GOLDEN COUNSEL FOR FACELESS COMMUNICATION

AN ARTICLE ON MSNBC'S WEBSITE, "Anonymity can turn nice people nasty," claims that "one minute, they're nice normal people. The next they're frothing at the mouse." Posted last October, the article suggests that today's "faceless" communication encourages disrespect. It references a study published in the journal Psychological Reports (February 2008). For the study, the goal of which was to determine if anonymity resulted in antisocial behavior, 20 men and 50 women were randomly assigned to four experimental groups. It concluded that anonymity is more apt to result in rudeness, since only participants who did not identify themselves came across as blunt or rude.

Yet faceless communication can hardly be avoided today. People rely on e-mail, cellphones, Blackberrys, iPhones. Each allows us to be in touch with friends or strangers without ever having eye contact or observing body language. And social networking sites, such as MySpace and Facebook, have completely changed the landscape of our personal connections, allowing us to build community and reconnect with others with the click of a mouse.

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ARM PERMANENTLY HEALED
March 30, 2009
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