I had a guilty pleasure every day, a mild addiction you might say. Well, it wasn't so much a guilty pleasure but a little diversion I took with my morning coffee: I was a regular commenter in the Ask Amy forum on the Tribune.
Let's be frank, Amy Dickinson does not always give the best advice and she needed my input on topics such as emotional affairs, thank you cards, airline seat reclining etiquette, neighborly manners and the proper gifts to bestow at varying occasions. As a matter of fact, she needed all of us, we had a group. We were old and young, gay and straight, liberal and conservative, male and female, lovers and haters of all types. And we all put in our two cents. Sometimes things got chippy, but overall we enjoyed ourselves. Hell, I even enjoyed the regular trolls. They made me laugh.
This morning, I logged on to discover the Trib is solely hosting comments through facebook and I have to say, I am a bit bummed. This means I will no longer be participating in the forum. While I understand a true identity keeps some people from publicly spouting off racist/sexist/rabid/sociopath creep-style, it also exposes your personal information to racist/sexist/rabid/sociopath creeps.
Using your real name prevents another type of honesty: sharing stories. Since no one knew who I was, I could tell them about experiences I've had, anecdotes involving friends and family, and personal gripes without everyone being able to deduce exactly whom I was talking about. I could vent a little without repercussion or embarrassment to those I was venting about. And facebook takes it to a whole new level, as everyone in my friends group would be able to see my comments in that ridiculous activity ticker on their sidebar.
I enjoyed my silly handle and my stargate avatar. I enjoyed having a little space to be honest and dole out the advice people need to hear. I don't want to find something more productive to do during coffee break. I don't get a water cooler time as a stay at home mom. I want to shoot the shit for fifteen minutes, in a more mellow environment than Reddit or the CNN forums.
Oh well, change is inevitable. Do any of you need some advice? I'd be happy to sort you out in the time it takes to finish a cup. And I'll honor your anonymity, unlike the growing culture of in-your-facebook.