Community & Anonymity

Many of us value community, but then there is anonymity, and that is attractive, too.

One thing I say about Gainesville is that I love the community:
Going places, knowing people, being known.

In a community, people smile at each other on the street. Business owners know customers by name. You share mutual friends with every stranger — so no one is a stranger.

But that can feel suffocating.

Go to a place like Miami and you find a freedom in not being known. In the city, your individuality is magnified. You feel free to be anyone at any moment, and whether it works for you or not, the next moment you are someone else somewhere else.

It can feel liberating.

But anonymity discourages accountability and treating others well. In a city people don’t smile at you on the street. People are wary of you until you prove yourself — and you must.

Community and anonymity. You can love one or hate the other but nothing is black and white.