Reflecting back on the topic of Identities, I have learnt a lot. To be honest it was an area I thought I was quite well informed about as my dissertation is based around self identity and Instagram. However researching and writing this blog post has allowed me to think more in-depth about my own online identities and how just because I prefer to have them one, multiple identities can be extremely beneficial in some cases.
This is something I felt was heighten by Mark’s comment on my blog where he challenged me about the use of fragmented identities and how useful such a concept could be to understand and describe online identities. For me this was a great way to understand how I use online platforms for identity purposes as fragments suggest pieces of one whole – like a work identity and social one forming the same whole identity. However Mark’s comment also made me realise that how we present ourselves online is very personal, and although I construct my identity in such a way does not mean it is the only and correct way to do so.
One of the interesting points I found whilst reading other peoples blog posts was the exponential benefits of using multiple identities online to remain anonymous. Here Ausaf shows how the ability to remain anonymous was actually key to the first developed web as social networks did not yet exist, and how if one still chooses to take this approach then little has changed. This led me to think about privacy, and how if you want to remain illusive one must actively try to remain this way and it is a lot easier to just publish stuff publicly. Thus although it is said that online identities must be constantly maintained, perhaps it is actually more time consuming and effort to try to stay anonymous.
Another interesting point was raised in Harriet’s Blog, which argued similarly to mine about having separate work and personal accounts that are part of the same Identity. The ideas presented challenged me to question whether having one or multiple identities was really such a divide or whether it is so personal and interchangeable that it becomes less clear cut.
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Comment on Ausaf’s Blog:
I really enjoyed reading your blog this week and thought you raised some interesting points. In particular I thought the reference back to the first development of the Web and how interactions then, although pretty limited, were done anonymously was insightful and it challenged me to question how much has changed today if individuals still choose to remain anonymous on the Web. I also enjoyed how you compared the benefits of anonymity to how realistic and possible this is on the modern day web.
One criticism I would suggest would be for you to comment more on how the potential of having multiple online identities affects your own online presentation and where you feel as though you personally fit. However I do agree with your points on how much privacy there can be and how we should all be careful about what we put up on the Web so perhaps making it personal would not be too wise. Would be interesting to hear your thoughts on this?
Really interesting read!
Comment on Harriet’s Blog:
Thanks for the blog post this was a really interesting read! I particularly liked the bit about how we choose to keep our professional and personal lives separate, yet pretty much everyone can get access to both types of profiles. I noticed this with your two twitter accounts – do you keep your personal one private? If not what do you believe the benefits of having two are? I look forward to hearing your thoughts!
I also thought the use of that Japanese proverb was really interesting and unusual, and definitely summed up how I feel about online identities! Overall I thought your post was really insightful and balance the two sides quite well with the graphic on points for and against having multiple online identities. One extra thing I think that could be included would be where you feel you sit in that debate, and if it’s such a clear cut divide.