Reflective Summary: Who are we online?

Before I started to research into the topic, I already had an opinion on online identities. I found the topic more relatable in today’s society than last week. For example, the idea of ‘catfishing’ was one that I saw mentioned in the majority of blog posts that I read. Whilst it is a good example of someone having multiple online identities, I think it proves how common the danger of catfishing is now.

Arthur’s comment on my blog post broadened my initial perceptions on the topic. I followed my first thoughts and researched into them. Arthur’s comment suggested other factors that having more than one online identity posed. Ones that I hadn’t looked into in depth. Reading all of the other blog posts, showed that these factors such as cyberbullying or ‘trolling’ was another prominent issue in today’s world. I just hadn’t considered this as much.

After acknowledging this, I questioned Davina on the subject. She had suggested that anonymity can provide comfort so that users can express their feelings with confidence. Again, this was another idea that I hadn’t considered in my post. After thinking about this concept, I concluded that ‘trolls’ use anonymity more than someone just seeking comfort. Or perhaps trolls were just more obvious when I was scrolling through online.

After reading Emma’s response to my comment, which addressed personal versus professional profiles, I realised that every person has a different approach to how they manage their online identities. For example, Emma is very keen on keeping a divide between these two partial identities whereas I have managers from my old job on my personal accounts.

From this, I think is where problems may occur. After all, people have the freedom to express themselves however they want online. Its a personal choice to remain anonymous or not for example. Therefore, I fail to see how we can begin to reduce the negatives of having more than one identity.



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I am currently a second year BSC Marketing student at the University of Southampton, with particular interest into online advertising and the role of the internet within businesses.

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