Anonymity

Hannah Zahn
4 min readMar 15, 2021

What to do when literally no one is paying attention to you.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be anonymous on the internet. To clarify, I am not talking about the type of anonymity that encourages trolls. That is a separate thing entirely, and I’m sure lots of people much smarter than I have written on the topic so,,, just listen to them.

The rise of the internet and social media has allowed EVERYONE the opportunity to experience what I like to call, “middle child syndrome adjacent.”

Middle child syndrome is the belief that middle children are excluded, ignored, or even outright neglected because of their birth order. According to the lore, some children may have certain personality and relationship characteristics as a result of being the middle child.”

Middle-child syndrome is real and I would know… because I am a middle-child syndrome survivor.

But listen up middle children: the world could not function without us. The piercing industry would collapse! Who would buy the neon green hair dye???Who would go VEGAN????. THINK ABOUT THE ANIMALS!!!!.

But now many of us get to experience middle-child syndrome (regardless of our sibling situation) via the internet. If you’ve ever tried and failed to promote your writing, animating, videos, art, website, stand-up, etc. etc. then you get what I’m talking about. I had more people go to my eighth grade band concert than my last show, which is bonkers because I am so much funnier than I am “good at the trumpet.” (not a huge bar tbh)

Here’s the point where you go…

you: “ohhhh woe is me, woe is me, no one will watch my silly little videos or read my little articles — wait FULL stop are you really going to refer to this as an article?? girl, are you delusional…?”

me: no, i was literally joking this is not an article, I didn’t even capitalize “i.” and now I’m having a conversation with myself.

you: I thought I was you.

me: you are me

you: no, you are me and I am you.

me: omfg you are insufferable.

you: yes I am.

Okay, here’s my advice to you (and by you I mean me, of course…): think about it. Someone sends you something or posts something and is like “watch this thing I made!” “read this thing I wrote!” “come to this thing I’m in!”. And it’s like okay jeeeeez. Desperation aside, you want ME to “DO” “THINGS”??? the fuck?

Well that wasn’t really advice. But I stand by that. You may say, “Hannah, you are aware that this is a typed document… a typed document that you can edit before and even after you post it.” To which I say, sorry I’m currently practicing radical transparency❤❤❤❤❤❤, namaste.

Back to being anonymous…

Anonymity awards us some advantages. For example, if you’re a director and you make “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” you can’t then turn around and direct “Abraham Lincoln Vampire Slayer: 2”, no matter how badly you might want to. But, if you’ve done NOTHING or rather lots of stuff that NO ONE has seen… you can be *fireworks* B A D.

And that is ultimately very freeing. You can use punctuation wrong. You can end your “articles” in the middle of a

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