Apart from the face to face direct contact of human communication, other types of contacts are linked with a particular medium or through specific media and have the media intermediaries. Therefore, the characteristics of communication usually differ because of the difference of media. Similarly, due to the characteristics of internet, contacts via the network is corresponding with the following characteristics: First, the network of contacts with the most prominent of anonymity, communication online cannot see and listen each other, and we even did not know the true identity the opposition. Chat via BBS is the best example to embody this character. This anonymity cannot be compared with the way of other contacts, especially face to face or oral communication. Thus anonymity network of contacts leading to the second characteristic, the lack of oversight mechanisms, meaning that the network communication is the most real, most do not need fraud.
Anonymity makes the network of contacts without the must have by the other means of communication, such as social supervision and cultural taboos, and thus there is no need to bring the mask of one’s personality. On the negative side, we cannot be responsible for talking with each other to deceive, and even rudely speaking; and from the positive side, we do not need to lie. If there is no anonymity, then you should be responsible for what you say and the opinion you delivered, which makes you very self-disciplined and also learned to fraud; third, anonymous contacts can suspend the kind of power relations within the communicate. As we all know, there are many distortions in communication behavior such as the authenticity and equality. the important one is that contacts must exist between the unequal power relations, including the different social status, economic status differences in cultural capitals, different ages, even different looks and so on. These factors are bound to enter the process of contacts and becoming an important social interaction context, and even distort the authenticity of contacts to make contacts cannot be completely equal and rational. The online communication is different, most people chat on the network are using an alias, we do not know who, (even those famous people, too, because they also want to have the opportunity to talk nonsense), so their status and power, cannot afford any role in the communications, which makes the contact more real and equality.
The final outcomes of these characteristics are the same, that is, the network is the truest form of communication, but also the most illusory. This is a very interesting cut both ways of the network of contacts and their online community shaped by.