Review: The Online Identity, or Identities?

Reading through the blogs, I realised that there were many different views as to having one or more online identities. While there are no right or wrong viewpoints, judgement should be based on the individual’s motivation.

Calanthea’s post has tweaked my stand to see another good in multiple identities. She brought up that having multiple identities (e.g. a private second Instagram account) could be meaningful. It helped her friend; living in UK, foster a more intimate bond with Calanthea. The increased privacy enabled her to express freedom of speech. (Krotoski, 2012) No doubt, the posts will have an increased level of authenticity.

In this case, the motivation of her friend is purely camaraderie. This second identity could benefit her emotionally.

I do think that the line should be drawn when the multiple identities are created to make offensive comments meant to devalue a victim. This becomes cyber-bullying where the anonymous identities criticize limitlessly knowing that they do not have to pay for their aggressive action. In this case, anonymity should be frowned upon.

From a marketer’s view, Joey enlightened me with the benefit of marketing with multiple identities. From vlogger Colleen Evans, we can see that her second identity, Miranda Sings, was celebrated and it created a greater popularity for her. She successfully marketed multiple personas to different viewers.

target-pregnant

(Picture Source: NeuroScience MarketingHow Target Figured Out A Teen Girl Was Pregnant Before Her Dad, Forbes)

Contrary to the vlogger’s case, Calanthea’s post revealed the drawback of multiple identities as it could mislead marketers’ knowledge of their customer, making it hard for target marketing. (Hill, 2012) Therefore, with proper profiling of customers, marketers tend to find authenticity in online identities for greater accuracy in target marketing.

Regardless of the number of identities, I believe that in the end, it all boils down to the purpose of the digital footprint.

(297 words)

For my comment on Joey’s blog, please click here.

For my comment on Calanthea’s blog, please click here.

References:

Hill, K. (16 February 2012). How Target Found Out A Teen Girl Was Pregnant Before Her Dad. Forbes. Retrieved on 4 November 2015 from http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2012/02/16/how-target-figured-out-a-teen-girl-was-pregnant-before-her-father-did/

Krotoski, A. (19 April 2012). Online identity: is authencity or anonymity more important? The Guardian. Retrieved on 4 November 2015 from http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2012/apr/19/online-identity-authenticity-anonymity

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The Online Identity, or Identities?

The online identity represents you, through a collective of characteristics and interactions formed with your digital footprints.

photo.jpg

(Picture Source: Simply Zesty, 2012)

Online identities, the plural, arise when a level of secrecy is wanted. It gives you full control of the information you disclose, where you can be different personas on different platforms. (Krotoski, 2012) With many social platforms available today, it is easy to create multiple identities.

Let’s discuss the arguments for or against having more than one identity.

For: Multiple Identities

Why do people want multiple identities?

Anonymity.

For people fresh out of therapy, it could be beneficial for their wellbeing to leave their past. As Andrew Lewman stated, it gives users a chance to ‘start over’. (Krotoski, 2012)

For people who believe in keeping their lives private, the best way to do it is to separate the private from the professional. (Smarty, 2009)

Screen-Shot-2014-02-06-at-16.47.50

(Picture Source: The Undercover Recruiter, 2011)

It is not shocking that recruiters look at the candidates’ social networking profiles. Recruiters are more likely to get an authentic view of the candidates rather than basing judgements on resumes alone.

Naturally, users want to steer clear of bad impressions and portray themselves in a good light. Therefore, they create multiple identities.

Against: One Identity

To have just one online identity will brand you as genuine and trustworthy. This is the implication to be accountable for what is shown and do not hide behind the ‘digital façade’.

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

Mark Zuckerberg, 2010

In an interview with David Kirkpatrick, the Facebook CEO believed in authentic online representation. (Zimmer, 2010) Although he backtracked in 2014, many supporters are still aligned with this view of the one identity.

FashionBlogger_banner

(Picture Source: Dressve’s Fashion Blogger Program)

This gives marketers a chance to work professionally with online profiles. Take blog advertising for example. When seeking bloggers to endorse products, marketers are looking for profiles with authenticity. It will reflect well on the brand’s image and products. Profiles with a reachable presence and greater community engagement are preferred too.

(Video Source: miicard’s channel, 2014, Youtube)

The video exhibits a case where the identity creation is abused by online predators. Online predators use fake profiles and prey on others for unethical purposes. Anonymity is coined as a ‘cloak for cowards’ by Jarvis (2011). In today’s age of transparency, it seems that authenticity is getting more important. When people show non-anonymous profiles, it shows greater reliability when linking their online representation to offline being.

I believe one authentic profile speaks louder than many deceptive profiles. Although there are privacy and security issues, I do feel that certain issues can be simply kept secret.

Afterall, isn’t one identity enough?

Do you agree or believe otherwise?

(439 words)

References:

Costa, C. & Torres, R. (April 2011). To be or not to be? The importance of digital identity in the networked society. Retrieved on 3 November 2015, from http://eft.educom.pt/index.php/eft/article/view/216/126

Jarvis, J. (8 March 2011). One identity, or more? BuzzMachine. Retrieved on 3 November 2015, from http://buzzmachine.com/2011/03/08/one-identity-or-more/

Krotoski, A. (19 April 2012). Online identity: is authencity or anonymity more important? The Guardian. Retrieved on 3 November 2015 from http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2012/apr/19/online-identity-authenticity-anonymity

Smarty, A. (7 May 2009). How (and Why) to Maintain Several Online Identities. Seo Smarty. Retrieved on 3 November 2015, from http://www.seosmarty.com/how-and-why-to-maintain-several-online-identities/

The Undercover Recruiter. (2011). How Employers Use Social Media to Screen Applicants [INFOGRAPHIC]. The Undercover Recruiter. Retrieved on 3 November 2015, from http://theundercoverrecruiter.com/infographic-how-recruiters-use-social-media-screen-applicants/

Zimmer, D. (2010). Facebook’s Zuckerberg: “Having two identities for yourself is an example of a lack of integrity.” Michael Zimmer. Retrieved on 3 November 2015, from http://www.michaelzimmer.org/2010/05/14/facebooks-zuckerberg-having-two-identities-for-yourself-is-an-example-of-a-lack-of-integrity/

Review on Topic 1: “Digital Resident” VS “Digital Visitor”

It was a thought-provoking process viewing my classmates’ posts, especially after reading Luna’s and Jasmine’s posts. I found that I better understood myself with their visual examples, knowing in terms of the category I fell into. Diving deeper, their posts enlightened me about the pitfalls of being an extreme Digital Visitor or Resident.

Luna’s statement resonated with me, by concluding that:

it’s best to maintain a neutral ground when it comes to using the Web

She pointed out that there are drawbacks of a Digital Visitor by not soaking in the benefits of the Web. In contrast, as a Digital Resident, there are also drawbacks by being too reliant on the Web.

Reflecting on this issue, I agree with her view that it would be beneficial to maintain a healthy balance by not being at the extremes. This is possible due the framework I presented in my last post, showing that people can have both attributes.

Jasmine’s personal examples have reminded me of my activities on the Web, reinforcing my perception as a Digital Resident. For one, I share my life with friends on Facebook and Instagram. Also, I do not keep a physical calendar with marked birthdays of my friends. I am guilty of relying on Facebook’s birthday alerts to wish acquaintances a ‘Happy Birthday’.

online-dating-300x180

(Picture Source: Cartoon by Randy Glasbergen)

While it seems that digital residency has become a more popular notion in today’s increasingly digitalized world, I feel that sometimes we need to critically examine if too much online engagement is good for us. In extreme cases, Digital Residents’ reliance on the Internet can be quite worrying. What if being on the Internet too much actually impairs our social abilities to communicate corporeally? Hopefully in the future, there would still be value in holding real life conversations when compared to online conversations.

(300 words)

Topic 1 – “Digital Visitors” VS “Digital Resident”

Even without any knowledge of the framework, we know the definitions of the following terms:

Visitor: A person who act on seeing something for a specific purpose.

Resident: A person who lives in an area on a long-term basis.

This tells us that a Digital Visitor spends little time online, and has an agenda for it. They are not bothered to create a presence on the Internet. In fact, they are somewhat fleeting, from different search engines, to different online platforms, just to complete their to-do list and leave the Internet, when things are done. They do not belong online, or on social media platforms. An example from this definition is online booking for an upcoming holiday, solely to look for flights and accommodation and afterwards, book the tickets as a goal. After achieving the goal, Digital Visitors will have no interest to stay online.

On the other hand, a Digital Resident tries to build a ‘home’ on the Internet. There will be usage of social media platforms to share information such as personal opinions, photos and conversations, making it a social space. It is therefore important for Digital Residents to have a digital identity that portrays them accurately, or the way they want themselves to be perceived. The common traits of digital residency can be found universally in bloggers. They generate content and maintain strong virtual relationships with their readers for their career. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter profiles are common platforms where it happens.

The differentiation between the two is that Digital Residents take their involvement in the Internet a step further than Digital Visitors. As compared to the Digital Native and Digital Immigrant model, this framework shows a progressive relationship instead of a contrasting one.

vr-continuum

Picture Source: Visitors and Residents continuum, White and Le Cornu, 2011

In my opinion, one can never be deemed a pure Digital Visitor or pure Digital Resident, for it is a continuum. There is a scale towards where one may tend.

Take myself for example, when I want to go for a holiday, I go online primarily to book for flight, accommodation and attraction tickets, therefore a Digital Visitor. The scale is then skewed when I read articles, participates in online conversations and post details about my trip. These are characteristics of a Digital Resident. Therefore, the two terms are not binary opposites, but rather a summative definition after considering both ends of the spectrum. I do know that I have a dependency on social spaces on the Web.

References:

David S. W. & Alison L. C. (2011). Visitors and Residents: A new typology for online engagement. First Monday, Volume 16. Retrieved on 30th October 2015, from http://tallblog.conted.ox.ac.uk/index.php/2008/07/23/not-natives-immigrants-but-visitors-residents/

White & Le Cornu. (2011). Visitors and Residents continuum. Retrieved on 30th October 2015, from http://www.jiscinfonet.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/vr-continuum.jpg

Connaway, L. S., Lanclos, D., & White, D. (2014). Evaluating online behaviors: A Visitors and Residents approach. Retrieved on 30th October 2015, from http://www.slideshare.net/LynnConnaway/evaluating-online-behaviors-a-visitors-and-residents-approach

My Self-Test at the start of #MANG2049

This is a self-assessment of my digital literacy at this point of time, for the start of this module: Living and Working on the Web #MANG2049. There will be a rating from 1 to 5 (where 1 is no experience, and 5 is very experienced) for the following factors:

Accessing, managing and evaluating online information – Rating: 2 ★★

The power of search engines are incredible as the search and results for general information is readily at our fingertips. I believe my problem will be trying to validate all the different information that I readily got. Which information do I believe? How do I think that the information can be integrated into my work?

Participating in online communities – Rating: 2 ★★

I have read about online communities and know of some existence for my interests, for scuba-diving and backpacking, but I have not participated much. I am more of a passive follower in the online communities.

Building online networks around an area of interest – Rating: 1 ★

I have not built any online network around an area for interest, although I am looking forward to creating one. It will be nice to find people of common interests off the Internet and making friends out of them.

Collaborating with others – Rating: 3 ★★★

Collaborating with others online, I worked on Google Docs, on Microsoft One Drive for information sharing. During my previous projects in school, I worked alongside peers a lot, offline and online, to finalise and create prototypes and business plans.

Creating online materials (text, audio, images and video) – Rating: 3 ★★★

I keep a private journal online, since I was introduced to Blogspot and Livejournal in my primary school days. I love keeping my memories in the form of thoughts and pictures, and sometimes videos, therefore creating online materials is not a feat.

Managing your online identity – Rating: 2 ★★

As an individual born of today’s digitalised society, I see the value of having an online identity in Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Other than regular personal updates, I think I have a lot to improve on to make my digital profiles more professional, so as to network better. I know that creating a LinkedIn profile will be beneficial for my career, but I have yet to create one as of now.

Managing your online privacy and security – Rating: 1 ★

Although I try, I am not fully confident of protecting my online privacy and security. Passwords and credentials are well-kept secrets but when it comes to technology, I am no expert.

I hope my journey in #MANG2049 will enhance my digital profile and improve my digital literacy.