Often times, we have a sense of disinhibition, or inclination to post information without thinking about its consequences and potential effects, when communicating online. A lot of people choose to post things online that they would not say or disclose in their real lives. This can be attributed to the idea that the “online world” is not the “real world.” They feel that they cannot be held responsible for online information they post because it is not “real life.”
Computer mediated communication often fosters posting and/or viewing of inappropriate content due to anonymity. If you were told that no one would ever know that you stole a car, would you do it? Many people would say yes. This is the type of reasoning that people have when they are online. A lot of times, there is no name associated with posts or viewing history, and people think that things cannot be traced back to them. The truth is that there is someone constantly monitoring what you do online. Many organizations and governmental bodies have access to your online history and activity. Every single site you visit can be traced right back to your computer. A good strategy to use when deciding whether to visit a specific site or to post information about yourself is to ask yourself: Would I want this printed on the front page of the newspaper? or Would I want this broadcasted on television? My guess is that if you ask yourself these questions, your online activity will be less likely to produce negative consequences.