The Hobbit, Road Rage, and Anonymity

Zhuo, Julie. “Where Anonymity Breeds Contempt.” The New York Times. 29 Nov. 2010. Online. 10 Oct. 2013. <http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/30/opinion/30zhuo.html>

I never really thought about The Hobbit as an example for my thesis, but it could actually work. Zhuo brings up a good point in that when people are anonymous, they are much more likely to do things they wouldn’t normally do. In the case of Bilbo Baggins, he finds a magic ring that turns him invisible and ends up turning into a full-blown thief because of it. Road rage is also a great example of how anonymity can totally change a person. When you are behind the wheel, other people don’t know who you are. You can yell, scream, insult, and maybe even attack other drivers at will. The best part is that you will never see that person, so why worry about what they think of you? The same can be said about trolls on the internet. They don’t care about who they insult because they know they will never have to face that person in real life. One horrible case of this had to do with the death of 18 year old Nikki Catsouras. Pictures of her dead, mutilated body were posted all over the internet as a joke. The really horrible part is that people left anonymous comments, making fun of her. I even looked up the pictures myself to see what the fuss was about and almost threw up in disgust at what I found (do not look up those photos). Zhuo left some great research quotes behind that I am definitely going to look up in the future as reference for my paper.

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