Online profiling is a popular method to publicly advertise personal characteristics and interests. However, users may have several identities across multiple platforms, rather than one consistent identity (FutureLearn, 2017).
Do We Need Online Identities?
In society, learning has migrated to a more digitalised platform, where users can create and access content online (Costa & Torres, 2011). The increase of social media usage indicates the variety of methods used to exchange information (Pew Research Center, 2018).
Users cannot simply use books to obtain information. A wider scope is required. As discussed in topic 2, online identities enhance ‘networked’ learning, allowing further discussions with other members (Futurelearn, 2017).
Single vs Multiple Identities
Building a professional and a personal profile is the key to success. It provides different channels of communication that should not intertwine with each other.
However, users often forget about their ‘different identities’. Public platforms such as Twitter often contains users who post irresponsible ‘tweets’. The encouragement of ‘trending’ topics can further expose users, revealing their backstory and lifestyle. Sacco was just one of the many to experience this unfortunate event (Ronson, 2012). This emphasises the point: think twice before you speak.
It is up to the individual’s discretion whether they want to maintain one or multiple online identities. Personal profiles can be kept casual and private. Professional profiles should be available to all users on the Web, to enhance career prospects.
However, authenticity of profiles remains an issue for both adults and children . For example, gaming profiles contain deceptive information, manipulating content to mislead users (Tsikerdekis & Zeadally, 2014). Can we really tell when a profile is deceiving?
Managing multiple identities is like juggling. The more items you juggle, the more risk you take with your actions. The fewer the items, the more control you maintain. Which type are you?
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3 thoughts on “The Real Me? – Topic 3”
I really enjoyed reading your blog post and found it to be very insightful and knowledgeable. I definitely agree with the concept of managing multiple identities being compared to juggling; more items you juggle the greater the risk.
In my blog, I mentioned how when social media websites launched they were aimed at a certain group of people for e.g., Myspace was aimed towards teenagers, Facebook was aimed towards college (university) students and LinkedIn was aimed towards hi-tech professionals (Agichtein et al. 2008). As individuals age and transition in their lives, they fragment their social lives across different social media websites, which creates multiple identities for individuals. With the introduction of so many new social media websites do you think in the future there will be no one with single identity?
I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this topic.
Agichtein, E., Castillo, C., Donato, D., Gionis, A. and Mishne, G. (2008) 184pc128.csie.ntnu.edu.tw: Finding High-Quality Content in Social Media. Available from: http://184pc128.csie.ntnu.edu.tw/presentation/09-03-09/Finding%20High-Quality%20Content%20in%20Social%20Media.pdf [Accessed 20 April 2018].
Thanks for reading my post!
I really like the point you made about social media targeting different age groups. Fragments of our identity can be pieced together if one really tried, and this is a dangerous game. In essence, these sites merge ‘multiple’ identities into one, which is the real you.
With regards to your question, I think that there will be no ‘single identity’ on the Web. It is human nature to present our best profile to impress companies, but also maintain our personal identities with family and peers. This can be done anonymously to prevent any links between profiles, but information can still be tracked down and investigated further. We can maintain our identities securely (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/internet-security/10509121/10-ways-to-protect-your-online-identity.html), but it is difficult to not integrate our different profiles. What do you think?
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