a perpetual status quo. It limits your world to a narrow alley. Encounters–both benign and malignant–expand and stretch the boundaries of your sphere. To maintain anonymity everything has to be directed inward. You have to draw a demarcation line between I and non-I. Complacency grows into resignation, and soon the soul is in shackles, imprisoned by its own I. Its freedom is taken by the very thing that protects it: anonymity.
Where is the limit of public and private?
Sometimes I wish Indonesians don’t read too much into what people say or don’t say. I seem to have to always be en garde–and it’s tiring. Some ppl hear “ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ” when I only said “ABC”. They cultivate it almost like art. THEN it’ll spread like fire in the summer. They will make excellent spies–masters of subterfuge and espionage.
I learned to shut my mouth here.
But then people will say, “She’s a bit of an antisocial, that girl. And I hear that… blablablabla… How could…. blablabla… She’s so unlike… blablabla….” It’s endless.
Sometimes I have to be what I’m not. False? Yes. Necessary? Yes–not for me, but for those dear to me.
Anonymity, or a thousand masks?
Honesty is an almost extinct virtue.