I don't know how much this ties in with esoterica, except that a lot of people in this field seem to do this, and it's really getting to me. Okay, here goes:
My pet peeve this week is people who post unpleasant comments about other people, researchers, authors, what have you, on various blogs, and who hide behind nicknames, user names, and avatars that don't reveal themselves.
In all my years on the internet, I have always used my own name. (I think -- it's been a long time.) And when I've commented on someone else's work, I've tried to be respectful when I felt it necessary to explain how I disagreed with their conclusions or their viewpoint. But over the past few years, I've seen a lot of negative comments about a lot of people, not just myself, that are posted in places where the person being discussed won't necessarily see them. To me, this is the same as talking about someone behind their back. And it's worse, to me, when the one making the comments won't even do so under their own, real name.
I understand that many people have good reasons for not wanting to make their identity public in this field. That's fine, I can respect that. But please don't use that as a mask to hide behind, in order to attack people. A great many people use nicknames, user names and avatars to protect their privacy and are very careful to be as respectful to others online as they are in person.
Let me state right here and now that if someone disagrees with me on any point, I'd much prefer to get a polite e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, raising the matter for discussion. I will be happy to respond in a respectful way, and to answer your questions and concerns as best I can. However, I do want to know whom I'm dealing with, so please identify yourself by more than a clever user name.
I've seen some really vicious comments about myself and about other researchers I know.This is not helpful. Disagreements and discussions are great -- I welcome them! But name-calling and personal attacks are not only unhelpful, but immature as well, and do nothing to advance our work in these fields of ufology, paranormal research, etc.
I know I can't please everyone, and I don't try to. I try to live in a way that will allow me to hold my head up each day, and not wince when I look myself in the eye in the mirror. That's the best I can do.
I'm sure others have had this issue come up. I've been talking with several people who have, just this week. How do you, the reader of this blog, handle it? I'm very interested to hear everyone's thoughts on this. Am I being unreasonable, or naive, or childish?
Okay, getting down off my soapbox now. Thanks for listening, everyone!