First and foremost, watch this video on “Who is the Real You?”
“On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog” is an adage which began as a cartoon caption by Peter Steiner (1993).
The Internet allows us to create as many social ‘identities’ as we want. Many a times, people post with pseudonym and anonymity.
The definition of an Online Identity is the social identity that an Internet user establishes in online communities and websites. I will be discussing the advantages and disadvantages of having more than one online identity.
Advantages of having Multiple Online Identities
Having multiple online identities can even grant fame, online celebrities being ‘internet famous’, and launching a career through viral videos. You can be honest & create a personality for yourself that you might not want to be part of your public self. There is a sense of privacy in the Internet and it allows the individual to have more freedom.
One popular example is Fred Figglehorn, a fictional character created and portrayed by American actor Lucas Cruikshank. His most popular video garnered over 78 Million views, which rocketed him into fame, enabling him to create 5 seasons of videos, Music videos, Animated films and even a Movie!
Another such example is PSY’s Gangnam Style, garnering over 2.6 Billion views and making a breakthrough worldwide, enabling him to become an international star.
Disadvantages of having Multiple Online Identities
As shown in the photo above, statistics shown that 91% of employers use Social Networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) to screen prospective employees.
In order for one to land the job with greater ease, he has to have an accurate Online Identity, showing his employers his daily lifestyle and how he is like in reality.
If employers come across to see the individual with multiple Online Identities, he will be assessed as unreliable and the chances to get hired will be severely reduced.
Real identity has improved the tone and tenor of interaction online. “The whole thing was based on this foundation of reality,” Mark Zuckerberg says in an interview. “That doesn’t mean that every single thing is true. But on balance, I think it’s a lot more real than other things on the internet. In that way, I think, yes, it does create authenticity.” The real-life expertise in whatever you blog about is diminished.
In conclusion, I feel that having multiple online identities depends on individual’s motives and preferences. One should weigh the pros and cons in order to determine which one of the two is more beneficial.
Yours Truly, Jef Tan Yi Yang