Topic 2 has told me that one of the most significant reasons that supports the use of multiple online identities is that it presents you with the ability to be selective in how you appear in different online contexts. Both Holly and Richard’s posts stated that an advantage of this is that it allows you to achieve more control over your professional appearance. Having said this, my comment on Holly’s post questioned whether there is a potential trade-off between keeping your online appearance professional through the use of multiple online identities and whether authenticity is maintained.
Richard’s post suggested that one drawback of maintaining multiple online identities is that you are more exposed to the risk of identity theft. Whilst I questioned this thought in my comment, it was extremely insightful to hear a contrasting opinion on the effects of having multiple online identities and it goes some way to show the subjective nature of the disadvantages associated with the use of multiple online identities.
One of the perceived advantages of multiple online identities is that anonymity can be achieved and you are able to be present online without being seen. Through reading Sam’s post, I was able to recognise that healthcare patients are a beneficiary of this as they are able to interact with healthcare professionals anonymously online.
In contrast, Vicky’s post provided fantastic critical analysis by recognising that dividing up your online identity into multiple forms can potentially blur your offline identity as a whole. This was a point that I can relate to as I am aware through my own experiences the time it takes to maintain multiple online identities.
Overall, whilst the topic highlighted that there are many negatives associated with maintaining multiple online identities, I personally maintain multiple online identities as I feel that it offers me the opportunity to maintain greater control over my professional appearance in an age where there is greater screening of candidates by employers online.
The diagram below summarises my main findings regarding the advantages (in green) and disadvantages (in red) relating to multiple and single online identities.
Featured Image was taken from http://www.zonealarm.com