Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Online Identity VS Online Identities

Question: Discuss the arguments for and against having more than one online identity.

Photo Credit: ConnectFX, building a smarter business via Google

As internet technology is evolving at at a frenetic pace, there is an increasing amount of social media sites being developed over time. Consequently, the internet plays a vital role in people’s lives as the pressure to form strong online identities rises. This results in a conflict between using one or several online identities. The Internet Society has described the notion of online identity as the association between the characteristics, communications, and the way we are perceived by others. Every organization website and database will examine, interpret, and record different behaviours and characteristics of individuals. Hence, formulating and assigning different images for them that are known as partial identities.

Krotoski advocates that an online identity can be as permanent as an offline one. Pseudonymous users frequently distinguish themselves in different social networks/circumstances using the same account name. However, because their handles aren't based on actual names, they can intentionally delineate their identity accordingly and reassert anonymity if they desire. This brings me to my next point where developing multiple identities essentially offer individuals the opportunities to generate more “brands” of themselves, potentially distinguishing between the personal and professional contexts. As stated by Costa& Torres (2011), individuals are sharing their contents to develop interests in other consumers and to form community engagement. For example, prior to the enrolment of this Marketing program, I owned a Twitter account for personal use. Additionally, I just created another account for tailoring to this module and for future professional prospects.

Oh, I almost forgot, when contemplating multiple identities, the first thing that popped up in my mind was online impersonation. I used to watch this show on MTV and it demonstrated how easily malevolent and fictitious people can deceive others with the aid of social dating sites like OkCupid and Tinder

Credit: MTV International, CatFish,

It is known that Facebook does allow consumers to curate what’s public and private. For example, reorganizing public personas by selecting from the data one has put onto the service. However, Allan Lewman believes that the automated systems make a total social reinvention challenging to pull off, resulting in a lack of anonymity. Thus, it would be prudent to construct a single online identity like how jetsetshow suggested in her YouTube video. She stated that one’s online identity should be professional even in a personal context. Likewise, I have been wary of the digital footprints I am leaving behind online, especially on social media like Facebook. Moreover, I still have a long way towards building my own brand. Most of my accounts lack content and professionalism.

In conclusion, I am looking forward to constructing a single professional brand identity of myself throughout this two weeks’ course.

Think twice before you post.

[434 Words, excluding citations & references]


ConnectFX, building a smarter business, Online Image Retrieved November 03, 2015, from http://www.connectfx.com.au/5-ways-content-marketing-improves-your-online-identity/ [Accessed November 03, 2015]

Internet Society, Manage Your Online Identity, http://www.internetsociety.org/what-we-do/internet-technology-matters/privacy-identity/ [Accessed November 03, 2015]

Krotosk, A (2012), Online identity: is authenticity or anonymity more important? The Guardian.

Costa, C. and Torres, R. (2011). To be or not to be, the importance of Digital Identity in the networked society.  Educação, Formação & Tecnologias, University of Salford.

Tinder, Social Dating Site. https://www.gotinder.com. [Accessed November 03, 2015]

OkCupid, Social Dating Site. https://www.okcupid.com. [Accessed November 03, 2015]

Diaz, Z. (2010) 7 Steps To Building Your Online Identity. Epic Fu, jetsetshow, YouTube Video [Accessed November 03, 2015]

MTV International, CatFish: The TV Show, Exclusive Season 2 Trailer. YouTube Video [Accessed November 03, 2015]

FlocabularyYT, Oversharing: Digital Citizenship. YouTube Video [Accessed November 03, 2015]


  1. Replies
    1. I don't think there's a like button for blogspot, but there's a +1 button to recommend my post. Nevertheless, thanks for the kind intentions though. :D

  2. Hi Ryan,

    Nice reading your views! However, being a marketing student, I think it will be great if you can add in points about how having multiple online identities will benefit or affects online marketers. For example, online marketers actually acquire data from websites owner so that they can analyse our online behaviours and come out with strategies to reach out to us as a consumer. If you notice, Facebook and YouTube actually tailor their website advertisement based on our digital footprint so that it will attract us to watch the advertisement. Therefore, I feel that being a consumer, I don’t want to be bug by advertisement from the marketers when I’m managing my professional profile and hence I create an online identity just for informal advertisement. However for the case of marketers, they would prefer us to have one main online identity so it’s easier for them to reach out to us as a whole. So what do you think about this issue about marketers using our information online if we were to create only one online identity?

    Hope my comment is helpful and insightful for you!

    1. Great point stated there, Andrea. For me, I wouldn't mind being "bothered" by advertisements because honestly speaking, I find some advertisements to be really interesting. I guess different people have different perspectives. However, I think as marketers, we would definitely do that to other online consumers in the future. :D


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