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Why Gen Z increasingly seeks anonymity online

Smaller internet spaces, secret-sharing apps, popular anonymous IG accounts, as well as social platforms where users rarely use their full names (like Tumblr) and Discord have gained attraction among the younger generations.

Why do we see a spur in online anonymity among Gen Z’ers? Despite yearning for personalized experiences, Gen Z is still incredibly knowledgeable about how much they want to share about themselves on social media. According to research by GFK, Gen Z’s concern about privacy and data protection on social media tend to relate to their personal appearance and the maintenance of public identity, rather than the impact of companies gathering data about their tastes and preferences. This development fits into a bigger trend of Generation Z rejecting the ‚likes and comments based social media experience‘ and opting for more authentic online experiences.

As a result, they increasingly look for online places where they can have honest conversations and interactions, without the entire world watching and judging. Being anonymous to them is a sign of authenticity, as it signals to others that whatever you are doing online is not with the aim to sell anything or to promote your personal brand. Although not all Gen Z’ers are striving to stay anonymous, look at the popularity of TikTok, Gen Z’ers are concerned about protecting their online identities, and at least want to stay in charge of how they want to portray themselves online.