I’d like to have some honest face to face discussions. Ones where I can be comfortable to say what I really feel, and so can the person I am speaking with. I’ve discovered that no matter how comfortable two people are, there is always at least a small amount of tension holding back raw discussion.
Except online. It seems that people tend to be a lot more willing to be honest when the conversation uses an inherently anonymous medium. And this makes sense. Unfortunately, online we are constantly under threat from trolls. But what if there was a way to embrace anonymity, and yet avoid people who just want to make trouble?
I’m guessing that in most cases, reasonable people would be comfortable with the anonymity provided by a random meeting, even if it was face to face, but that a troll would stay away.
As a consequence, for a while I have been considering the idea of creating a personal ad on Craigslist or Kijiji. Now, I am not talking about the kind of personal ad where I list a bunch of fake qualities that everyone expects to find in a partner, but nobody actually has. And in fact, I’m not even looking for a partner of any sort at all. Instead, the ad I am considering would simply invite people to meet me in a coffee shop some place where we could have a completely anonymous discussion about anything at all. The plan would be to bring together face to face communication with the safety and anonymity of online chat.
Maybe it will work, or maybe I’ll just spend two hours alone in a coffee shop. But I think I’m going to do it. I just need a good location.