I don’t believe this changes radically as we move to the social realm of interactions. Rightly or wrongly, people make “identifications” of nearly everyone in their surroundings. Some of these “identifications” are wrong, and some are right — but all are done. The bottom line of the real-world is that the human animal, at a subconscious level, *identifies* its surroundings (probably as a remnant of survival mechanisms). Anonymity — or the “state of being unacknowledged” — is a near impossibility in the “real-world.”
All of that nasty, real-world talk aside — the question now becomes: Should the online world reflect the real-world, or not?
Read Eric Norlin’s latest thoughts on the issue at ZDNet