Identity: Anonymous - Public. And its' potential impact on mental health.

#1 Exploration begins

The beginning of exploration: identity in a world of social media and its' impact on mental health.

Starting the exploration of Anonymous - - - Public.


  • No personal information shared

  • No identifiable characteristics

  • Possibly using pseudonyms

No public information, real life identity completely hidden.

And then we have the complete opposite - Public:

  • Full name and identity openly shared

  • All content visible to anyone

  • Associated openly with real-world identity

No extra hidden identity on top of Public. It's just an extra tool.

But is it all?

I don't think so. I view it more as a spectrum and I'm attempting to showcase it here.

We have at least:


  • Some identifiable traits (such as location or interests) but not full name

  • Pseudonyms that may be tied to some public information

  • Could be traced back to an individual with enough effort

I would consider my own identity to be pseudo-anonymous. And I consider someone like punk 6529, to be a pseudo-anonymous as well. While he's really unknown, including his voice, it's now a solid standalone identity.

Partially Identifiable:

  • Profile picture or name that doesn't give full identity

  • Limited personal information shared (like first name only)

  • Connections with real-life friends or acquaintances

This would also be someone who uses nicknames yet is pretty open with their pictures and other identifiers.

Public but Restricted:

  • Full name and possibly other identifying details

  • Restricted audience (e.g., friends only on social media)

  • Control over who sees content

Right now, we have ended up with this spectrum:

Anonymous -- Pseudo-Anonymous -- Partially Identifiable -- Public but Restricted -- Public

What can we derive from that?

The more you are on the right side, the higher the chance your Real Life and Online social identities are overlapping. They are probably more integrated too as it's more of an addition to your identity. However, I do see scenarios, in examples of famous people, where even with fully public profiles there's more of a divide, boundaries and maybe even compartmentalization between one's identities. There's certain information that stays private as not everything needs to nor fits into the place to be shared publicly.

Now, swinging to the opposite of the anonymous. There's a higher chance of cultivating a somewhat stronger identity. On one hand, it might feel like it's the most authentic version of one yet certain actions and things would not necessarily be done by those individuals if they were more or fully public. Being anonymous might create a higher degree of inner compartmentalization and lead to more of one's fragmentation.

Future exploration.

To explore the depth of the potential impact on mental health, I'd have to introduce other concepts and my experience as I continue practicing being more aware, observing and noting the differences. As I view people as complex and multiple human beings, there is enough room for gaps to exist and more extreme types of environments and additional identities, such as a completely anonymous online one, can create significant rifts in one's internal system.

That's something for the future as we might need to bring up some Systems view or thinking.

As it was said, this is just the beginning of the exploration. And what I'm noticing is that it is going to require me to be more subjective and authentic in terms of bringing my own experiences or the learnings of others that I have experienced or received.

In no shape or form am I going to be turning it into more of a scientific endeavor, at least for now, so even if I end up bringing up more nuanced approaches and understanding of one's own psyche, I'm not going to be referencing any articles and probably no outside resources. It would be more of a 'trust me bro' moment but this is where my personal subjective perspective would come in more handy.

p.s. it is one of the first times I've used chatGPT to help me with writing, more in terms of charting the initial spectrum, that is where it's been more involved. Usually I ask it to help me to proofread, help find the right words and format the structure but this time it also generated the vision spectrum that I envisioned in my head pretty well, I still had to make sure it worked out though.

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