Online Identity: How many? One, Two, Three???

Have you ever thought about who your online identity was? Does the person actually reflect who you actually are in real life? Who are you trying to become when you’re online? A male, female? It has been stated that our online identity and our  real life identity are usually not the same. Furthermore, I believe that majority of us are not aware of how differently we portray ourselves online as compared to who we actually are in real life.

I, myself, have various social medias where I upload pictures and videos of what I do in my daily life. It was pretty surprising to hear from some of my friends that I am always out eating delicious food or that I travel often, despite the fact that I spent a lot of my time just sitting at home in front of the computer. I guess, due to the fact that I am able to post images and videos any time, even when I am not actually eating that current food picture that I just uploaded, people have a different perception of me being really active and always out and about eating delicious food.

We pretty much live in a world where people are generally superficial and judgmental. Being online, it gives you the freedom to be whoever you wish to be. No one would know how you look and your original personality. This actually gives the comfort to some individuals who are introverts in real life and actually find a hard time getting along with people. I have met some friends online who turn out to be a total different person in real life. However, this would also be a problem. If one is too involved with their online identity, they start to take comfort with only being online, interacting with their online identity that they start to neglect their real life identity.

In a marketeer’s point of view, having multiple online identities would be confusing. It would be hard to identify the real identity of the consumers. With how influencing the internet is, an individual online persona could be based on the various interest that they are exposed to online, and may not reflect to what they are interested in or take into practice offline.

Guys, don’t get too carried away with you online person! Because, what happens before you is real life and not what is going on behind a screen. Go out, enjoy the fresh air and sunshine instead of hiding behind your computer screens or phone.

(420 words)

Reference

PHOTO – Course Guides: Online Identity Management. 2014. [ONLINE] Available at: http://guides.lib.utexas.edu/sp/assets/users/_smorris/idog.jpg. [Accessed 03 November 2015].

Understanding your Online Identity. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.internetsociety.org/sites/default/files/Understanding%20your%20Online%20Identity%20An%20Overview%20of%20Identity.pdf [Accessed 03 November 2015].

PHOTO – FALSE IDENTITY CARTOONS AND COMICS . [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.cartoonstock.com/directory/f/false_identity.asp [Accessed 03 November 2015].

Your Digital Footprint Matters. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.internetsociety.org/your-digital-footprint [Accessed 03 November 2015].

PHOTO. otaviodiniz – Identity Crisis #01 – Who Am I? [ONLINE] Available at: http://comics.otavio.info/121 [Accessed 03 November 2015].

DAVE VRONAY, HEARD. The Online Identity Crisis. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.wired.com/insights/2014/11/the-online-identity-crisis/ [Accessed 03 November 2015].

CURTIS WALLEN JUL 23, 2014. How to Invent a Person Online. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/07/how-to-invent-a-person-online/374837/ [Accessed 03 November 2015].

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3 thoughts on “Online Identity: How many? One, Two, Three???

  1. Interesting article, Shannon! I like that idea how you place yourself as an example in your own post. You’ve mentioned, “We pretty much live in a world where people are generally superficial and judgmental.” But don’t you think it’s because of all these “superficial and judgmental” that we should be more real? If we were to have multiple identities and got found out the ‘real’ us, isn’t it going to be worst? And people would start judging behind your back instead.

    If we were to own multiple identities, what make us sure that employees wouldn’t come across our private accounts? I wondered what are your views on businesses using social media to screen possible employees. I understand that potential employees are likely to screen social media such as Facebook to look more in-dept of potential employee. From the multiple identities, employers can have a well-rounded perception of an individual. As a result, I think that it would largely benefit employers in terms of hiring the best suitable candidate.

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  2. Hello Shannon!
    I enjoyed reading your post, as there are points that are very relatable to our current society. In particular when you wrote that being online gives one the freedom to be comfortable and just be who they are.

    This hit me as I was watched a video which was rather relatable to your post. The content of the video was saying that with technology being advanced, “disadvantaged” groups such as the LGBT community could find solace online with people who are on the same page as them.

    However, on the flip side it maybe a negative as it may encourage cyber bullying. These individuals may feel that passing malicious comments online would be harmless as they can hide their true identity.

    Aside from agreeing to your post I personally feel that it would be beneficial for marketers to have more than one identity as it can help them separate their social life and business professionally.

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  3. Hi Shannon,

    Indeed, anyone can be anyone online. Perhaps what information we post about ourselves reveals part of our offline identity, but it does get magnified by the online audience because that is only what they are aware of.

    Having said that, do you think it is possible to support an individual having multiple online identities in that sense? Simply put, I think everyone has different facets of their overall personality and these may be perceived as different online identities when they showcase various sides online?

    And I love how you mentioned that the virtual space may be a source of comfort for introverts as they are able to express themselves. However, it is questionable that their online and offline identity are different – most probably they are shy but that does not define a variance in identity? Of course, I do understand that there might be problems of authenticity faced when individuals can create multiple identities and that is a concern.

    Cheers!

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