I get - I really, really, really, really get - the folks who don't so much like the people with, like, IAmBigLiarHahaha! names commenting on their forreal work with their real, fancy names on them. I was, I promise, on the real-name side of this divide. I would get tons and tons of "you are dumb slut!" comments, or the more insidious "you would be great if you weren't a dumb slut" comments when I wrote for Magazine. And I couldn't even sic my boyfriend on these people bc they were fake!
No, but it was really unpleasant, actually - the criticism felt so much like having some anonymous gross guy whip it out and start wanking away on the subway, which, another post. But anyway. My editors advised that I grow a thicker skin, and I did, to a degree - I'd certainly recommend that strategy to anyone who is going to spend time around the 'tubes, just for sanity purposes.
But when we move away from a discussion of the pure expedience factor of various skin-thicknesses, can I say that I think a lot of the interestingishness of my writing at the time required that vulnerability? That unfounded assumption that people would take my words in good faith? Not that they wouldn't question or disagree, but that they weren't masked and hiding behind the computer screen ready to shame the first person who gave them an in. My writing's different now, and maybe I needed to learn how to deal with random shamers, but I'm just saying - something is there that wasn't before the shamers, and something that was there before the shamers (and that contributed to whatever discussion it was that i was having) is lost.
That said, oh my god, anonymous forevs. I don't think Staid Profession has reconciled itself to the new, public dimension of young workers' lives,* and while I think that will eventually happen, I am just not ready to be on that vanguard. I've given already.
*This is why the "you still build a reputation with pseudonymous comments" is a bit nerfy to me. The possibility of correlating a real life with food and dogs and monies to an internet presence is like, a non-negligible difference between pseudonymity and normal-nymity. I don't know, I don't belong to any non-three-dimensional communites, and so my analysis of them is likely to be not superinsightful. But there is begins to be, for what it's worth.