What Is Deindividuation? How Can Online Therapy Help?

Deindividuation is a psychological phenomenon that causes people to become less self-aware and more likely to behave impulsively. It affects the way we think, feel, and act when in groups of people or crowds. Deregulation can make someone feel like what they do doesn’t matter, which is why it might make them do bad things. 

This article will go over deindividuation and its causes. We will also figure out what we can do to avoid the effects of it. How can one seek medical advice and what are the reasons for a lack of individuality? So, Let’s dig in. 

What is Deindividuation?

Your identity is generally a core part of who you are. It can include your self-awareness, thoughts, and beliefs. In the same way, the context of self-awareness is knowing your standards. It’s knowing your character, your morals, and your desires—all of which can be significant factors to consider as you continue to define your personhood. The term” Deindividuation” is the phenomenon in which people engage in apparently spontaneous, abnormal acts. Sometimes, it also leads to violent acts in various situations. The extent is worse that they even don’t get identified (i.e. in crowded places or groups).

It was initially introduced by Leon Festinger, an American expert in social psychology, during the 1950s. The purpose of this discovery was to consider this abnormality for further investigation. Some instances of deindividuation can diminish the accountability of those individuals hidden within a group identity. This circumstance prevents people from being traced or blamed for their behavior. Consequently, the effects of individualization are primarily perceived as socially unacceptable and may lead to high levels of violence. Despite its negative nature, it also has some positive aspects. Concerning societal and group norms, it functions like a keyhole, aiding people in conforming to expected behaviors

Examples of Deindividuation

There are various classic examples of this which are as follows:

Crowded Events or Concerts: 

In large gatherings, such as concerts or sporting events, individuals might feel a sense of anonymity within the crowd. This can result in people acting in ways they wouldn’t in smaller, more identifiable settings.

Online Platforms: 

The internet provides a virtual environment where individuals can feel detached from their real-world identity. This anonymity can lead to identity loss, prompting people to engage in aggressive or inappropriate behaviors in online discussions or social media.

Riots or Protests: 

Participants in large-scale protests or riots may experience a sense of anonymity within the crowd. This can lead to individuals committing acts of violence or vandalism that they might not otherwise engage in as individuals.

Costumed Events: 

During events like Halloween or costume parties, individuals wearing masks or disguises may experience deindividuation, a psychological phenomenon where the presence of deindividuation conditions, such as anonymity provided by costumes, can reduce their sense of personal responsibility and lead to behaviours outside their usual norms.

Anonymous Group Settings: 

Group situations where individuals are not easily identifiable, such as in a mob or masked demonstration, can improve deindividuation. This loss of personal identity might result in behaviours that deviate from typical conduct.

Virtual Environments: 

In online gaming or virtual communities, individuals may adopt alternate personas or avatars, contributing to a sense of loss of identity. This can lead to behaviors that differ from their offline personality.

What Can You Do To Avoid The Effects Of Deindividuation?

When a person is deindividuated within a non-destructive group, the benefits can be positive and may include a sense of belonging and camaraderie. It can be extremely emotional and some people feel exhilarated when they return to a sense of self-awareness. However, this can also contribute to destructive group behaviour. Political oppression, mass violence, riots, and bullying can all stem from a lack of individuality.

To avoid the effects of deindividuation, it’s helpful to remember a few things. First, be aware that loss of identity occurs when you feel less accountable in a group. Try to maintain your identity even when you’re part of a larger group. Second, consider the social identity model of deindividuation, which suggests that being part of a group can influence behavior. Be mindful of how the group members’ identity might impact your actions. Third, understand that the term deindividuation is linked to high levels of behavior that might be socially unacceptable. So, keep in mind your standards and try to stick to them, even when you’re in a group. By being aware of the social identity model and remembering your identity, you can help avoid the negative effects of deindividuation. 

Seeking Professional Advice?

If you believe you’re experiencing the effects of deindividuation. Consulting a therapist and working with them can get you to the self-awareness phase. A therapist can help you by counseling you on various aspects. It may help you forgive yourself, and adopt the correct steps to move forward. Leaving past behaviors is quite difficult. 

Is Online Therapy Effective?

Online therapy is considered to be highly effective. But for some reason, experts consider time issues. The New York Newspaper Times recently published an article about online therapy. They voted for two different experiments. One with veterans by splitting into two groups and another online. Both studies found information that suggests that both types of therapy are equally effective. 

In Online therapy, therapists can use various therapeutic approaches to address issues related to identity, group dynamics, and behaviours associated with deindividuation. The format may include video sessions, instant messaging, or email correspondence.

Final Thoughts

Deindividuation is a psychological phenomenon that happens when pеoplе’s self-awareness and sеnsе of rеsponsibility dеcrеasе.. It can happen in crowdеd placеs, onlinе, or during еvеnts. Avoiding thе еffеcts of dеindividuation involvеs remembering your standards in a group, being aware of how group identity can influеncе your actions, and understanding that it’s linkеd to behaviors that might not be okay. Sееking hеlp from a thеrapist, еspеcially through onlinе thеrapy, can bе еffеctivе in becoming morе sеlf-awarе and dеaling with thе еffеcts of deindividuation. Onlinе thеrapy has bееn shown to be hеlpful, and studiеs suggеst it’s just as еffеctivе as in-pеrson thеrapy. So, if you’re fееling the еffеcts of loss of individuation , rеaching out to a thеrapist, еvеn onlinе, can bе a good stеp toward undеrstanding and improving yoursеlf.