Reflection – Online Identities

When writing about this topic the focus was about the differences between single and multiple identities, however after reading more into it and reading the comments made on my post I found there was more of a debate on the concept of anonymous accounts.  Sam‘s comment on my blog questioned the idea of whether the dark web had more drawbacks than benefits while Joanna also commented on the problem of anonymity. Sam agreed in the fact we need the dark web, while Joanna agreed that more needs to be done and it pays to be as authentic as possible.

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Created by me in Piktochart. Source: (BBC Guides, 2016)

Tom’s comment lead me to the Guardian website which shows how you could securely send information to the newspaper anonymously, such as SecureDrop which does not record where things came from (Hoyland and Fenn, 2018). This made me lean towards the idea of people being anonymous whilst not actually being in favour of being anonymous online myself.

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As a single identity user, I always thought that I had a disadvantage to multiple identity users who split their professional and personal lives online. However Sam’s reply to my comment on his blog reassured me that sometimes employers prefer single identity users that can show off their personality and skills in one place depending on the profession. One of the ways I mentioned in my post about blogging was recommended as it helps show creativity and passion (The Employable, 2014).

After reading a bit more into it, I still would much rather prefer having a single identity online. However, I am more open to the idea of keeping my professional and private life separate as Jeremy’s blog states how this is essential for single identity users.

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My comment on Jeremy’s post here.

My comment on Sam’s post here.


References:

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].

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].

Hoyland, L. and Fenn, C. (2018). Contact the Guardian securely. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/help/ng-interactive/2017/mar/17/contact-the-guardian-securely [Accessed 29 Apr. 2018].

Online Identities – Behind The Keyboard

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.

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Created by Adrian Kamulegeya using Piktochart

Authenticity

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.

Anonymity

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.

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Created by Adrian Kamulegeya using Piktochart

Employability

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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References:

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].