wanna help me with my essay?

Discussion in 'About the Members' started by Zxanthaxzantheus, Nov 29, 2004.

  1. Zxanthaxzantheus On a posting binge. Registered Senior Member

    Hey everyone. I was wondering if you guys could answer some questions for a 10-pg research paper i'm doing on 'anonyminity on the internet.'

    My thesis is: "Anonyminity on the Internet allows people to become more agressive than would be the case offline becuase of the lack of fear from punishment or retaliation"

    Here's the questions: (i'm in the early stages of this research paper, so these are not very refined at the moment)

    1)Do you consider yourself an IM'er, a Gamer, A Forum Junkie or a Chatter (IRC, Chatrooms ect)

    2)How long have you been using the internet?

    3)How often do you use the internet? (in hours per week)

    4)How old are you? (you can skip this one or be vague if you would like)

    5)Do you play games or actively participate in online communities? if so, how much of your online time is spent in these games or communities?

    6)Do you perfer to stay anonymous or reveal yourself in anyway to others? Why? how do you reveal yourself?

    7)Describe a situation when annonyminity ruined an online encounter.

    8)Would you perfer the internet to remain mostly anonymous or would you like to see a shift away from this? why?

    once again thanks, and if you have any sujestions they're very welcome.
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  3. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

    This sounds like a really good idea for a paper and you're off to a good start.

    1. None of the above (though I don't know what an IMer is).
    2. Less than a year.
    3. Dozens of hours, at least.
    4. Over 50.
    5. I'm a member of three forums, including this one - the other two being programming forums. I spend and hour or so a day, on average, among the three.
    6. I don't misrepresent myself, if that's what you mean. I also don't give out specific information about myself.
    7. I have been accused of being a "professional Mafia heckler" on this forum and of being gay on another forum. Neither of those accusations bothers me in the least and didn't ruin my online experience. In both cases, however, if the person had said that to my face, I would have stomped him severely (and literally).
    8. I don't see anything wrong with putting on a persona when on the Internet, though I don't choose to do so. Different people have different privacy concerns and needs, so it should be up to the individual to decide how anonymous he/she wants to be.

    Good luck.

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  5. Zxanthaxzantheus On a posting binge. Registered Senior Member

    An IM-er is a person who sits on AIM(or yahoo messanger ect) all day and harasses people (or just simply talks to friends). and thanks for your reply.
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  7. hotsexyangelprincess WMD Registered Senior Member

    1. Gamer
    2. about 7 years
    3. 20-30
    4. 16
    5. play video games, maybe 12 a month
    6. anonymous,i make up fake aliases
    7. people dont know who you are, or if a friend gets on your account and severly burns someone, they make think it was you.
    8. anonymous, b/c its nicer to have identities to use for fun. :m:
  8. Kunax Sciforums:Reality not required Registered Senior Member

    1. player, ghost.
    2. about 10+ years.
    3. alot, including both work and home.
    4. 20-30.
    5. my time is mainly spent on forums of varius kinds ranging from chat to tech sites or playing online games.
    6. anonymous old habit. Its allows the doors of poseibility to stay open.
    7. none
    8. anonymous, its half the fun, if people choos to they can "reveal" them self
  9. geodesic "The truth shall make ye fret" Registered Senior Member

    1) None of the above
    2) 6/7 years, sporadically at first
    3) 20-30
    4) 19
    5) No games (I connect via a university network, so I can't), and this is the only forum I post in, maybe half an hour a day, average.
    6) Generally anonymous, occasionally I'll mention something more personal.
    7) None
    8) Hmm, I think that generally it should be up to the person involved, but some details should be available eg. age range
  10. Zxanthaxzantheus On a posting binge. Registered Senior Member

    ok through my research i've come up with two more questions that need to be answerd:

    9)Have you ever been agressive againts someone over the internet becuase you did not fear retribution?

    10) Have you ever been retaliated against for being agressive? how were you punished?

    once again thanks a ton for the responces! this essay is begining to become fun to research!
  11. hotsexyangelprincess WMD Registered Senior Member

    9) yes
    10) the other guy just tried to insult me, but things like that pretty much fail. On games i normally get kicked, especially since admin gets mad seeing as how im #1 by about 20 kills. :m:
  12. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    1)If I have to pick one, Gamer. But I spend almost as much time on this and other forums
    2)Since about 1992, when AOL shipped on floppy disks
    5)One traditional board game (40%), online communities (30%)
    6)Both, depending on the site. I choose anonymity here, for example, because my employer is fussy about "everywhere you go you represent the company." I prefer to reveal my identity and it bothers me that I dare not do that on SciForums where I get into so many controversial discussions.
    7)Never ruined one but probably prevented me from becoming closer friends with a few people
    8)I think it's okay the way it is. There are plenty of sites of both types.
  13. Athelwulf Rest in peace Kurt... Registered Senior Member

    Forum Junkie, with some IMer undertones.

    I'm not sure . . . Maybe about four or five years . . . That's a rough estimate.

    Well, assuming I'm online for an average of six hours a day . . . I use the Internet about 40 hours a week. Is that a lot?


    I spend a lot of time in SciForums. I'm here pretty much any time I'm online.

    It depends on who I'd be revealing myself to. I'll only reveal myself if I feel comfortable about doing it.

    But when I feel comfortable, I'd rather reveal myself, kuz Internet friendships get lame after a while.

    The way I reveal myself depends mostly on whether or not the other person lives close to me. If so, I'd want to meet them in person sometime soon. If they didn't, I'd just develop a long-distance friendship and wait for the chance to meet them in person.

    I can't think of one. That, or the question is too vague, in which case I'd like it if it were clarified.

    I would prefer a mixture of both. I would like it if I could remain anonymous if I wanted to, but I could reveal myself if I wanted to as well.

    I think I have . . . But I can't think of a situation off the top of my head.

    I don't think I have been retaliated against.
  14. Kunax Sciforums:Reality not required Registered Senior Member

    9) outside games, no
    10.1) attacked the biggest player/clan, they dont seem to like that

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    10.2) banned from vietcong servers for playing talibanman(pull the splint in your granade 4 sec later you exploded, there is no to little defence

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    10.3) banned from irc servers

    your #10 hotsexyangelprincess, sweet what games do you play, i like a challenge lose or win does not matter to me

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  15. geodesic "The truth shall make ye fret" Registered Senior Member

    9) Not really
    10) Therefore, no
  16. hotsexyangelprincess WMD Registered Senior Member

    kunax, i play cs(any of them) and bf 1942(original, DC, pirates, GC). Ill PM you next time i go to my gaming place. :m:
  17. Zxanthaxzantheus On a posting binge. Registered Senior Member

    No battlefield vietnam? much funner game in my opinion

    oh and thanks for all the replies everyone!
  18. Kunax Sciforums:Reality not required Registered Senior Member

    i like vietnam better to, althou i play UT2004 now
  19. hotsexyangelprincess WMD Registered Senior Member

    oh. vietnam is okay, i just dont like the limitations on all the vehicles, and thus haven't played it much. i play some UT, but for me the controls are real weird, and after playing other games(cs,bf) it feels real weird. and i dont know the maps. :m:
  20. Athelwulf Rest in peace Kurt... Registered Senior Member

    Zxanthaxzantheus, how's yer essay coming along? If it's done (or when it is), can we please read it? I'd really like to read it.
  21. Zxanthaxzantheus On a posting binge. Registered Senior Member

    oh, Forgot i asked the questions here too..lol.. anyway, i've already finished the essay, and turned it in. got a 98/100 (although I thought I deserved less becuase of my poor conclusion)

    anyway, here ya go:

    Coming to terms with the faceless
    a short essay on anonaminity on the internet.

    When someone walks down the street, you can see their face. You can tell how far their eyes are from their nose, the shape of their lips, the dark or light shades of their skin. What if you couldn't? Would it feel safer? More dangerous? Or would the lack of any distinguishing features on every human being make it just plain creepy? If you've ever wanted to experience such a world, I invite you to try out the internet. The internet community is comopsed if millions, if not billions, of faceless, namless individuals that walk down that same street you do, looking upon the same thousands of other individuals walking the paths that are cyberspace.
    Now in the real world, who do we know that conseal themselves? Robbers do it for sure: their black ski-masks hide everything but a muffled voice and a gun. Secret service agents all wear the same black glasses and well-pressed suits, surely to make them seem like important ominous bodyguards. The shy wear dark clothing and hide their faces for simply the reason to not be noticed. Now if the internet was not an anonamous place, would it be better? Anonaminity on the internet allows people to converse more freely and openly becuause of the lack of face-to-face communications.
    To figure out this complicated and many-sided question I took the most direct approach I could think of. I asked them. Them being, of course, the users of the thing we call the world wide web. My interviewees include people from all corners of the internet. People who have been using it for just a few months, and those who were bassically born addicted to this big web of ours. The questions that I asked were focused one one topic: How anonaminity affected them.
    My research led me to realise that there are two faces to anonaminity. One side being the holy saint of person to person comunication, was being able to be honest without fear. And the other, being the blackness of it: being taunted and harssed and chased down to oblivion by some man with a featureless face. Each side directly opposes one another. 'Komorus', an interviewee wrote, “... A certain level of anonaminity allows you to be yourself” Completely juxtaposed to this, an anonamous interviewee said that “Anonaminity is saftey in most situations.” Thus supporting the idea that its much better to be safe, than trust yourself to another facelss individual. But what contrasting side is much more prevailant over the internet?
    Does the anonaminity, in effect, make relationships even more personal? Research sugjests that anonaminity helps many people communicate freely within famies more liberally than before. From a survey of 6000 net users, it was shown that, quote, “59% [of internet users] increased the amount of contact they have with their main family contact.” Suddenly a faceless world seems less bleak. Quite possibly a reason for this is that the internet lacks any formal qualities that interacting in face-to-face life posesses. In real life when you greet your aunt at her door, you say hello. You greet the hosts, grab a few snacks and go sit on the couch. Only after a few minutes, the focus of the evening has changed from the interchanging of news and stories between members of a family, to a hunting program or, if we're lucky, the Weather Channel.
    When chatting in chatrooms or over instant messanging programs, one focuses exclusively on the typed word. Because there is no visual contact other than the typed word, the user no longer has to worry about expressing emotion through facial expressions and hand gestures. The words that are typed show up on the screen without tonality, volume, or exagerated sylables.
    The lack of this 'direct emotion' in the presentation of the written word eliminates the possiblility that the text is mis-interpreted. When we talk in real life, we often change the way words sound when they are pronounced to give them a different meaning. If you have no mixed signals or underlying ideas because of changed pronunciation, users converse in the basic context of a sentence to simply convey an idea.
    Another way that internet communications differ from face-to-face chatting is time. Online, the amount of time one has to conjour a response to something typed is longer, and can be as long as one wants. In real life, we know that if we wait too long to answer, one seems to be ignoring the person who asked. The on-the-fly thinking someone has to do while talking in real life can lead to sometimes mis-interpereted statements and gestures. With just typed word on a screen, one has the time to delay between responding. The extended time can make for a significantly longer period of thought between each statement. What does this mean? Internet conversations have the ability to become more clear and understandable than the spoken word.
    The most blatant example of this idea is intenet forums, also called bulliten boards. On forums, people post messanges, as they would on a bulitin board, and allow people to reply to them over a period of time. Although it might sound no different from a chatroom, forums are not real-time, giving users many, many minutes, if not hours to generate responces to questions and statements. In my survey, forum users are generally more likely to reveal themselves to others because of the long, detailed conversations they experience. One forum interviewee, who was unable to reveal personal information via a forum, was bothered because he could not, saying “I choose anonaminity here, for example, because of my employer...and it bothers me.”
    Internet users who primaraly use it to game were completely oppposed to this open stance with others. Because of online avatars, and personalized apearances of player models (3d animated characters that the player controlls, as is the case in most games), gamers experience not a faceless croud, but a croud just different enough to distinguish one from another. Oh yea, and everyone is carrying a gun.
    The people who play computer games are constatly competing. Alwase, there is a brag, an insult, or some other form of derogatory message being passed to one anohter. The number of gamers who perfer anonaminty paralell the level of hostilities one can experience while gaming. Chazly wrote in his interview “i perfer to remain anon[amous]. People dont really need to know me to play with me”
    From personal experience, games differ from most online chats because they run more along the lines of face-to-face chatting than any other online communication. Time is valuable in games; you have only a limited time to spell out ideas. Furthermore, you also have identifiable features that, although not necisairly make one public, assign the player an assumed identity. People who play together regularly can form biases for certain players or groups of players.
    Relationship forming in games is purely situational based. Nick Yee writes that “player dependency encourages relationship formation.” meaning, the more one relys on another player for something, be it assistance in a battle or cures for a nasty poison ingame, the more likely these short conversations will turn into more than just insutlts and random pointless comments. Where we wont find these types of relationships being formed is in games that are more faster paced such as shooters where the point is simply, to blow everyone up.
    In games with longer periods of inactivity such as online role-playing games,(imagine dungeons and dragons on crack being played out over the internet) relationships form much quicker because of the need each player has for one another. Each player has a common goal and, only by cooperation and relationship forming will these goals be accomplished.
    When we take a look at relationships in forums and chatrooms not involving games, we see that they focus on something else: context. In games, people are almost required to form them. However in a non gaming situation it is completely optional to get into any relationship with other online members. On forums and in chat rooms, people do not need one another to achieve a goal. To counterbalance this, the openness one has online when not gaming levels out the playing field for relationships. Users look at not the requirement to commune, but rather if they want to or not.
    Relationship forming is quite widespread over the internet. 70% of Internet users form relationships with other users (e.g. Utz, 2001). Thats a huge amount! The lack of face-to-face communication creates more opportunities for couples to find eachother. On the internet, the one you might love forever wont be turned away because you have a large, green, icky mole on your left nostril. The chances of longevity in a relationship over the internet is almost the same as one that is formed off of it (Bargh et al., 2002). does this prove once and for all that looks really dont matter? Thats an entire different essay topic.
    Now, do we want the internet to change? The overall jist of anonaminty from my research is that it is a good thing: it does bring people together, and it does provide a level of security for one's self that's almost impossible to decypher. How would it be difffernet without the level of anonamintiy we have today? What if every user was forced to give their name to anyone they talked to?
    The first and most horrible implication of such a system would be that it would be much easier to be found out by internet predators and even worse, door to door salesmen. Without internet anonaminity, advertisers would have a quick, and easy methond to get straignt into our lives. Everything on the internet would be personalized, and there would be no stopping a commercial entitie from ganing complete knowledge of your life.
    On the other hand, there is actually a level of saftey that a non-anonamous internet would have. In this type of internet, a user could tell who was doing that bad thing to Johnromaro3215, and you could alwase know who was exactly talking to your children. No more would you have to be so concerned with that weird guy downt he street hitting on your 15 year old over instant messanging.
    Will we see a big change soon? The answer to this is simply, no. Internet lobbyists are actually fighting for a more private internet with even more anonaminity. Senate bill s1055, known as the 'privacy act' , which was introduced by senator Feinstine(D,CA). This bill reqires internet busnesses to send out notices saying that peoples personally identifyable information (such as names, addresses, and e-mail addresses) Will be distributed to a vendor or other busness. This law includes the right to opt out of this information sharing, and alow for yourself to be placed on the sort of “no call” list for the internet. This bill is still pending legislation.
    The internet not becoming a public place with faces is definatly a good thing. The small ability we would gain to recognize people over the internet, is not worth the safety and the ability to hide that we are given because of this anonamous system in place. Geodesic wrote that anonaminity “should be up to the person”, and i cant say that i agree more. Although there is anonamintiy, one still can relveal his or her self to everyone around them. And lucky us, we still have the abililty to pose as 56 year old women from chicago.
    The most awesome thing about the internet is that it allows people throughout the world communcate with no delay. Just a few decades ago, this radical idea was just that: an idea. Now it is so mainstream, that we rarely go a day without it, and can never elude the topic of it. The invention brings thousands of facelss entities within talking disance, and it is up to us to use it to build networks of people over great distances. The way we commuicate over the internet is direct, detailed, and thoughtful.
    Anonaminty is the key to the internet: without such lack of fear, familiarity, and and the ever ominous krag of secrecy that it provides, it would never be what it is today. We our secrecy over the web like a blanket to put over one's head in danger. We never need to worry about being harassed or having someone be physically violent. This brings up another controvercial topic. The internet, with its lack of fear, is less of a violent place than the real world. Is fear the reason for all the calamity that is human society?
    Maybe it isnt, but at least we know that anonaminity allows people to converse more freely than ever before. Before writing this essay i thought of anonaminty as a bad thing, but i've completely changed my view. It is, eternally good in the fact that it does help people. It allows them to truly be thiemselves without any reprecussions for who they are. There is no status quo on the internet. There is no popular crowd. There is just you, and thousands of unmarked, undistiguishable faces all ready to talk for hours on any topic, anywhere, any time.
  22. Athelwulf Rest in peace Kurt... Registered Senior Member

    I think it is a very well-written essay. To be honest, however, a spell-checker would've been a useful tool to use before ya posted that. It makes things easier to read, that spell-checker. Other than that, very good.
  23. vslayer Registered Senior Member

    good essay, i may need that some time

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    , i give you at least on A+ on that

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