Disinhibition is the lack of an inner psychological restraint on an individual allowing or causing one to participate in activities that one may not normally take part in. This effect can be caused by a number of factors including the introduction of a substance such as alcohol or drugs into the body and the presence of an environment conductive to a loss of inhibition. .
The internet is a prime cause for disinhibition for users for a variety of reasons. Because of the fundamental nature of the internet an individual has the capability control their virtual presence in the internet and alter what others can know about them. When interacting with someone else it becomes very easy to provide them misleading information. In real life many individuals can lie about their age or their income but it is hard to protect those lies if interaction continues for a long period of time. On the internet however, as individuals never have to interact face-to-face, it is easier to keep up a fazade and thus allow an individual to keep up whatever persona they may choose. A 15 year old isolated malcontent can enter the internet and interact with people under the guise of an 18 year old prom-king quarterback with a full ride to Notre Dame and no one would be the wiser. Due to the anonymity inherent in the medium, anyone who feels any hesitance towards social situations can interact comfortably on the internet as well as pretend that they are someone else, if they feel the need.
However, the internet is not only being used for casual interaction. Internet use, since its introduction, has grown to include every aspect of life from scheduling vacations, banking, research, even dating. Use of the internet in all these areas has increased due to people's growing confidence in the medium. The prevalence of online romantic relationships is one of the ways this is most noticeable. It is attractive to be able to find potential partners in a relaxed environment where one can pursue or shun a relationship.