Social media has allowed us to reveal nearly everything, but a recent Twitter trend may offer a second chance at anonymity.
The Illhueminati also call themselves “hues” and comprise a collection of anonymous accounts, with each user choosing a different color for his or her avatar and putting “#illhueminati” in the account bio. The hues’ tweets are often poetic or philosophical, and the anonymity allows the account users to put any thoughts out there.
The @Illhueminati account has garnered nearly 10,000 followers and sent around 5,700 tweets, many of them retweeted from other Illhueminati-associated users.
A Twitter account that goes by the name “maskthedemons” summed up one goal of the Illhueminati in a recent tweet: “The illhueminati is about acceptance. Don’t pretend to be part of it if you are still telling people what they can and cannot tweet.”
The hues use the “illhueminati” hashtag as a way to connect with other accounts. “Illhueminati is a word. #Illhueminati is a movement,” an account called “yellowveins” declared recently.
While we often use media to endorse ourselves, the anonymity of the accounts erases social standings. The tweets are more about catharsis; many users with anonymous accounts seem to struggle with everything from drinking to cutting to being open about their sexuality. Twitter offers a safe space where they can detail their fears and struggles and discuss them without making them public.
Some of the tweets are worrisome, especially those dealing with suicidal thoughts. But overall, the Illhueminati seem to gather strength and encouragement from one another, while making an interesting picture of how social media can be used for healing and hope.
It’s difficult to remember a time before social media was so prevalent in our lives. Technology is tempting because it offers an immediate release, a tangible way to put our thoughts out there whether or not anyone is listening.
“I don’t really want an answer,” Meg Ryan tells Tom Hanks over email in the classic romantic comedy You’ve Got Mail. “I just want to send this cosmic question out into the void.”
Today’s social media landscape gives us even more options to send out cosmic questions — and we do.
In a scene from 2010’s The Social Network, Erica Albright offers Mark Zuckerberg a sobering reminder: “The internet isn’t written in pencil, Mark. It’s written in ink.”
Played by Jesse Eisenberg in the Oscar-winning film, Zuckerberg is known as the creator of Facebook and someone who changed the social landscape forever. Things that were once private have become astoundingly — and permanently — public as we grow more comfortable with sharing nearly everything on Facebook and Twitter.
I hope I’m on the more conservative end of the spectrum when it comes to sharing through social media, but even I shudder to think that Facebook holds the rights to so many of my photos and thoughts. Why do we feel the need to share so much of ourselves?
Perhaps the Illhueminati has discovered a new way to use the cathartic power of social media without the privacy invasions we take on so willingly.
I recently opened an anonymous Twitter account as a way to send out my own cosmic questions. I follow and am followed by some of the Illhueminati. Having two accounts has led to some interesting moments when I have to remember which Twitter users I know through my personal account and which ones through my anonymous, but I like having the outlet. I can share poetic, philosophical, or even nonsensical thoughts without having to worry about what my followers will think.
So what is my second Twitter handle?
I’ll never tell. That would defeat the purpose.