Although the virtual space exposes us to new information from the other end of the world, what we see is only what others reveal. Shannon mentioned that often people assume who she is based on the photos she posted on Instagram. That may not reflect her true offline identity because either most of us make assumptions based on what we see online or that is just a partial part of her overall offline identity. Therefore, it is within the bounds of possibility of having numerous online identities and not going against the issue of authenticity. In fact, different facets displayed online better represents the offline identity of an individual.
The underpinning of multiple online identities is the careful management and practice. The common issue faced is more of impression management rather than displaying authenticity. Because to a certain extent, we control what information goes online and that is dependent on our motivations (e.g. Shannon mention on introverts – they wanted and able to express the side of them which they do not do it offline).
Nevertheless, we see the concerns of privacy as Amanda described the vulnerability of the virtual space in her blog. Every activity we engage online is traceable and any information we upload may remain despite deleting it. Therefore, multiple online identities indicate the increase in exposure against possible online threats and exploitation.
Amanda highlighted the benefits that business can have for multiple online identities. I was able to relate it – how Coca-Cola and Minute-maid are different products but belong to the same company. And we see the intentions of marketing them as separate brands (instead as the company brand) because it is able to attract the intended types of customers. Same goes for an individual, a separate professional identity is able to create a brand that showcase his work achievements and not relating it to his social life.
Hence we can defer that the cons of multiple online identities can be managed with what we post online and understanding the potential messages it might bring across.
HightonBros, (2014). What’s on your mind?. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxVZYiJKl1Y [Accessed 4 Nov. 2015].
Patricia, S. (2012). [image] Available at: http://fortune.com/2012/05/10/muhtar-kents-new-coke/ [Accessed 4 Nov. 2015].
Thoughts on Others’ Views