Many on-line discussion forums allow us to post anonymously or to give a false name and we can frequently express our opinions anonymously in surveys or interviews.
We employ these techniques for seemingly good reason. If we are introverted or lack confidence in our beliefs; they allow us to speak up without fear of judgment or personal criticism.
And in fear of the consequences, they potentially make it possible to be more truthful by saying things that others might not wish to hear.
But anonymity has a serious downside as it encourages us:
- to be less authentic
- to avoid intimacy
- to avoid building relationships
- to lie rather than tell the truth
- to avoid confrontation
- to be nasty and vindictive (think internet trolls)
But worst of all, it allows us to avoid conversation.
I don't want my views challenged.
I want to have my say, but I don't want to hear what you have to say.
It's about monologue, not dialogue.
Anonymity kills the conversation.