The Lure of Anonymity
Anonymity is both attractive and a problem for the technology addict. For someone with social skills deficits, self-image problems, and/or low self-esteem, anonymity provided by technology seems to be a blessing. Online friends, for example, never need to know what one looks like, sounds like, or acts like. All identifying information can be transformed so that a person can be anyone she wants. This can allow the technology addict to avoid working on personal growth through interaction and practice with real people.
Anonymity is not just dangerous because a person can avoid facing painful emotions and situations, it can also be a cover for predators. It is well known that sexual predators, in particular, use the anonymity of technology to attract their victims and avoid detection. Financial scams are also frequently perpetrated through the anonymity of technology.
Internet scams are varied, convincing, and dangerous in their pursuit of stealing money and the identities of potential victims. Killer or hitman e-mails are blackmail schemes in which the sender poses as an assassin demanding money for safety. Many Internet scams were developed to take advantage of donors wanting to help Hurricanes Katrina and Rita victims. Take time to investigate any suspicious Internet message.
Credit card fraud, blackmail schemes, lottery winner scams, and even relief fund fraud abound in the world of virtual crime. Addicts who are already excessively pulled into the use of technology are prime targets, as are children and adults who are not as fluent in the use and language of technology.