Topic 2: Which is the real me?

Image result for on the internet nobody knows you're a dog

(Source: Wikipedia)

Before Facebook and Google became the megaliths of the internet, the famous online adage was, “on the internet, no one knows you’re a dog” by Peter Steiner in 1993. The cartoon hit home with the wariness about the facile facade that could be thrown up by anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of html. However, the concept of personal and professional presence on the internet has been clearer – A Facebook account where transparency is high compared to a LinkedIn account where authenticity and presentation as a multi-faceted human with strengths and weaknesses is key. But ultimately, is having more than one online identity beneficial?

“Having two identities for yourself is an example of a lack of integrity.”

Above is a quote by Mark Zuckerberg abstracted from David Kirkpatrick’s book, The Facebook Effect, on having different online identities. As the pursuit of authenticity is creeping into the heart of most social media platforms, the way we portray ourselves online would greatly affect our reputation. This is largely related to employment opportunities where employers would “check out” their prospect employees on their social media platforms to verify their true identity. An article by Steph Palmer and a Youtube video by Michael Fertik would best explain how our digital identity affects our professional future. As it states in a New York Times Magazine piece, “the internet records everything and forgets nothing.”

Image result for social media benefits

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On the contrary, having more than one online identity might have its perks as well. Andrew Lewman of the Tor Project argues that anonymity allows people to be in control, be creative, explore what they want to do and who they want to be. Through numerous online identities, it allows people to navigate the multiple and increasingly complex spheres of our lives in the online community. The focus is not about pretending to be someone that you are not; rather, you turn the volume up on some aspects of your identity, and tone down others, all based on the particular online context. An example would be a famous Korean celebrity, G-Dragon, where he maintains an open Instagram account and a private account where it shields him from unnecessary public and media attention due to his international fame.

To wrap it up,  in my personal opinion, it is definitely acceptable to have more than one online identity as long as it does not cause any negative impacts on people like cyber-bullying.

(Word count: 400)

References:

‘NOBODY KNOWS YOU’RE A DOG’: As iconic Internet cartoon turns 20, creator Peter Steiner knows the idea is as relevant as ever (n.d.). Retrieved November 07, 2016, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/comic-riffs/post/nobody-knows-youre-a-dog-as-iconic-internet-cartoon-turns-20-creator-peter-steiner-knows-the-joke-rings-as-relevant-as-ever/2013/07/31/73372600-f98d-11e2-8e84-c56731a202fb_blog.html

By the way, one thing I think it’s useful to remember about Zuckerberg is that he’s a 25 year old billionaire. Such people are not normal. (n.d.). Facebook’s Zuckerberg: “Having two identities for yourself is an example of a lack of integrity” Retrieved November 07, 2016, from http://www.michaelzimmer.org/2010/05/14/facebooks-zuckerberg-having-two-identities-for-yourself-is-an-example-of-a-lack-of-integrity/
Is An Online Identity Necessary and What Should You Do to Maintain It? (n.d.). Retrieved November 07, 2016, from http://www.michelemmartin.com/thebambooprojectblog/2007/10/is-an-online-id.html
One Identity or More? (.n.d). Retrieved 07 November 2016, from http://buzzmachine.com/2011/03/08/one-identity-or-more
Digital Identity can Affect our Professional Future (.n.d). Retrieved 07 November 2016, from, https://storify.com/svpalmer/digital-identity-can-affect-our-professional-futur

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7 thoughts on “Topic 2: Which is the real me?

  1. Hi Beatrice, I’ve enjoyed reading your blog post. I agree with your opinion of having more than one online identity is acceptable, but with proper discipline. Online users with more than one online identity should avoid abusing their multiple profiles by impersonating and for ill-intentions. Remember that having more than one online identity for specific purposes can also help an individual, for example, having an online professional identity for job opportunities and another social media identity for friends. Like what you have mentioned for the pros and cons of having multiple online identity. Good job!

    – Walden

    Like

    1. Hello Walden! I’m glad that you enjoyed reading my humble blog post. Definitely agree with your opinion on impersonating and ill-intentions as there is a frightening increase in the number of cyber-bully and identity theft, making the internet a dangerous place for users like us. Understood your point about having a professional and personal identity! Thank you for your kind comments!

      With regards,
      Beatrice

      Like

  2. Hello Beatrice,
    what an insightful post you have there. I totally agree with the quote “Having two identities for yourself is an example of a lack of integrity”. If an employer looks up the prospective employee on Social Media and realised that he/she has more than one online identity, the reliability of the candidate is being reduced drastically as the information posted online is not accurate after all.
    However, I also agree that having multiple identities allows people to have anonymity, be in control, be creative, explore what they want to do and who they want to be.
    However, I feel that having multiple online identities has its pros and cons and one should see which is more beneficial before jumping into it. Do you think that having multiple online identities induces fame? For example, if you make viral videos with a totally different personality. Will it be a positive or negative thing?

    -Jef Tan Yi Yang

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Beatrice!! Thanks for sharing some very insightful links!

    You brought up a very valid point that having more than one online identity could be a form of security as well! I do agree with you that as long as users with multiple online identities don’t cause any negative effects on others, it’s perfectly fine! But unfortunately, there’re always bad eggs around.

    Do you think employers could really verify the true identity of their employees online though? I do understand Google doesn’t filter our online identities, but people are constantly strategically designing the contents they post, so are what employers viewing online really credible? And do you think it is valid for employers to have a prejudgement of an employee based on his/her online identity, especially if the contents don’t reflect unethical behaviors or poor competencies?

    Like

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