With the growth of user accounts and online communities, the way we connect and communicate with people has drastically changed. Before, social media only functioned as a platform to post and update people on what’s up with your life. As social media platforms invest in upgrading their interactivity features, more possibilities open up for app and website users.
People can now communicate online without revealing their identities. This interaction was made possible by anonymous Q&A websites and apps online, such as Qoura, CuriousCat, Tellonym, Sayout, ask.fm, and the newest hot kid on the block, NGL. Some apps function like post-reply formats, while others only allow users to send messages.
Users use these apps and sites for fun interactions like confessions, pieces of advice, or random messages. The user can share the link to their account, and anyone with access to the link can send their messages anonymously. With these, you don’t have to worry about revealing yourself to the link owner, and you can send anything while hiding your identity.
However, just like other sites and apps, it always has downsides. So, the question is: are these apps and websites a yay or a nay?
YAY! Eliminates the fear of actual interactions
Anonymous Q&A websites make it comfortable to interact with another user without the fear of making a mistake. Sometimes, it’s hard for others to start interactions because they worry that they might unintentionally offend someone or get judged for their actions.
This is a valid feeling and is applicable both online and offline. Especially with the state of online communities where cancel culture is already rampant, it’s no shock that others find it hard to express or post things online.
If you can send messages anonymously to someone, there is the comfort and assurance that no one will know it’s you.
YAY! Freedom of speech and expression
Without your identity being exposed, you can tell someone how you feel and what you’re thinking about. You can freely share your opinions, even if people agree or disagree with you. You don’t have to worry about people coming after you over things you said.
Those suffering over something can open their feelings to others, seek advice, and remain anonymous, which is helpful if they want to discuss something controversial that could jeopardize their safety.
NAY! Abuse of anonymity
As stated before, anonymity allows users online to send messages without worrying about being identified. The anonymity feature, central to these Q&A websites, can be abused and used for things like cyberbullying and targeted harassment.
Online bullies become more confident with the idea that they are protected from accountability. With no identity to expose, they won’t be held accountable for their unpleasant behavior online.
NAY! Weak connections or no connections formed
Because the message sender is anonymous, the receiver will have no idea who’s interacting with them. While connections do form, they won’t be deep due to limitations set by the app or site. Other anonymous Q&A apps and sites also don’t have a reply feature, so the sender can only send messages, but they won’t get updates if the receiver gets the message and replies to it.
Unless both will reveal their identity and converse more openly, it’s impossible to nurture the bond or connection formed.
NAY! Information not trustworthy
Some users seek Q&A websites to anonymously ask for advice or answers to their assignments. While this could be helpful and won’t get you in trouble, the replies you may get are also not verified and may end up not helpful at all.
One crucial takeaway when looking into these anonymous Q&A websites is that they do have their lapses that can still be fixed. While online users have the freedom to express their ideas and feelings, one should understand that it does have its limitations, especially if it concerns someone else’s well-being.
Before signing up on any of these sites or apps, one should understand the possibilities they would face by allowing anonymous people to send them messages. They must know how to carry themselves online and deal with those who abuse what is supposed to be for fun only.