Pros And Cons Of An Anonymous Chat Room
If you could say whatever you wanted without fear of judgment, do you think that you could commit to revealing everything that's on your mind, good or bad? There's something incredibly freeing about casting away your doubts and cares when you feel like you can say whatever you want, without worrying about repercussions. Being anonymous offers you that sense of freedom while allowing you to maintain your privacy.
The terms anonymity and privacy are sometimes interrelated, but they are not necessarily equal; each term has a distinct definition. Individuals apply the definition of either term subjectively, according to their various life experiences. Nonetheless, we can make at least one distinction between the terms. Privacy refers to those who make their identities known while keeping some of their actions and information secret. Anonymity means letting others see the type of person you are and the things that you do without revealing your identity.
It's also important to recognize that rights to anonymity and privacy come with real and perceived responsibilities. This is where the rubber meets the road regarding the pros and cons of anonymous chat rooms.
The Value of Being Anonymous
Over time, your values and life experiences shape the person that you've become. Those experiences have helped you develop your core values, form your opinions, set your comfort levels, and determine the course of your life. What are some of the advantages of being anonymous? It gives you the opportunity to connect online with strangers in ways that help you experience the world vicariously through others and still be the truest form of yourself. It also gives you control over how you manage your time.
True Freedom of Speech
You have complete freedom when no one knows who you are because there is no public responsibility or accountability. Others can take your opinions or advice or leave them just as easily. Being anonymous gives you protection from those who might attack you for your views, either online or in person. That's not to say that you won't have a feeling of personal responsibility for how your words affect others, even when they don't know who you are.
Broadens Your World
You may never get the opportunity to travel the world or experience a lifestyle that's different than your own, much as you might want to. Participating in a free anonymous chat lets you have some of those opportunities, vicariously, through chatting. It's an opportunity to safely and anonymously explore other parts of the world and their cultures within the safety and comfort of your own home.
Convenience Gives You Control Over Time Management
Being able to communicate in real-time is a dream come true for someone who multitasks. Are you one of those people who pull up multiple tabs every time you open up the laptop? An online radio station plays your favorite tunes in one window while you are furiously typing away on a Word document for an upcoming homework assignment in another window. Meanwhile, notifications pop up that the shoes you wanted just went on sale. Another box appears to let you know that a dozen more emails just came in. While bouncing back and forth between screens, you're catching up with all of your online pals since you've been offline.
You get instant notifications and fast answers automatically at lightning speeds. Your life is too busy to sit on the phone for hours, but you can easily multi-task and fit a quick, anon chat into your hectic days.
The Downside of Being Anonymous
Whenever you post anything online, it's out there for the world to see. Whether you are anonymous or not, your words are a reflection of you. They can spread virally in an instant, and you won't have a second chance to take them back.
Fast and Succinct
How will the cyber universe read your words once they are visible for the online world to see? Your words have less meaning without the benefit of your tone and inflection, which makes them subject to misinterpretation. The pace and succinctness of an anonymous text chat message have some redeeming qualities. If the audience doesn't perceive your message as you intended it, you'll have the opportunity to clarify it.
The Trouble with Abbreviations and Emoticons
Do you know the meanings of the latest texting abbreviations and emoticons? You might be a little embarrassed if you think you are sending "lots of love" with a LOL message to someone going through a rough time when they read the meaning as "laugh out loud." The same goes for double-checking the meanings of emoticons, which can also be easily misinterpreted. Many devices incorporate auto-correct as a timesaving device, but that can also get you into trouble if you neglect to correct the auto-correct before you hit send.
Is Staying True to Your Character Important to You?
Sure, you can say whatever you want to someone else under the guise of anonymity, but do you want to? It's easy enough to be a "keyboard warrior" and tell someone off or call them names when you don't have to face them directly. These are the times when you come face-to-face with who you are as a person. Are you okay with knowing that your words may have hurt someone intentionally or unintentionally?
Impact of Social Skills Is an Unintended Consequence
Social skills don't come naturally for everyone and if you lack in that area, to begin with, spending too much time in online chat rooms can inhibit your social skills in real-life interactions. It's great if you can express yourself wonderfully in an anonymous chat room, but if you can't carry on a face-to-face conversation, it's better to spend less time in the chat rooms.
Suspicious and Unscrupulous Characters Lurk in Chat Rooms
It's always interesting to read the screen names of anonymous chatters. Some screen names have an apparent meaning or relevance. When everyone wears a mask, it's hard actually to know exactly who spends time in chat rooms, and you can't tell if their motivations are kind or malicious.
Advances in the way we communicate have led to the need for some new terminology. Catfishers are people who fake their names and change their social media profiles to appear as an entirely different person, for the purpose of luring someone into a relationship, which is usually a romantic relationship.
Bullies are present in anonymous chat rooms because they can abuse others to their heart's content with little or no accountability, as long as the site administrators allow it.
Pedophiles and sexual predators have no online boundaries. They can be anywhere, masking as anyone and an anonymous chat room is no exception.
The Cost of Convenience and Time Management
Busy people like to squeeze as much into a day as they can. Multitasking is a great way to do that, but it's not always appreciated as much on the other end. Since it takes very little time to send or receive a response via chat, delays in sending responses to tell your chat friends that they aren't getting your undivided attention; sometimes that works well and sometimes it doesn't.
Have you ever raced to your anonymous video chat room with some news that you just needed to tell your online buddy right away and they were nowhere to be found? It happens to the best of chatters. Being anonymous means that you are at the mercy of when they decide to join others in the anonymous chat room.
Chat Rooms Are Addictive (and not in a good way)
Anonymous chat rooms are a great way to connect with others unless they get to be too much of a good thing. If your work, homework, or life responsibilities are suffering because you can't tear yourself away from the Internet, you may need treatment for an Internet addiction.
Technology Is Great-When it Works
Have you ever been online when everything went dark mid-sentence? Technology only helps you when it works well. You could have a problem with your computer or the server, or a nasty virus could shut down your entire system. Even when all of your hardware and software is working seamlessly, the weather or other outside forces can shut you down in a heartbeat. Don't consider it a loss, but rather take the opportunity to speak with a real human.
Anonymity Equals Safety is a Perception
Let's hope by now that you are regularly and actively practicing safe online chatting habits. Anonymous chatting isn't harmful as long as you are practicing self-discipline, right? Using an anonymous name doesn't necessarily protect your identity. Spammers and hackers are lurking everywhere in cyberspace.
One of the most salacious scandals happened in 2015 when a group called The Impact Team hacked into an affair site called Ashley Madison, publicly exposing the names of celebrities, government officials and others who had profiles on the site. Many of the users gave false identities to protect their privacy when registering their profiles. Many of the site members' true identities became public, much to the embarrassment of their spouses or significant others. The breach is allegedly connected to two suicides of people who took their lives because of the shame over their exposure.
The Ashley Madison Scandal speaks clearly to the notion that no one is ever completely anonymous in the cyber world.
Getting Help for the Fallout of Anonymous Chats
Have you participated in an anonymous chat that caused you undue trauma or emotional pain? Online problems can lead to increased anxiety or other mental health issues. The fallout from anonymous chat rooms can also trigger existing mental health issues. Maybe you're worried that you've developed an addiction to the Internet.
If you enjoy spending time online, why not spend it with a professional online therapist, where you can get treatment in the privacy and comfort of your home? Your sessions are safe, secure and completely confidential. Online therapists are familiar with addictions and other mental health problems caused by advancements in today's technology or from any other source.
Online personal therapists can't fix all the cons that come with anonymous chatting, but they are happy to help you get back to the life you enjoyed in the shortest amount of time possible. Look for your online therapist at BetterHelp.