In today's digital age, our behaviours and actions online are more visible than ever before. From social media posts to online interactions, our actions can have a significant impact on our reputation and the way others perceive us. However, there are several factors that can influence our judgement and online behaviour, often leading to negative consequences.
Fundamental Attribution Error
One such factor is the Fundamental Attribution Error. This psychological phenomenon describes the tendency to attribute other people's behaviour to their personality traits, while excusing our own behaviour to external factors beyond our control. This tendency is particularly evident in online environments where we may only have a limited view of someone's behaviour. For example, we may judge someone's character based on a short video clip or a few images, leading to assumptions about their personality that may not be accurate.
Social Media Algorithms
Another factor that affects our online behaviour is the impact of social media algorithms. These algorithms are designed to organize posts that are most relevant to the individual's interests and perspectives. However, this can have unintended consequences. When we are presented with similar opinions repeatedly, we may begin to believe that it is the opinion of the majority. This can unintentionally limit our worldview and lead to the formation of echo chambers.
Additionally, doxing is another issue that can affect our online behaviour. Doxing is a form of cyberbullying that exposes an individual's private information for harassment or exploitation. It is often motivated by personal prejudice or disagreement with someone's opinions or behaviour. The consequences of doxing can be severe and far-reaching, affecting not only an individual's personal and professional reputation but also inviting others to harass the victim, risk physical harm, and even lead to identity theft.
What to do to make things better?
So, what can we do to make things better? The first step is to practice empathy. Putting ourselves in the shoes of the individuals involved can help us understand their perspective better and respond with kindness and respect. Listening to different perspectives and engaging in discussions can help us take a step back and re-evaluate our views.
It's also important to remember that no one is perfect. The behaviour that we observe in one video or post may not necessarily reflect who someone truly is. We should also exercise caution and wait for the whole truth before making conclusions. Finally, we should strive to create a safer space for all by contributing constructively to discussions and avoiding personal attacks.
In conclusion, there are several factors that can influence our judgement and online behaviour, including the Fundamental Attribution Error, social media algorithms, and doxing. By practicing empathy, engaging in discussions, and creating a safer space for all, we can work towards building a more positive and respectful online community.
Dr Shawn Ee.
BSc. BPsych. DPsych.(Clinical), Clinical Psychologist & Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist, Registered Psychologist (AHPRA; Australia)