Saturday, February 12, 2011

Anonymity - Lost Art for the Masses

Spending time online, to be sure, is a great way of 'getting away' from the problems of the world. At the end of a long day, when there is a barrage of problems, there is nothing more southing than checking the deal sites, Google News, and Facebook.

Anonymity, separation between our on line and 'Real-Life' experience, can serve two real purposes identified in the articles. One purpose is being better than you are; a different person. MUDs give you the opportunity, according the 'Aspects of Self' reading, to build an identity, grow, and redefine yourself online. This can be for the benefit of the internet user. The other advantage is simply hiding from the corporations, the 'enormous integrated platform for retrieving identities' the article 'Being Online' talks about.

The drawback to anonymity, clearly, is the ability for Trolls to operate. I learned the about the real separation of computers in dealings with a client. He is always nice in person, but the moment you leave, he will yell and scream over email. It seems that he feels disconnected enough over email to act differently. When a separation is created, like the article 'Rape In Cyberspace' talks about, the real-world physics and etiquette don't apply.

How do we spend time in cyberspace without falling victim to a troll or generally be deceived. The answer comes from the Assurance Game. The businesses must cultivate and consumer embrace services that create an assurance game to prevent trolls and deception. If the websites make it beneficial for the person to be vetted before commented, like the articles talked about, the negative effects of trolling and problematic deception can be reduced.

As the article 'Aspects of Self' article puts it, we are trying to re-tribalize our time spent alone. In the end, for people that prefer to live primarily in the real world like myself, the connections make online are with people that we know. The issues that come up with the anonymity of the internet can be mitigated, without the worry of losing yourself online.

No comments:

Post a Comment