An agony column is a type of newspaper column which offers advice for personal problems. The author of such a column is often called an agony “aunt” or an agony “uncle”, conjuring up an image of a competent, friendly figure who will offer sound and useful advice, and in some cases the author may actually be a credentialed professional in a field such as medicine or psychology. Agony columns can also be found on Internet sites; in some cases, general site visitors are invited to submit suggestions as well. The concept of an anonymous advice column in a newspaper is relatively old. People have been seeking answers and advice to problems for thousands of years, and anonymous columns offer the distinct advantage of providing advice without judgment. An author can also conceal his or her identity so that people in the author's life are not aware that they are the subject of an agony column. In some cases an agony column also comes with a message hotline for readers to call if they want to record their questions for radio or podcast columns.