Anonymous Social Networking: Pros and Cons

Anonymous social networking apps do not require user profiles and are typically location based. Location information is used to connect you with others in your general area which is typically within a radius of a mile. They allow you to communicate with others in the area without providing any personal information. The community you interact with is dynamic as it travels with you as you move from location to location and is made up of family, friends, acquaintances and complete strangers.  As you can imagine, there are many pros and cons with this technology.

Colleges around the country are dealing with threats from students using anonymous social media.  They range from postings on bomb threats to hate crimes.  Most of the time they are intended to be pranks but they cause real damage. Law enforcement takes these incidents seriously and will prosecute the individuals involved.  The apps are not 100% anonymous and law enforcement can issue a subpoena to determine what device was being used to post the comment.

Some users like to use the technology to express their feelings. This can be a place where they can go when they do not have someone to talk to and vent.  It can act as a form of therapy for them and can reduce anxiety and stress.

Having the ability to quickly interact with the local community can be extremely helpful.  This can be most helpful when you are in an area you are not familiar with.  While you run the risk of getting false information it is a great tool to ask questions to the locals.  For example, you may be on vacation and want to know what events are taking place in the area.

Using it for marketing purposes could be helpful for an organization. This would be mainly used by the person who does marketing to test their material. As it is anonymous, people tend to be more honest with their feedback.  They can test the material in different markets and modify it as needed.

As you can see, Anonymous Social Networking apps such as Yik Yak, Whisper & FireChat have their advantages and disadvantages.  They can be used for both personal and professional purposes.  Take a few minutes to check them out to see if they can be of benefit to you but use with caution!

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One Response to Anonymous Social Networking: Pros and Cons

  1. sydhavely says:

    Interesting post and it raises a number of questions for further inquiry. Think about the use of visuals in your future posts. Text-only posts are challenges in themselves for a reader. Visuals set the stage from a context and story-telling standpoint that can jump-start understanding in the reader. Just a suggestion.

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