On the internet, people tend to say things they likely would not in the real world. The anonymity of a forum or comment section--composed only of verbal contributions beneath made up names--compels us to socialize with less inhibition; we take more risks with the peers we can't see in the flesh.
Unfortunately, that most often ends in ugliness. People use anonymity to bully, hurl slurs or insults, and troll with little repercussions.
But there are shining moments when anonymity gives people the slight boost of confidence needed to make good things happen. People, covered by the internet cloak, might be more forward about lavishing praise--or asking for it.
And the result is an exchange of positive, communal interactions. Evidently, it sometimes takes letting the guard down for connection to feel more within reach.
One recent Reddit thread offered a prime example of anonymity used for good.
starspixie asked, "What's a small achievement you would like a pat on the back for?"
A few Redditors couldn't help but feel very proud of themselves for their deft handling of all that came with adulthood. The needs and navigations of daily life--often touted as either boring or merely a sign that one is getting older--can feel like a feather in the cap.
These folks had no shame in winning mundane life.
"Maybe not small. But my job is sort of essential. I support software that is used by many hospitals and medical facilities."
"I've pretty much worked every day and made sure our sh** didn't blow up whole covid wrecked shop. I get no mention. I get no praise but damnit I'm happy to keep helping fight the fight."
Making All the Right Moves
"Trimming 7 years (so far!) off our mortgage through minor payment tweaks and tax return lump sum payments."
"It takes planning and discipline, but means we'll both be able to retire without house-debt. Planning to surprise SO with this next year once I get it down a little further."
"I finally got the courage to apply to, interview for, and accept another job, and quit the job I've had for a decade." -- whatisgoinghappen
"Good job. I change as well last September. After 14 years it was stressful. Especially with a wife, a mortgage and a kid depending on my income." -- Angio343
33.83 Years of Training
"I successfully plunged a toilet today! For the first time in my 33.83 years of existence! I'm just relieved I don't have to call the guest house manager."
"That'll teach me not to flush toilet paper in India smh."
Some people took a more pragmatic approach when reflecting on their recent achievements.
They thought of their health, and what strides they've made in taking care of the one and only body we each get.
Keep It Going, Keep It Going
"Running 45 minutes to one hour most days for the last four weeks." -- InbhirNis
"That's brilliant!! Geesh if you can keep that up, even if it becomes just a few times a week you are adding YEARS to you lifespan, as well as LIFE!" -- BlueLunarStar
"I been biting my nails all of my life and have finally stopped. I always feel a little silly to show my friends and be like, look, I have nails!" -- mobiuthuselah
"Hey that's awesome! I've been biting my nails for like 20 years, it is a HARD habit to break. 👏👏" -- takethehiddenpaths
Others took a moment to share that success at things that ought not be taken for granted. Often, a lifelong struggle with mental health was a major factor in the difficulties up until now.
But every dog has their day, hopefully plenty of more days to come.
1, 2, 3
"I did three loads of laundry today. Folded and put away too!" -- rockbiter81
"Is..is that humanly possible? I mean put away and everything?" -- AtheneSchmidt
"Several years ago, when I was majorly depressed, laundry was the hardest thing to do. It felt never ending. To this day, keeping on top of laundry is like saying 'I'm doing ok' for me."
"Doing three loads, folding AND putting away is amazing from my perspective! Congrats! Good job!!" -- Smartass_Narrator
Step One, Check
"I've been making a point to try and shower every day."
"It doesn't seem like much, but when I'm going through a rough bout of depression - it's the biggest accomplishment I can muster and I'm very proud of myself and my current level of stinky-ness"
"(current stink level: not stinky!! Yay)"
"Drug addict for the last 10 years, tomorrow marks 2 months clean. May not sound like a long time but it's longest I've gone ever" -- yo_Slick
"Been an alcoholic for 9 years. 2 weeks sober tomorrow" -- IscreamwhenIsh**
Here's to You Making It
"today is my 26th birthday and I'm still around for it" -- b4byd0t
"I've been depressed for decades. I just turned 49 four days ago and I never thought I'd get here. It's been rough for most of those years, but I'm still here and I think of all the people I've helped that wouldn't have happened and it gives me a purpose. Do the same."
"Think about anything you've done, even if it's just giving directions to a stranger. You helped that person get to where they needed to be. If you weren't there, they might still be lost now." -- eddyathome
It's a thread that reminds us we're never far away from deserving praise. Sure, we may not all be out here reinventing the wheel or saving the world ever day.
But life can be toilsome, and it's nice to know there's a corner of the internet sitting in your corner.
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