Reflective Summary – Topic 2

A lot of insightful comments were made this week with different interpretations to the topic in hand.

I saw that a colleague’s blog post highlighted Ludovic’s theory on how what you post online through different identities, doesn’t necessarily define who you are when you go offline. He also points out – a website which stores all your identities into one place. Another colleague also discussed this idea of offline and online identity – are you or the other? She also picked up on website, Social Mention.

It appears that these collaborative sites to store identities are underused – I personally wouldn’t use them and I’m not sure how many people fell the need to filter all their accounts into one page. Through more research, I also found this blog. The author talks about how even before the Internet existed, people have always adapted their behaviour with regards to whom they’re addressing. That is to say – you wouldn’t necessarily confide in your work colleagues about your personal hobbies and you wouldn’t interact in the same way with your folks as you would with your closest friendship group. The point the author makes is that, although these things aren’t secret, we don’t go around publicizing every detail to anyone that will listen. We subconsciously tailor the information we pass on to the audience we’re addressing and the same can be said about what we choose to post on the web and where. There are many sides to a person offline, I believe the same can be said for the way they choose to represent themselves online too.

The 7 steps video seems to also be something a lot of my peers view in a negative light. The general view of it being how encouraging multiple identities and “using the same username for all social media sites” is risky due to the security and professionalism issues that entail.

However, we all seem to be in agreement over the fact that multiple identities is perhaps necessary in order to filter different aspects of life we want shared. Researching personal issues, commenting on videos/social media posts are best gone through different accounts in order for it not to hinder the way you want to brand yourself professionally and personally. It seems Facebook is the leader for all things personal and professional. Even some of my Southampton modules have Facebook groups/events where teachers and students collaborate on projects together, so perhaps some online identities are merging together to create a whole new wave of identity?

My comments can be found here (where a very interesting discussion erupted on mental health and online identity) and here (where we discussed the controversial outing of violentacrez).

Interestingly enough, there appears to be a  Southampton Uni course which focuses on the power of social media and its impact… perhaps some of us UOSM2008 students will be bringing along some of our knowledge!


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