pro and cons of online identities

Identity is a complete set of characteristics that define you.  Consist of partial identity, profile, and persona that’s referred by identifiers. Internet usage as a space evolve over the year. From passive approach, where we use internet to gain information to interactive approach, where we collaborate. Move forward, now it is Human Computer Interaction era where it used for social networking and peer participation. Our identity directly affect our reputation (third party perspective of us).

Having more than one online identity allow anonymity. Anonymity allow us to develop our creativity, freedom of speech, and we can create our persona however we want it. It is beneficial for thus who shy to talk about medical conditions or afraid on expressing their thoughts.  Having more than one online identity might prevent personal data leakage but might also become a medium to leak company’s data. It is a broad spectrum that need more in depth analysis. One of the drawbacks of anonymity is anonymous troll. Relevant case : xiaxue SMRT case and fourfeetnine’s baby case. Aware of the drawbacks, there is a rising in identity-centric platform.

Quote from facebook CEO

Facebook’s CEO views

The opportunity cost of anonymity is our one identity. One identity shows integrity, networks, authenticity and being accessible. Putting what we have create out there also might lead to job opportunities. Several platforms nowadays aim for one online identity that trigger and connect all our online activities. Namely Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Having one identity might be a good investment for our future. Our future employer might see how we have progress and all the achievement. Employer nowadays not only mark us by skills and abilities. Connection, passion, integrity are example of what’s employer looking for and it could be accessible by looking through our online identity. Besides for job seekers, online identity also can benefits business man and important for artists.

When talking about online identity. Most individual look at it as personal life vs work life. Jeff Jarvis give a distinct view. It is about our inner self, real self vs outer self, show self. Clash between this would create lack of integrity image. Several critiques arose from his blog as it is lacking in power and inequalities analysis. On my point of view, we know best how is our society and our-self. Open minded culture will most likely accept one identity while close minded culture will most likely criticize our personal life and several identity would be a better choice. For me, i chose to integrate, maintain, and manage my identity  (my profile, partial identity and persona) instead of creating different identities. Also, it is important to maintain our online privacy. We must prevent theft identity that usually lead to economic loss.

(448 Words)

References :

Costa,c.and Torres, R. (2011) “To be or not to be, the importance of Digital Identity in the networked society” (3 November 2015)

Diaz, Z. “7 Steps To Building Your Online Identity” Epic Fu, YouTube Video (3 November 2015)

Jarvis, J. (2011) “One Identity or More?” (3 November 2015)

Jurgenson, N. (2011) “Jeff Jarvis and Multiple Identities : A Critique”  (3 November 2015)

Masters, A. (2011) “Identity on the internet: the pros and cons of anonymity” (3 November 2015)

Krotoski, A. (2012) “Online Identity: is authenticity or anonymity more important?” (3 November 2015)

Zimmer, M. (2010) Facebook’s Zuckerberg: “Having two identities for yourself is an example of a lack of integrity”. (3 November 2015)


9 thoughts on “pro and cons of online identities

  1. Hello Silviana!

    A question popped in my mind while reading your blog post, specifically during the third paragraph and thereafter. While I agree with your view that potential employers might find our integrity and interests appealing when we have one identity, do you feel like this can still be made possible with more than one identity?
    Let’s say besides having our personal identity that we keep private, we also maintain a professional identity. I feel that if we know how to market ourselves (personally or business-sense) right and are aware of what the audiences want, we would input the relevant information and content into the various identity profiles. Sometimes the content may overlap but that would be of no issue at all I would think. What are your thoughts regarding this perspective?
    Maybe an open minded culture would actually accept having multiple online identities to facilitate both online and offline interactions instead? 🙂

    Word count: 150

    Thank you for the blog post! 🙂



    • Hi Chloe, thanks for reading my post and the comment. Appreciate that 🙂
      In my opinion, nothing wrong with having one identity or having several identities. Like i mentioned above both have own advantages and disadvantages. It is possible to maintain different identity and still appeal our future employee. For me it would be tiring.
      In addition, we will work as marketers soon. Connection and community is what we had to have. By integrating all our online activities we would be able to gain bigger pool of connection and have more chance to join different community. For civil workers maybe personal identities is more applicable as they must be really careful on what they post. Cheers! 🙂


  2. Hello Silvania,

    I agree with your discussion that having one online identity portrays authenticity, accessibility, networking and employment opportunities. However, being authentic and sharing too much information online may result in identity theft. Take a look at this video (, collecting personal information online is relatively easy.

    However, I do not agree with Jeff Jarvins that having more than one identity is a lack of integrity. Multiple identities allow individuals to demonstrate different characteristics to different groups of people. Moreover, majority of our peers created a new Gmail and Twitter account for this module. This does not mean that we do not have integrity but we are representing ourselves differently in a different situation. In addition, it will be easier for us to manage as unrelated posts will not appear on our news feed.

    Some may feel more comfortable with one while others are more comfortable with multiple identities. As long as information is genuine and approached without any bad intention, I believe that having more identities is acceptable. What do you think? (:



  3. Hi Silviana! It’s nice to read your blog again 😊 Always enjoy it!
    Firstly, interesting examples cases you have about multiple online identities! I’ve never thought of it that way…But secondly, I have some doubts in mind. As much as having only one identity shows authenticity and is more accessible by others, isn’t it always better to keep identity at a professional level as much as possible instead of integrating everything? Just to be on the safe side.

    Aside from that, from a Marketers’ point of view, it would be hard to accurately predict your interests and behaviors online. Hence, wouldn’t it be annoying if unwanted or unrelated advertisements/content kept appearing on the websites you are interacting with? What are your thoughts on this?

    Looking forward to your reply! 😆 (P.S. Do check out my blog post too!)


    • Hi Jierun, thanks for the comment, nice to read your blog too and i’ll drop by to your post too 🙂
      How do you define your professional level ? will you post about your daily life or several opinions that’s not regarding to your job there ?
      In my opinion, integrating my identity will make my colleague understands me better. We will be able to cooperate better. Like what i mentioned above, it is also beneficial for job seekers.
      On marketers side, integrating it means i will have same person, profile, or personality on different platforms. Which i think will make marketers have an even bigger data for my interest and needs and could cater me better. What do you think on this ?


      • Thank you for replying me Silviana! 😁
        Well…Regarding the professional level…Are you not worried that your future employers will judge you? (Because I am, and I admire you have a different opinion in this.) Say you are supposed to be working on a report outside of work but you are caught with a location/picture tagged by your friends doing shopping or even drinking with them? What I mean by trying to keep at professional is the way I treat colleagues is different from my close friends. Because of certain things like politics, it’s sometimes hard to post views and opinions truthfully and simply casually. There may be consequences, misinterpretations, etc. Unlike close friends, whom know me at a personal level, and won’t judge me, nor will any political issue arise. I don’t mean to be negative but I feel that usually people (whom we just met) will make an impression of us based on what they see or find on the internet, before they have time to get to communicate and know us. But you do bring up a good point about collaborating better if there’s mutual understanding…
        What I mean is by separating work account(more formal) and personal ones, I could also control advertisements I see. For example I have a tough day at work, and would not like to be reminded of it, but my accounts are all integrated! However, I do see your view on how integrating your personality altogether would help Marketers with their business. 😊 Overall, Thanks for the enlightenment. I always learn a lot by communicating with you! 😆 Looking forward to more of this!


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