Reflection on Online Identities

Topic 2 looked into both the benefits and disadvantages of having more than one online identity and the prevalence of this issue in our modern society.

In my own research I found Mark Zuckerberg’s comment to be key, in that he feels that people should not have more than one identity or risk lacking integrity, an argument followed in many other blogs. Having one identity can create an authentic online presence which may bridge the gap between your online and offline self. With Charlie I discussed the use of Twitter, and how people should ensure they are cautious in how they conduct themselves online as opposed to offline.  Once posts have been made public they are very difficult to remove completely and may influence outsider’s opinions of them, be it positively or negatively.

The use of anonymity online has been discussed in depth, as it may provide opportunities otherwise not found. It was pointed out, however, that in the case of illegal activity anonymity is downside, as the law enforcement cannot easily trace anonymous posts. Adam’s blog discussed whether we should take more care in protecting our online identities and whether multiple online identities can truly be separate. I learnt that companies may use tracking cookies and IP addresses to record information about us and our habits and actions, whilst he explained about websites such as Tor which are used by people wishing to defend themselves against this, and ensure their own privacy whilst online.

The issues surrounding online identities are complex and intriguing, and I can see benefits to having both one, and having many. Personally I am drawn more to the idea that one, authentic identity is best, although I feel that much caution and maintenance may have to be exerted in order to achieve this in reality.

Zimmer, M., 2010. Facebook’s Zuckerberg: “Having two identities for youself is a lack of integrity.” Available at

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