Topic 2 really got me thinking. While I often contemplate the identity I wish to portray to an online audience, I do not believe I devote sufficient attention to the broader picture. Until this point, I have not reflected on the identities I have created and whether these have an overall net negative or positive effect. Figure 5 is one of my first attempts to do so:
From the infographic it could be assumed that I leave a predominantly practical digital footprint. I mentioned the concept of informal learning in my earlier post (Greenhow and Robelia, 2009), which I believe can occur subconsciously through interactions such as those innate to UoSM2008. New knowledge and skills are being developed (e.g. Piktochart, WordPress and Canva skills, and the troubleshooting that comes with each of these applications) which in turn, help shape my online identity. It will be interesting to see how these proportions change over the course of this module.
While I focussed my attention on the positives of multiple online identities, I discovered the harsh reality of the opposite extreme through conversations with Madeleine. I have given thought to the issue of awareness and security, and to debates such as ‘at what age is it appropriate to begin creating digital identities?’, and ‘can we realistically control our digital footprint?’. Something I did not consider within my post is the commercial aspect of identities. From reading Catherine’s blog, I have come to appreciate the role that businesses play in altering individuals’ identities, particularly through tracking internet usage and selling this information. Perhaps owing to such publicity, in the future, individuals (if aware) are more likely to shield a ‘true’ identity using pseudonyms.
It is clear that the idea of multiple online identities will remain contested well into the future…
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