Topic 2 Reflection

Topic 2 made me think about how I like to portray myself. Most people always think consciously how they would like to be seen or perceived to other people in the real world. However almost un- conscientiously many people are far more critical of their own personal online identity. I had never thought of that before attempting topic 2, I had almost always seen my online identity as an automated representation of myself however looking at my online identities I see how much information has been cherry picked and selected. Such profile pictures, certain interest and other aspects that accumulate to my online identity.

After having a conversation with Rachel, I decided to compare how mu online personalities differ between social networks almost to see how I have generate multiple identities.

Firstly, looking towards Facebook, I see how it has mainly become a form of communication or discovering news, snapchat has also become a form of communication however far more personal and intimate in-comparison to Facebook. Instagram is the second online identity I believe every photo I have uploaded I believe to be the best photo of that occasion almost being hyper-selective. This means that each photo is not completely representative of the event or occasion that occurred. Lastly looking towards my LinkedIn profile, I see how it’s almost opposite to my Facebook identity being far more professional accommodating to a completely different audience. I have successfully identified three multiple identities for myself for which I was not completely aware of. Depending on which identity you examine you will receive a completely different interpretation of myself.

This made me realise that very few people will have a single online identity and rather have multiple identities.

Knowing this then makes me think of the authentication and security how many people believe multiple online identities is usually only used for immoral or even criminal behaviour however in our current world multiple identities are almost required in my opinion whether that be separate work and social lives or just trying to reduce your online presence

References

Alex’s blog – https://marketing1840.wordpress.com/2017/02/26/how-should-you-really-present-yourself-online/

Rachel’s Comment – https://ausafkhanblog.wordpress.com/2017/02/26/topic-2-online-identities/#comments

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Topic 2: Online Identities

Online identities, this has been a conversation point for as long as I can remember. Online idents usually have a poor reputation and one often generalises that an online identity is almost a negative phrase. It should only be brought up in references to illegal or immoral actions such as cat fishing or internet fraud.However, your online identity covers all your interactions and digital presence across the web.

Firstly, let’s look to the early 1990s where the web had only recently been developed. Interactions between users was not widely used or adopted. When interactions did occur, they were almost always anonymous and not completely in real time.

Looking towards the millennium we see that a multitude of online social networking sites have been developed and have started to become widely adopted. Personal information had now been put on to the web openly for other members of the public to quickly and easily access. Looking at today’s digital landscape online profiles are completely intertwined with real names and day to days’ actions. Within, an instant someone can usually find out where you are or what you have been up to by simply looking at their online profile. Through the creation of social networking it can be argued that personal privacy has exponentially decreased. Due to modern day changes “Users have formed a single public identity that’s version of their offline past, the online present and their combined future” (Krotoski, 2012)

A way in which one can regain a degree of privacy would be creating multiple online identities. Multiple identities can allow you to separate your real life from your digital life. It enables you to separate different personas and different personalities. This enable those to regain privacy as it means they can separate their social interactions to their work actions. (Henry, 2012).

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Enabling anonymity has both benefits and disadvantages when looking at its possible uses. Looking at it from a beneficial point of view, having anonymity for example means that journalist or other members of the digital press can express their opinion and beliefs freely without fear of repercussions. (Marcus, 2007)

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However increasing anonymity through multiple online identities means inauthenticity can increase. People can hide behind a false identity leading to misrepresentation on the web deceiving other users.  This adds to the inauthentic nature of online identities that has led to its poor generalised reputation. Many believe it largely due to online personas that the prevents the development of meaningful connections with others online. (Seife, 2014)

To conclude I believe that we must meet somewhere in the middle. At this current point in time it is incredibly difficult to separate one’s online identity to their offline identity. We must instead be selective about how much we reveal online. Many feel multiple identities allow for the separation of a social and professional persona however we must be more careful about how much of our single identity is freely available on the web.

Word Count: 487

References

Krotoski, A. (2012). Online identity: is authenticity or anonymity more important?. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2012/apr/19/online-identity-authenticity-anonymity

Henry, A. (2012). Should I Keep My Personal and Professional Identities Completely Separate Online? [online] Available at: http://lifehacker.com/5898370/should-i-keep-my-personal-and-professional-identities-completely-separate-online 

Marcus, L. (2017). Removing anonymity won’t stop the online flame wars. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2007/jul/12/guardianweeklytechnologysection.privacy 

Seife, C. 2014. The Weird Reasons Why People Make Up False Identities on the Internet | WIRED. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.wired.com/2014/07/virtual-unreality-the-online-sockpuppets-that-trick-us-all/.