Online identity is the same as our birthnames, except that it is something that we chose ourselves and is used to identity ourselves when we go online. As you can tell from the title, my online identity is marnmon, as it is the username that I go by online, including twitter and instagram.
Let’s first start with the pros and cons that I personally feel are present in having multiple online identities. I made this list after reading a few materials including blogger Ashley Robison’s a.k.a Ashe Michief on the internet.
-Some sense of privacy (anonymity)
-More freedom in expressing opinions which you may feel uncomfortable talking about using your real identity
-Able to express your opinions in domains or groups where you don’t want your friends, family or more importantly, bosses to find.
-Ability to create a personality online which you do not wish to associate with your real identity.
-Online identity thefts?
-Confusion with online and offline identity?
-Growing out of an online identity – what next?
I feel that the main issue in having multiple online identities is privacy, and the prevalance of online identity thefts in today’s world. When I was searching for the term online identity on google, online identity theft was the most recommended term. People are able to easily impersonate us and tarnish our reputation by simply posting nonsense about us on the internet. The thing about the internet is nothing is ever erased. Yeap, that’s right. The internet knows what you did last friday night. We all heard of scandals and gossips on the internet and even on our social media and you have to admit – it really affects the way we may see someone thereafter.
I would like to share with you guys Jeff Jarvis’s article as I liked how he mentioned that we should just be ourselves and be open-minded whilst on the internet. You can’t help but share information online because everyone else is doing it. So the most important issue here is to just share more of your identity to make others perceive you the way you want them to, while still being you.
Personally for me, I would rather have multiple identities. I feel that there is always a time and place for everything. We all need a little privacy where we can be completely ourselves without having to feel like we are going to lose our jobs the next minute because of it. The internet is intended to bring people together and that is what having an online identity does. Different online identities will bring different people together. I wouldn’t say it is deceiving anyone if I were to have two identities and as Jeff Jarvis’s mentioned : stay open-minded.
P.S. You guys can check out your digital footprint by using the digital footprint calculator here. Mine was 1,831 megabytes! Comment down below yours!
IFB. 2014. The Pros & Cons of Your Online Identity [ONLINE] Available at: http://heartifb.com/2011/03/07/pros-cons-online-identity/. [Accessed 01 December 2014].
Jarvis. J. 2011. One identity or more? — BuzzMachine. [ONLINE] Available at: http://buzzmachine.com/2011/03/08/one-identity-or-more/. [Accessed 01 December 2014].
EMC. 2014. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.emc.com/digital_universe/downloads/web/personal-ticker.htm. [Accessed 01 December 2014].