This week’s discussion on the pros and cons of multiple online identities has been extensive and varied. I found the most interesting blogs were those that questioned the future of online identities; the role of technology and those that discussed the stigma attached to multiple identities.
The first thing that I noticed after reading the blogs and the attached comments is how much this topic is influenced by personal opinion. Some blogs clearly supported the use of multiple identities, for their ability to allow individuals to market themselves to different audiences. While posts like Ben’s use real world examples to highlight the dangers associated with the use of multiple online identities.
The discussion about not allowing our past mistakes to influence our future seemed to bring out different opinions. For example, Jens’ post highlights the negative impact that single identities can have on creativity and freedom online. Similarly, Nicole’s post questions if we are even aware of how many identities we have. I found this particularly interesting as individuals who support the usage of single identities may be unaware of their own multiple identities.
One of the major factors making this such a diverse debate is how different people define multiple online identities: some see it as anonymity while others see it as just simply having more than one account. The multiple identity discussion highlighted the reality versus perception debate, which is epitomised in an article where a student fakes an entire exotic holiday.
I found that this topic has not only taught me how important having an on online identity is, but also to be careful about what that identity represents. The overall conclusion seems to be that people appreciate that in an ideal world, one authentic identity is preferred. However, some recognise that this requires a lot of maintenance, as well as a resolve to be professional at all times.
Saber Hamidi (currently unmoderated)