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Does having multiple online identities make you disingenuous?

Mark Zuckerberg once commented that through Facebook people were able to create a “single and authentic online persona”. Continuing that “having two identities; is an example of a lack of integrity”.

However, it increasingly common for people to have more than one online identity, whether it be multiple profiles on a single site or multiple identities over multiple sites. (Casserly, 2018)

My ‘multiple identities’: Personal/Professional.

  • Facebook is a platform through which I connect my life to family who I don’t see often, they are able to see regular updates in a ‘PC way’
  • Instagram is a more ‘real’ version. It’s an online photo album that presents a accurate timeline of events. It’s a holistic picture of my life, as compared to Facebook. Albeit only representing the ‘best side’.
  • Snapchat represents the raw, uncut, uncensored part of my life, which is arguably the ‘truest’ version of myself. Unlike my Instagram followers, viewers on snapchat will see me sitting at home at the weekend; not just last weekend’s trip to Berlin.
  • I have 2 accounts on Twitter. One for personal anecdotes/interacting with friends. The other: to follow current events, professionals/ for discussions of politics and the news. This I have found – is not at all unusual.

    31282787_10215772179687511_7104110021956337664_n
    This screen grab showcases my own “multiple online identities”. Source: Twitter (NatashaGreeff)

Pro’s and Con’s of Single/Multiple Identities:

1
A infographic detailing the advantages and disadvantages of having single and multiple online identities.                        (Created by Natasha Greeff on Canva)

Ultimately, social networking sites are a marketing tool through which you can ‘sell yourself’, especially when you are looking for a professional career.

What % of recruiters look at social networking sites?
This infographic details the importance of social networking sites in recruiting applicants. (Singer, 2017) (Created by Natasha Greeff on Canva)

In summary,  I do not believe using multiple accounts makes you disingenuous, on the contrary it makes you an aware and responsible professional. Van Dijck, J., (2013)

People have diverse rich lives that aren't contained within a single idea or personae. The life I lead in front of my family members is not the life I lead when I'm with my friends, which is also not the life I lead .png
Lee (2016) – (Image created by Natasha Greeff on Piktochart)

Word Count: 326

Comments:

My comment on Natalie’s blog here

My comment on Tom’s blog here

References:

Lee, N. (2016). Having multiple online identities is more normal than you think. [Blog] En Gadget. available at: https://www.engadget.com/2016/03/04/multiple-online-identities/

Singer, M. (2017). Welcome to the 2015 Recruiter Nation, Formerly Known as the Social Recruiting Survey. [online] Jobvite. Available at: https://www.jobvite.com/jobvite-news-and-reports/welcome-to-the-2015-recruiter-nation-formerly-known-as-the-social-recruiting-survey/

Casserly, M. (2018). Multiple Personalities And Social Media: The Many Faces of Me. [online] Forbes.com. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/meghancasserly/2011/01/26/multiple-personalities-and-social-media-the-many-faces-of-me/#570eb7306d51 [Accessed 17 Apr. 2018].

Van Dijck, J., (2013) ‘‘You have one identity’: performing the self on Facebook and LinkedIn’, Media Culture and Society: SAGE  [Accessed 17 Apr. 2018].

 

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4 thoughts on “Does having multiple online identities make you disingenuous?

  1. Hi Natasha,

    Great blog. The images and graphics you used were very clear and easy to understand, I enjoyed reading the one about what most recruiters look at, was surprised to see Snapchat on there although a a low percentage!
    I was wondering where you think overall it is best to have one single account or having multiple is the best way to go? And also do you believe that peoples online accounts are true representation of who they are offline as well?
    https://www.theguardian.com/media-network/2015/sep/24/online-offline-personality-digital-identity

    Look forward to hearing back from you!

    Natalie

    Like

    1. Hi Natalie,

      Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed the blog. I also found the recruitment statistics interesting!

      I personally think that having multiple online personalities is more practical and professional. I think if a person is able to produce, manage and upkeep multiple profiles its suggests organisation, which is a good thing!

      In reference to your second question- I do not believe people’s online identity is an accurate representation of their offline identify. In my opinion, online activity is often only representative of the ‘best side’ of their life. I am guilty of this, on a personal level. I seem to only post the ‘good times’ and ignore the bad. Therefore, it stands to reason that a person’s professional identity follows the same rule.

      What do you think? Do you agree? Is your online identity representative of your life?

      Here’s an interesting government report I found:

      https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/275750/13-504-relationship-between-identities-online-and-offline.pdf

      Natasha

      Like

      1. Hi Natasha,

        I do agree with you that peoples online identities are only showing their best part of their lives so is not 100% accurate. Yet i don’t think that my online identity is too far away from who I really am, i think it does represent my life but then as you said it does only tend to show the good times rather than then bad.
        Why i think having multiple accounts is beneficial allows people to express themselves how they like!

        Natalie

        Like

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