Reflective Summary: Having more than one identity online: More authentic or more vulnerable?

This topic was a thought-provoking one. New online identities are created by us everyday, with just a few clicks and a few pieces of information provided, we can create an account on any website almost unconsciously – we are so used to these processes that we don’t even need a second think to do it. I personally would register different accounts for different purposes. For instance, as suggested in Davina’s post, LinkedIn could be used to display a more academic and professional side whilst Instagram and Facebook allows people to constantly update friends and family, or provide an online platform for information exchange.

On the other hand, over the last decade, there has been a rapid growth in number of Facebook and Google users, and with these companies promoting the ‘authenticity’ of having one online identity, people are encouraged to tie their accounts together – as suggested by Nicole, “A Facebook account became a sort of passport to the rest of the web…” (Stone and Friar, 2014).

Accordingly, one might wonder whether it’s more beneficial to have one or more online identities. While Davina has raised concerns about a possible threat caused by misusage and abuse of the freedom of expression granted by online anonymity, a Forbes article mentioned by Nicole also pointed out how fragmenting personality whilst maintaining multiple online identities may make it extremely difficult to be a complete person offline, the result being a lasting social ramification. Nonetheless, Andrew Lewman argued that preserving anonymity allows for creativity as it gives people the fundamental power to forget and start over.

Anyhow, I personally do enjoy owning two Instagram accounts – while one private account allows me to share pieces of myself with my friends, the other foodie account provides me a platform to share experiences with the public without giving out personal details. Thus, in short, I would say freedom of expression and choice should be preserved, however, future education on this area should be accentuated.

Links to my comments:

Davina’s Blog

https://davinaappiagyei.wordpress.com/2016/10/30/who-really-are-you/#comment-13

Nicole’s Blog

https://nicolegildone.wordpress.com/2016/10/30/topic-2-online-identity/#comment-7

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