IE Grapevine Updates

LifeClass: The Anonymous Complex

Tyler White

The rise of social media brought us a new way to connect with our friends, family, and current events. It brought fascinating ways for us to meet new people and discover new things. As a part of this social media movement, there soon came a desire for people to post anonymously.

This power of anonymity instilled a new confidence in internet users that would further alter how people interact behind the screen, for better, and for worse.

The benefits of social anonymity allows people to be who they are without fear of public humiliation and ridicule. It provides an outlet for those struggling with serious concerns to seek help and advice from others without having to deal with awkward face-to-face confrontation.

The ability to send someone off with the click of a button and little worry of seeing or hearing from them again is an option that is very comfortable and appealing. It’s no wonder that people flock to such websites as Omegle or Ask.fm in order to communicate with people worldwide with very little pressure on their shoulders. It’s simple, easy, and nobody knows who you are.

Despite the many benefits of social anonymity however, there are indeed the ugly downsides.

For one thing, it allows people to be who they are without fear of public humiliation and ridicule! It’s a double edged sword in that respect.

People can abuse their anonymous status to send out sexual, hateful, and derogatory statements that they might not otherwise make had their identities been revealed.

People behind this veil of mystery develop a sort of false confidence, which they believe entitles them to think and say whatever they want, no matter how rude and hurtful. But what these people fail to realize is that there are real human beings behind these screens who do have feelings.

Everything you say has an effect on someone, whether they know it comes from you or not. If you wouldn’t call someone ugly in public, you shouldn’t do it over the internet either. Your words have the ability to affect people in ways that you may not quite understand. You may just be the one that tips somebody over the edge into a downward spiral to rock bottom. That’s not something you want to be responsible for, is it?

So what should you do if you’re being hassled by an anonymous internet ruffian? First of all, don’t let their negativity affect you. Sometimes it can be hard to walk away from a harsh comment, but it helps to realize that whoever is saying these negative remarks is doing it anonymously. It’s probably out of spite more than any other reason. If possible, try not to respond, as most ruffians are aiming to draw anger and frustration from you.

If the problem persists, there’s usually a way to report or block those who are bothering you, even if you don’t know exactly who they are. Finally, if anonymous users are really annoying you, check out if there is a way to disable anonymous features.

Social anonymity can be a great benefit and joy to us all when used correctly. It’s interesting to have the secret admirer or a mysterious clue. But when people are abusing this privilege it can make the internet a less enjoyable place for everyone. So be sure to follow proper internet etiquette, be nice, and treat others the way you’d like them to treat you.

See you next time! And remember: you heard it from the Grapevine!

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