Here is a video I made highlighting the 5 key points to managing your online identity:
According to Costa and Torres (2011) single or multiple identities is one of the major dichotomies of online identities. It can be a difficult choice to make and a difficult situation to maintain and having a single online identity or multiple online identities both have benefits and limitations. Anyone with an active social media account makes decisions about how to present himself or herself online whether they realise it or not. Brogan (2008) highlights that online identities aren’t all negative and can be used for good to generate job opportunities and act as a showcase of your skills and expertise, they can be a great chance to show who you are and what you can do as long as you’re careful and thoughtful with them. A digital identity can act as a social profile to complement professional and academic profiles (Costa & Torres, 2011) but should the professional and personal be kept separate or is there a benefit to merging them together in one single identity?
In their research Van Kleek at al. (2015) found that a number of their participants tried to maintain separation among their personal, professional and other social roles. There are a number of reasons why individuals choose to do this including the desire to keep their personal and professional of lives separate and keep content they may deem appropriate on their personal profiles away from their professional profiles where it may not be appropriate.
One of the main arguments for having just one online identity is that it is very difficult to continually manage multiple identities. Labrecque, Markos and Milne (2011) and Casserly (2011) argue that
“…managing multiple online personas is increasingly difficult, and separating social and professional worlds appears nearly impossible without the proper mechanisms for control.”
Being able to have one online identity is simpler and more convenient.
Another argument in favour is raised by Krotoski (2012), Casserly (2011) and Brogan (2008) is that if you have one identity that identity is likely to be a far more authentic representation of you which people are likely to have a better response to and trust more. Increasingly, people are blurring the lines between having distinctive personal and professional profiles and these are merging into new, more authentic, personal-professional profiles that are far more relatable. In addition to this, anonymity could be damaging because anonymity doesn’t transfer into offline opportunities like jobs (Diaz, 2010; Krotoski, 2012; Brogan, 2008).
Finally, one factor that is important to consider which is highlighted by Costa and Torres (2011) is that any online identity however carefully constructed is subject to interference by others.
“Any online information about us – even if it was not added by ourselves in the first place- defines a part of our digital identity: school records, mentions by third parties, tagged pictures, blog comments.” (Costa & Torres, 2011)
This point is emphasized in the a TED Talk by Acquisti (TED, 2013) he argues line between public and private is increasingly blurred and that the most important thing is that people are aware of the implications of their actions and how available their online identity data is.
My own of managing my online identity is very much having separate personal and professional identities which I touched upon last week, as did a number of other people in their blogs and which was also mentioned in the comments left on my blog and that I left on other peoples blogs. This weeks topic has made me consider my own actions and whether they are in fact the best way to manage my own online identity and what other options I have.
Arguments For a Single Identity
Arguments Against a Single Identity
Separation of identities – personae
Separation of content
Brogan, C. (2008, June). Develop a Strong Personal Brand Online 1. Retrieved February 2016, from Chris Brogan: http://chrisbrogan.com/develop-a-strong-personal-brand-online-1/
Casserly, M. (2011, January). Multiple Personalities And Social Media: The Many Faces of Me. Retrieved February 2016, from Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/meghancasserly/2011/01/26/multiple-personalities-and-social-media-the-many-faces-of-me/#59b3ec35e5c2
Changizi, M. (2010, February). Multiple Personality Social Media. Retrieved February 2016, from Science 2.0: http://www.science20.com/mark_changizi/multiple_personality_social_media
Costa, C., & Torres, R. (2011). To be or not to be, the importance of Digital Identity in the networked society. Educação, Formação & Tecnologias , 9, 47-53.
Diaz, Z. (2010, June). 7 Steps To Building Your Online Identity. Retrieved February 2016, from YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UlcOX1fZW4&feature=youtu.be
Internet Society. (n.d.). Internet Society. Retrieved February 2016, from Manage your Identity [VIDEOS]: http://www.internetsociety.org/manage-your-identity
Krotoski, A. (2012, April). Online identity: is authenticity or anonymity more important? Retrieved February 2016, from The Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2012/apr/19/online-identity-authenticity-anonymity
Labrecque, L., Markos, E., & Milne, G. (2011). Online Personal Branding: Processes, Challenges, and Implications. Journal of Interactive Marketing , 25, 37-50.
TED. (2013, June). Alessandro Acquisti: What will a future without secrets look like? Retrieved February 2016, from TED: https://www.ted.com/talks/alessandro_acquisti_why_privacy_matters?language=en
University of Southampton. (2013). Web Science: How the Web is changing the World (Step 5.9) [VIDEO]. Retrieved February 2016, from FutureLearn: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/web-science/1/steps/1021
Van Kleek, M., Smith, D., Shadbolt, N., Murray-Rust, D., & Guy, A. (2015). Self Curation, Social Partitioning, Escaping from Prejudice and Harassment: the Many Dimensions of Lying Online. WWW 2015 Companion (pp. 371-372). Florence, Italy: ACM.
Image: pixabay.com – public domain