Single or Multiple Online Identities: What’s the drawback and benefits?

1. Introduction

Internet is the centrality of our day-to-day lives. Our online identities impact our lives positively and negativity. As individuals we have a number of sites and services that requires an account (username, profile pictures).

We all have a spectrum of identities, some we made public, some we kept away for our privacy purposes. Some of us separated work and friends, some of us chose not to. What are these identities and their pros and cons?

2. Three Types of Online Identity

Innovate Value by Design Venn Diagram

(Self-produced with reference from https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/learning-network-age/3/steps/263025 , 2017)

 

3. Single Identity

single identity

(Self-produced with reference from https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/learning-network-age/3/steps/263025 , 2017)

 

Online sensation in Singapore Wendy Cheng (known as Xiaxue) has profiled herself as a “Single Identity” online.

It benefited her as it has led her to a career as a blogger. People WANT to know about her life, take on things and different things that she experiences.  These are reflected in the various media as shown below. Her consistency throughout online has attributed to her success as a blogger. Sponsors, advertiser come to her as she has led a huge influence in many Singaporeans. Xiaxue is the 4th leading blog in Singapore which is the 1st for an individual.

“Single Identity” is far more beneficial for her than the cons with it.

Xiaxue’s media

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

(source:

https://twitter.com/Xiaxue?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

http://xiaxue.blogspot.sg/

https://www.instagram.com/xiaxue/?hl=en

https://www.youtube.com/user/TheXiaxue?gl=SG&hl=en-GB )

4. Anonymous Identity

anonymous identity

(Self-produced with reference from https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/learning-network-age/3/steps/263025 , 2017)

Going anonymous totally is gradually getting impossible as some sites that you visit restrict the number of articles you can read anonymously in a certain time period.  For example, personal financial online services require both internet consumer and online service provider information. This is for identification purposes for sensitive information to fall in the right hands.

dbs

(source: https://www.dbs.com.sg/index/default.page)

5.Multiple Identity

multiple identity

(Self-produced with reference from https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/learning-network-age/3/steps/263025 , 2017)

Unlike celebrities like Xiaxue, many of us, including me adopted the “Multiple Identity” approach.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

(self-produced, 2017 with reference from https://twitter.com/search?q=twitter and https://www.instagram.com/?hl=en )

For a young adult that is about to enter a corporate workforce in less than 2 years, having multiple platforms ensures my professionalism by separating my work and personal. I am for one that dislikes work being interrupted by emotional issues. This clear line of separation helps work to be get done conveniently and efficiently!

(309 words)

Pearl Ng

 

References

 Internet Society. (2017). Online Identity: Who, Me? | Internet Society. [online] Available at: https://www.internetsociety.org/resources/doc/2016/online-identity-who-me/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIhN7iu-rM1wIV1QoqCh0alA7CEAAYASAAEgIIh_D_BwE [Accessed 20 Nov. 2017].

FutureLearn. (2017). What is your network identity? – Learning in the Network Age – University of Southampton. [online] Available at: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/learning-network-age/3/steps/263025 [Accessed 20 Nov. 2017].

UP, A. (2017). Top 50 Blogs from Singapore 2017 – ASEAN UP. [online] ASEAN UP. Available at: https://aseanup.com/top-50-blogs-singapore/ [Accessed 20 Nov. 2017].

Published by

Pearl Ng

Hi everyone, I’m Pearl Ng, Chinese name 乐婷 (Ler Ting). I’m born on the 28th of March 1997. Blessed to have a loving family and owns a Japanese Spitz dog who is always on a hunt for food. I have been blogging casually since I was 15 but this time let me start on a clean new state and start building on where I would want to be. Currently just started pursing a degree in University of Southampton, BSc Marketing in SIM global Singapore. I was previously in Temasek Polytechnic where I got not only my Diploma in business but also friends that I would take with me for life and valuable experiences that build me as a person. “At first, they will ask you why are you doing it, later they will ask you how you did it”

6 thoughts on “Single or Multiple Online Identities: What’s the drawback and benefits?”

  1. Hi Pearl, I enjoyed reading your post. I like how you separated online identities into three different spectrums, the Single, Multiple and Anonymous. You also elaborated on these three different identities explaining the pros and cons and providing real life examples which we could relate to.

    I’m glad you have thought long-term and decided to take up multiple identities, having a fine line between personal and work life with your social networks accounts. For celebrity bloggers who have a single identity, how true do you think they are to their online self? The post below mentions two different selves, your real and ideal self.

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/r-kay-green/the-social-media-effect-a_b_3721029.html

    Also, negative aspects of having an anonymous identity online, was not touched on. I would like to hear your thoughts on the detrimental and beneficial effects of being able to post and share information online anonymously. Does it do more harm than good?

    Word Count: 148

    Like

    1. Hi Tim!

      Thank you for taking time to read my post and commenting!

      Pertaining to your first question, how true do I think celebrity bloggers are to themselves? Yes, a blooming social media with many “likes” might boost your self-esteem. This might lead on to an individual perceiving themselves as “better” than they are at first. However, there’s also a saying that goes “Fake it till you make it”.

      Some of these bloggers may only portray fragments of the truth or lie for the lucrative aspects the trade (advertisement posts that they make). Hence, in terms of how true the information about products and services these bloggers advertise, we can link back to the topic of reliability of online information, to determine is it just opinion that they are stating or reliable facts. Steps in : https://pearlnlt.wordpress.com/2017/11/15/whats-the-grain-of-truth-in-the-online-universe/ .
      It’s hard to determine the “reliability” of an individual (celebrity bloggers) online unless we know them personally.

      Addressing your second question, “What are the detrimental and beneficial effects of being able to post and share information online anonymously.”

      The drawbacks to anonymity are apparent daily. There are spams, cyber-bullying, poison-pen letters the list goes on. People make use of being anonymous to “hurt others” .

      Many years ago, when internet was still stationary anonymity barely existed. Could this anonymity internet era but a phrase before new technology comes to combat this issue? We would have to wait and see.

      However, sharing information online anonymously can protect your identity. And I suppose this brings us to the benefits of anonymity. People can express themselves without fear.

      Let me give you an example of expressing without fear, seeking help. Living in a conservative country Singapore, I find that many of us have problems but are “embarrassed” to seek help fearing judgement from others. There are many sites that allow an individual to post anonymously.
      Recently, on 25th March 2017, The New Paper talked about the issue of narcotics. The anti-narcotics association has launched a portal: http://talk2sana.com/. This helps individuals that are fighting or have fought the problem to share anonymously and not affect them in their normal lives.

      Ending off, does it do more harm than good? It is clear that anonymity is both good and bad and the list goes on and on. I hoped I have enlightened you with some of my thoughts, feel free to ask me more if you are interested!

      Warmest Regards
      Pearl Ng (:

      References
      http://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/young-abusers-can-now-get-help-anonymously-new-portal

      Like

  2. Hello Pearl! I agree with you that the clear segregation of professional and personal profiles helps to get work done more efficiently. I like how you provided real-life examples of the different identities. And, you must be part of the “Finstagram” phenomenon (Medium, 2017)!

    Some single identity users tend to experiment around with their profiles – either being “more-real” online compared to their offline identities or becoming their “ideal” self online rather than their “actual” self (firstmonday, 2017). This, in turn, affects the authenticity of these users. Do you think that this affects multiple identity users as well?

    Having multiple profiles provides more privacy and security for users, as compared to having a single identity. As technology advances, multiple identities might not provide a “safe umbrella” to the user anymore. Read this article to find out what extra measures you can take: https://www.expressvpn.com/internet-privacy/defend-against-online-stalkers/keep-your-online-identity-secret/
    What are the current measures that you take to keep your profiles private and secure?

    Stay safe on the web!
    Hello Pearl! I agree with you that the clear segregation of professional and personal profiles helps to make work more efficient. I enjoyed reading about the real-life examples of the different identities. And, you must be part of the “Finstagram” phenomenon (Medium, 2017)!

    Some single identity users tend to experiment around with their profiles – either being “more-real” online compared to their offline identities or becoming their “ideal” self online rather than their “actual” self (firstmonday, 2017) – which affects the authenticity. Do you think that this applies to multiple identity users as well?

    Having multiple profiles provides more privacy and security for users. However, as technology advances, multiple identities might not be that safe anymore… Read this article to find out what extra measures you can take: https://www.expressvpn.com/internet-privacy/defend-against-online-stalkers/keep-your-online-identity-secret/ What are the current measures that you take to keep your profiles private and secure?

    Stay safe on the web!

    (149 words)

    References:

    Medium. 2017. Finstagram: The Instagram Revolution – Bits & Pixels – Medium. [ONLINE] Available at: https://medium.com/bits-pixels/finstagram-the-instagram-revolution-737999d40014. [Accessed 21 November 2017].

    firstmonday.org. 2017. No page title. [ONLINE] Available at: http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/6791/5521. [Accessed 20 November 2017].

    FutureLearn. 2017. What is your network identity? – Learning in the Network Age – University of Southampton. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/learning-network-age/3/steps/263025. [Accessed 20 November 2017].

    ExpressVPN Internet Privacy. 2017. How to protect multiple online identities – ExpressVPN. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.expressvpn.com/internet-privacy/defend-against-online-stalkers/keep-your-online-identity-secret/. [Accessed 21 November 2017].

    Like

    1. Hello Alicia!
      Firstly, I appreciate you for taking your time to reading and commenting on my post!
      Authenticity of a multiple identity user might be questioned as similarly to single identity users. Who is justify that individuals are portraying themselves accurately even if their account is “private”. Like we covered in topic 2, what’s the grain of truth in the online universe? We can link back to some of the ways we adopt to evaluate information. One of which is “objectivity”. We would only know the authenticity of someone if we know what is the agenda.
      I agree with you that sometimes even having “multiple identities” might not be our “safe umbrella” anymore. In our ever-progressing world, nothing is impossible. Things like IP addresses can be tracked and traced.

      The current measures I have took to keep my accounts private and protected are very basic. Things like Norton anti-virus, Avast and ADblock! for my computer.
      As for accounts, I make sure I have upper casing, small casing letters, numbers and punctuation for passwords. I have also private my accounts that I do not want outside of my friends and family circle to view.

      Cheers
      Pearl

      References
      https://www.lifewire.com/what-exactly-is-an-ip-address-2483347

      Like

  3. Hi Pearl,

    I enjoyed reading your post as you have provided the various online identities that people may portray online! Great example on Xiaxue as well, I personally feel that her single identity on the Web is consistent and is a positive aspect for her in terms of her career – she is able to earn money and at the same time have her own freedom of speech on various controversial topics which many may find tough to do so online. Your post has also shed a new light on me when you mentioned the disadvantages of being anonymous online – restricted viewing. This is a good point which I would further look into as well!

    Cheers,
    Denise

    Like

    1. Hi Denise!
      I’m glad my post has added value towards you! As much as staying anonymous has it’s downside, it has it’s good side too! I have just replied to Timothy’s comment earlier just now about some questions of anonymity. It addresses a point on anonymous posting by anti-acrostics association. Do check it out if you have the time!

      Best regards
      Pearl

      Liked by 1 person

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