Topic 2 – Managing your online identity

People are not “one-dimensional” now and are given the ability to create multiple identities online. As the internet gives them 100% control over their different personalities and characteristics they create.

Why create more than one online identity? An individual may have different motives/purposes for each identity. Example creating a professional online identity for business/job purpose which you would want to avoid having unnecessary details in it, showing only what you want your future employer/boss to see. Separating business and personal life online.

For myself, i would create a different identity online for my family or relatives to see if they join the online community. There are some information(pictures,posts) that you wouldn’t want them to see. You want to portray that image that they have in their mind(diligent,obedient). It varies for different communities online.

Different identities created can be due to behaviourist approach(The behaviourist approach). For each online community environment, one creates similar persona for it and so on it varies depending on each community. “Conditioning” an individual to create and act a particular way online.

Click image for link to source

Click image for link to source

Some uses different identity online to manage social relationship which they feel more connected compared offline. Using it to get/seek attention online which they desired offline maybe due to being “left-out” and wants to feel wanted.

Online identity analysis model

Online identity analysis model – click image for source

Using the model above to group context-driven online identity and user-driven online identity profiles(Portraying the self in online contexts). Creating multiple identities to portray different personalities on different communities which may differs offline. You wouldn’t use your business profile to sign up for an account on eBay. Another identity to cater for adverts, newsletter or shopping online.

– Ability write about a fiction story about yourself and not worrying about reputation or being judged
– Allow people to discuss sensitive subjects online without affecting their daily life negatively
– Freedom of speech, express yourself freely

– More security attention needed for multiple identities
– Conflict of identities may lead to contradicting online identity
– Influence one to see their offline identity as online identity (confusion)

Pros and cons to having multiple identities, depending on individual how they make use of each identity and what’s the purpose. No harm creating multiple identities as the internet now keeps tracks of our digital footprints (Your digital footprint) of our different identities online. Just make sure of who are your targeted audience and what you want them to see.

References :
Multiple Personalities And Social Media: The Many Faces of Me
Portraying the self in online contexts: contextdriven and user-driven online identity profiles
Growing up digital: How the Internet affects teen identity
The behaviourist approach: the basics
My Internet Identity – video


7 thoughts on “Topic 2 – Managing your online identity

  1. Hi Emilia!

    I too believe that people have many different that are exposed in different contexts. We cannot purely have one ideal representation of ourselves just to get “likes” on social media or good job prospects. Maintaining this one identity is extremely tiring and restrictive. Many of my friends that i know personally really do use social media to “make themselves cooler than they actually are”. One example is this instagram-famous girl named Essena Oniell who recently made headlines saying that “social media is not real life”. She deleted many of her photos that were purely for self promotion and edited her captions to what really went behind a particular photo. Maybe you can check her out!

    It was really awesome how you used concepts to explain the creation of multiple identities, like the Behaviourist Approach and the Online Identity Analysis Model. I was also wondering what are the different identities you might have online!

    Cheers 🙂


    • Hi nicole!

      Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment which gave me insights on how social media actually have a strong influence too.

      Read up on the post that you talked about, really is an eye opener. Like somebody finally said it out and how social media can make someone so different online and offline. Which i included on the point i missed out in my post to my summary. Thanks nic! 🙂

      yes i have multiple identities online i cant deny that but what’s most important is the offline image right? :p


  2. Sup Emi,

    Really like your images that further elaborates on how people use their online digital accounts and relating to their thoughts and feelings. You mentioned there is no harm in creating multiple identities and that they leave a trace or digital footprints.

    As you may know, there are big data-mining companies that take our online data without our consent from all these digital footprints we leave behind, and they can be pieced together to identify you and find out what you want. You do not know what these information is being used for which leads me to the question: Do you still agree there is no harm in creating multiple identities?

    Once again, thank you for the insightful post and hope to hear from you soon! 🙂



    • Hello Yeo Kai!

      Thanks for taking your time to drop by and read my post! I enjoyed reading your’s too which helped me in structuring my summary! Thanks kai!

      I agree there are many data mining companies out there that tracks and gathers our digital footprint which can help identifying the real us. As we all know that we have 100% control of what we want to put online and we know that there’s no control of where will our information goes after we posted online. We agreed to it before signing up and posting our information online beforehand, we know the risks beforehand right? 🙂

      We create multiple identities in a way we can slightly confuse them if we have contradicting identities right? Yeah, there’s no harm. We can’t control how many identities one wants to create, maybe there feel better being “someone else” online which they can blend in!

      Cheers 🙂


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