Online Behavior - Anonymity, deindividuation

In this connected world, you are no longer anonymous. Be it through virtual connections – social platforms or professional networks; or identifying your device through IP address, you can be easily pinpointed to the last click you’ve made online. Still most of the online behavior people have, shows signs of anonymity.

The feeling of anonymous gives rises to both positive and negative behavior online.  On the positive side, people tend to be more candid since the other person is not face-to-face. Many decisions can be taken at a rational level since the ‘influence’ of other factors like body language is minimal

Another thing the feeling of anonymity being online brings forth is Type A behavioral traits. Some of the familiar Type A behavior patterns that can be seen online are hostility, competitiveness, hurry, impatience, restlessness, aggressiveness, etc... People with strong Type A behavior struggle against the pressure of time and the challenge of responsibility.

The more deviant behavior that appears online are related to cybercrime, child pornography, sex abuse (especially of child) and a regular feature now-a-days – Online Trolling. Online trolling can also be because of deindividuation, where the individual loses their self-identity in the online crowd

By making people aware of the fact they are not anonymous in the online space, we can make a longer term impact on their behavior and make them act responsibly in the online space. Some ways of reducing anonymity & chances of deindividuation are:

- Having a mesh system of information, where information sharing is not restricted to a silo 
- Addressing the user in various platform by their name or exact location
- Having their profile verified by other users in their network
- In case of an abnormal behavior, the others people in the user network will have the facility to disassociate with that act/comment


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