Something new…

As mentioned in my previous post, I stand for having multiple online identities on a social media platform to protect my privacy. However, after watching a video from Tianyi’s blog, it made me ponder on the issue of authenticity even harder.

The man in the video is seen posting an update every time on his Facebook that does not correspond exactly to what happened in real life. Though the real reason of him doing so is not fully explained but viewers can already guessed it because some of us actually acts like him or know someone that do. He is careful with whatever he shares online because he wants other people to see him in the way he want them to see – in a romantic relationship, have a successful career and enjoying his life in general.

The video shows the ugly truth of how some people behave on social media websites. These people spends time editing their photos and status updates just so that the content is representing the ideal version of themselves. And because everyone wants to be like by others, these people just make everything seem great to get people to give them the thumbs up.

People that are normally happy with their lives will suddenly notice they are missing something and feel miserable when comparing themselves to these people. Maybe our human mind is just not meant to take in so much details of someone else’s life!

With all things considered, I think the biggest problem to owning multiple accounts online is the lack of consistency and credibility. Having so many identities to manage will end up causing us to conflict ourselves in our different profiles and affect the trust people put on us. On the other hand, having a single identity online also does not necessarily mean that is the ‘real’ us we are putting out. We have the choice to leave digital footsteps in any way we want as long we abide to Internet laws and etiquette.

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Online Identity

I would like to assume that most of you have a profile on at least one social media website. Question is, do you maintain two accounts on a single social site?

I wear a mask. And that mask, it is not to hide who I am, but to create what I am.

-Batman

Like Batman, do you switch between different personas?

Below are my viewpoints for and against having multiple online identities.

FOR:

  • Work-Life Separation
    Many employers are increasingly using channels like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to recruit people. A study conducted by Reppler illustrates that 47% of employers actually go on social networking sites to screen prospective employees immediately after receiving their job application. If job seekers do not want an element on their personal page to jeopardize their chances, keeping a separate account for personal and work seems like a smarter choice. They can post, comment and join any communities they want using their personal account without fear that their future employers will judge them or leave an impact in their career.

More info on the study in this infographic:

job-screening-social-networks

  • Avoids Information Overload
    With separate accounts it allows us to control and refine what we want others to see. There are different things about us that our different networks are interested about. We do not post work updates on our personal profiles to bore our friends and we do not share personal photos to let our professional contacts know irrelevant details of our personal life.

AGAINST:

  • Missed Opportunities
    Most of the time when we encountered a work related problem, we will post it on our professional profile. However, this can put us in a disadvantage situation when we missed out people in our personal networks who can help us. Sometimes, the people closest to us can give us the most valuable help because they are the same people who support our dreams, vision and goals.
  • Lacked in Consistency
    When companies market their product, they use a consistent set of practices and strategies to support their goal. Similarly, when we market ourselves to our future bosses or business partners, we have to be consistent so they know what we want to portray ourselves as.

Ultimately, it all comes down to how sensitive you are and how much you personally value privacy. I personally find it hard to determine which method is the right one to follow but I believe having more than one online identity is better because of privacy issues.

What about you guys?

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References:

Life Hacker. 2012. Should I Keep My Personal and Professional Identities Completely Separate Online?. [ONLINE] Available at: http://lifehacker.com/5898370/should-i-keep-my-personal-and-professional-identities-completely-separate-online. [Accessed 03 November 15].

Social Times. 2011. 91% Of Employers Use Twitter, Facebook And LinkedIn To Screen Job Applicants. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/social-media-job-screening/456574. [Accessed 03 November 15].

Jeff Jarvis. 2011. One identity or more?. [ONLINE] Available at: http://buzzmachine.com/2011/03/08/one-identity-or-more/. [Accessed 03 November 15].