Topic 2: For & against having more than one online identity

Online identity is defined by Internet Society as a set of characteristics that define a person. My personal opinion is that the internet is a double-edged sword. It may allow people to portray themselves as ideal versions, or be completely parallel to what happens in real life to the extent that it limits freedom and choice.

There are pros and cons of having one or more online identity, but I believe that having more than one identity benefits consmers like myself more.

One online identity is consistent, easy to remember as easily reflects what the user is like in real life. For potential employees, if you have a consistently strong online profile, this helps to establish a good impression. However, because online profiles are closely linked to users offline, they have to be careful of what they do online as this may reflect badly. Hence, people are restricting themselves to “performing” and only putting up versions of themselves that they deem as ideal.  Facebook’s transparency make equate to lack of choice. Google and Facebook aim to aggregate different sources of information into a single identity to monetise it.

Having multiple identities is not easy and takes much effort. However, having multiple identities decreases the chances of identity theft, through the use of varying emails and passwords. As Christopher Poole said, humans are multifaeceted and different actions fit into different contexts. When users are anonymous, they are able to do what they truly want, explore subjects that they would not usually want associated to themselves, and find their “true sense of self”.

This is important because I feel that society in real life is already restrictive as it is, with many individuals conforming to what is deemed as acceptable or not. The internet has so many opportunities and possibilities to tap into, and people should never be limited to the ideals of someone else.

“We build our buildings then our buildings build and shape us.” – Winston Churchill

Likewise, creating online identities has the power to us shape ourselves into people we are not, a person whom we want other people to see.

Word count: 352


References:

The Online Identity Crisis

http://www.wired.com/insights/2014/11/the-online-identity-crisis/

Essena Oneill Quits Instagram

http://www.theguardian.com/media/2015/nov/03/instagram-star-essena-oneill-quits-2d-life-to-reveal-true-story-behind-images

Are you really the same person online and offline?

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “Topic 2: For & against having more than one online identity

  1. Hello Nicole !
    I enjoyed reading your blog post as it gave me more insight to the pros of having once online identity compared to multiple identities. As my post, I focused more on multiple identities.

    I agree on that one online identity is consistent and easy to remember and you stated that the society is already restrictive (I agree to that point!), maybe people should stick to just one identity? Maybe the society can “condition” people to have only one identity online and influence them about the cons on multiple identities. It can vary also on the culture and demography factors?

    And I totally agree with the last sentence of your post! Shaping people to have different masks and have multiple identity even offline!

    Like

    1. Hey Emilia~

      Thanks for your comment! But like I mentioned in my post, we youngsters hate it when society makes us conform to do what is deemed as acceptable, what everyone else is doing. And isn’t the best situation because everyone is different. If society in real life results in people feeling restricted, we will bear the same consequences online if everyone has to represent themselves in a way that is “good”.

      If people have one identity online, cultural and demographic factors that influence how a person showcases himself in real life will have just as much influence on online identities. For example, if some one from a conservative culture is expected to dress modestly in real life, they cannot post pictures of themselves dressed otherwise online. This is because if the society “conditions” everyone, the online identity would be parallel to real life.

      Like

  2. Hi Nicole!

    You have a wonderful post with in depth explanation on the pros and cons of having multiple identities on the internet. However there are a few questions I would like to ask as I read through the post. Firstly, as mentioned, you lowers your chances of facing identity theft by using more than one email account in securing various information, but how do you think by having more than one social media profile helps in that?

    Secondly, does anonymity comes with freedom of speech and behavior? Like what you said about “true self” behavior on the internet if you remain anonymous. I don’t think anonymity applies when companies capture your personas as you go online, unless you have no social media profiles at all, isn’t it?

    I really like the quote from Winston Churchill. It’s really good. Thank you for the wonderful read. i’ll look forward to your next post! 🙂

    Like

    1. Hi Nicholas,

      Having more than one social media profile would not stop identity theft unless you present different versions of yourself across all profiles, use completely different passwords, and submit different email adresses for identification. It is possible but very very tiring to keep up!

      I guess anonymity truly depends on what platform you are using? If you are using an app called Whisper, external companies would not be able to access this persona to use for data mining or to link up to your professional profiles.

      Tried my best to answer all your questions, thanks for asking!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sup Nicole!

        Looks like you are also having a hard time managing different profiles? Or is it wrong to assume that you are?
        Thanks for explaining to me and also, I completely had no idea that there was such an app called “Whisper” until you mention it. Looks like there is a lot more for me to find out before I can prepare my own professional profile.

        Are you ready for it? This ever-tiring age keeps us drained at the end of each day, and all we can do is to look forward to a new day following for new challenges even on the internet.
        Thanks again for answering my questions! 🙂

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s