I find the words of online identity being described as the ‘best version of ourselves’ and ‘becoming a brand more than a personality’ said by Chase, from the above video, to be very powerful. It opens up the issues of the fact users are becoming controlled online increasingly, as we not only want to fit into the society we live in but also the world wide web. We are controlled by the measurement of our online popularity for example; how many friends you have on Facebook or how many likes you receive on a picture. Moreover, we are controlled by what and when it is appropriate to make an update about ourselves.
Defining our individual online identity can be tricky and it links back to my previous blog about digital visitors and residents with regards to categorizing users’ identity by our motives to being online. Who am I today could be different to who I am tomorrow. Today I may want to find a date and tomorrow I may need to research for an essay. Therefore, the person I come across as online will frequently change. Mallory Johns says ‘that the different social accounts reflect different parts of our personas.’ (Lee, 2016). Lee’s experiences are shared with this view as her Instagram was targeted at her friends and she was embarrassed when her family saw her account, whereas on Facebook she openly interacts with her family members. Therefore, her identity is different from friends compared to family this is also the same for an individual’s identity in a professional environment e.g. LinkedIn compared to a social environment e.g. Facebook.
Slideshow: examples of users with hidden, fake or multiple online identities.
From Krotoski’s article, it seems that he believes open identities help develop and explore people’s personalities deeper, making individuals more accessible. I agree with him and this is beneficial in terms of engaging on a wider scale within each community (Costa &Torres, 2011). Having a hidden or multiple online identities can make people feel validated in society and reach out to a wider audience. To have a false identity gives some sense of privacy so reduces risk of having your identity stolen or facing stalkers. Nevertheless, having multiple identities can lead to confusion with which account has what identity. Also, chances of bullying could increase if someone comes to realise an account is fake, they may use this against you as they would assume you are vulnerable.
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If you are interested in gathering ideas about online identity further, I would recommend watching the below video which I found to be engaging and insightful:
Krotoski, A. (2012). “Is online authenticity or anonymity more important?”. The Guardian. [Accessed 24 Oct. 2016]
Costa, C., & Torres, R. (2011). ‘To be or not to be? The importance of digital identity in the networked society’. Educação, Formação & Tecnologias, page 47-53. [Accessed 24 Oct. 2016]
Lee, N. (2016). ‘Having multiple online identities is more normal than you think’ engagnet uk [online] [Accessed 24 Oct. 2016]
Faith J., Sirenm S., Lee A. (2011). ‘The Pros & Cons of Your Online Identity’. Independent Fashion Bloggers [Accessed 24 Oct. 2016]
SoulPancake. (2016). ‘Online vs. Offline Self: Who is the Real You? | New Age Creators’ YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZAkZ4TzSEA
Wikipedia. (2016). Miranda Sings [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miranda_Sings [Accessed 25 Oct. 2016].
Common Sense Education. (2014). “Henry’s Story: Creating Online Identities”. YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tacqkeeceqs
YouTube Channel. Bethany Mota: https://www.youtube.com/user/Macbarbie07
YouTube Channel. Miranda Sings: https://www.youtube.com/user/mirandasings08
Dictionary.com. (2016). Pseudonym. [online] [Accessed 25 Oct. 2016].
Urban Dictionary. (2016). Catfishing. [online] [Accessed 25 Oct. 2016].