After a week of discussion about online identities it has been very interesting to see the wide array of opinions and interpretations of the topic. Reading everyone else’s articles made me question the other components of the discussion. Lots of articles pointed out that many separate partial identities make up our single online identity, this was made most clear by the Fig. 1 diagram in Calum’s post. This side of the discussion was something that I didn’t cover in my article and perhaps it would’ve been beneficial to address. My approach was more focused on the legal side of multiple identities online. As Adam pointed out in his comment on my blog, this focus on legalities had led me to perceive each separate username/account as a separate identity, however as he correctly stated, together they all represent our one overall persona and should therefore be thought of as components to one identity.
A very noteworthy point from Sophie’s article pointed out the importance of privacy settings for social media in order to project ourselves positively to outsiders. These privacy settings essentially give us control over which parts of our identity we want to be available to our friends, and which parts we want to show to outsiders, producing a 2nd identity in itself. As correctly mentioned by Sophie’s comment, many of us neglect setting up privacy settings out of laziness, which could pose future employment problems.
Based on the comments I received on the article, there seemed to be a lot of interest in the mandatory association of social media accounts and National ID numbers in South Korea and China. Judging by the responses it seemed that most thought it was too invasive, whilst I must admit it does sound quite draconian, I think it isn’t a bad idea. But because of the invasive nature of the policy I doubt it would ever be adopted in the UK.
To conclude, it now seems clear that there are multiple ways of differentiating between multiple identities, and that a single identity can be composed of multiple fragments. It is also apparent that the majority of my peers can see the opportunities for malice caused by multiple online identities, however the benefits evidently outweigh the costs and they should be welcomed online.