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.
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The Online Identity Crisis
Essena Oneill Quits Instagram
Are you really the same person online and offline?