People in the digital world has an online identity that represent their own set of characteristics and behavior of their activities on the web. Some may adopt a single identity on the Internet whilst others may create multiple identities to ensure a clear distinctions for the purposes of that specific identity.
Our online identities’ information are valuable to businesses or advertisers to allow them to better personalized an experience catered to our characteristics or to allow them to market products which they feel are attractive to us by evaluating the information we place on our profiles.
There are definitely risks that come along with the information that we place on our online identities. Some people will make use of our information to conduct illegal activities such as online frauds or scams. It is our responsibility in taking concern to what type of information we choose to include in our online identities and to evaluate the credibility of certain websites before creating a profile.
Single or Multiple Identities?
Single identity is having the same identity for all purposes used on the Internet and tends to be more realistic towards our actual real life identity. It gives others the idea that you’re a reliable person and your activities in the digital world is credible.
On the other hand, multiple identities is having different identities for different purposes used on the Internet and the identities usually have clear distinctions from each other. It may or may not necessarily portray the real identity of ourselves in the real world.
I personally feel that having multiple identities is more favorable than a single identity. Multiple identities helps to provide more privacy and distinction for an individual as you can choose the type of information you wish to expose to the group of people that are able to view that identity. E.g. placing more of my personal lifestyle on Instagram. At the same time, multiple identities also prevent others from easily imitating your identity which lower the risk of illegal activities.
Therefore, it will be recommended for an individual to portray their identities in the digital world differently and to only portray their real identity in the real world. It’s never a good idea to fully portray your real self in the digital world. Learn to protect yourself, just like how you will never divulge too much personal information to someone you don’t know in the real world. It works the same way!
Cristina Costa, R. T. (2011). To be or not to be, the importance of digitial identity in the networked society. 7.
Krotoski, A. (2012, April 19). Online Identity: is authenticity or anonymity more important? Retrieved from The guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2012/apr/19/online-identity-authenticity-anonymity
Privacy and Identity. (n.d.). Retrieved from Internet Society: http://www.internetsociety.org/what-we-do/internet-technology-matters/privacy-identity