We all represent ourselves differently online and depending on the platform and our digital differences, we assume different online identities. The type of online identity we assume will directly affect what we post, share and contribute to our personal learning networks.
Single identity users are seen to be authentic whereas those who use multiple identities are not and could possibly be using anonymous accounts. However, Facebook’s director of policy in Europe, Richard Allan, argues that ‘pretend identities’ are a minority now and the web has become more mainstream (Allan, 2012) – indicating having some anonymous accounts is not a problem.
In fact in a BBC report about the dark web, Bruce Schneier argues that it provides a shield to those who can be punished based on online activity (Schneier, 2016), however it can also easily hide criminals online, even if not intended (Oerting, 2016). Having multiple identities can provide more security to the average user, but someone with bad motives will also get the same benefit.
Employers nowadays use platforms like LinkedIn to recruit their staff with the user count for the website at 467 million in the third quarter of 2016 (Statista, 2016). Single identity users are easier to find but risk showing personal information you don’t want to show your employer, whereas multiple identity users find it easy to manage professional and personal accounts but risk lacking the authenticity that is needed. Furthermore employers may want to see your personal life. Outlets such as blogging can show creativity, passion and motivation which are all redeeming qualities looked for by an employer (The Employable, 2014).
Of course the choice of how you present yourself is yours, and we can’t control everything on the web. However that won’t stop how others perceive you – that job, primarily, is on you.
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Krotoski, A. (2012). Online identity: is authenticity or anonymity more important?. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2012/apr/19/online-identity-authenticity-anonymity [Accessed 22 Apr. 2018].
BBC Guides. (2016). What is the dark web and is it a threat?. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/z9j6nbk [Accessed 22 Apr. 2018].
Statista. (2016). Number of LinkedIn users | Statista. [online] Available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/274050/quarterly-numbers-of-linkedin-members/ [Accessed 22 Apr. 2018].
TheEmployable. (2014). How blogging can help you get a job. [online] Available at: http://www.theemployable.com/index.php/2014/10/28/blogging-can-help-get-job/ [Accessed 22 Apr. 2018].