“IF YOU DON’T BRAND YOURSELF, GOOGLE WILL BRAND YOU.” – Sherry Beck Paprocki
Have you ever tried to Google yourself and someone else with the same name appears? It is important that you control what information of yours is going to appear when someone Google your name. So, is it better to have just one online identity? Or multiple identities?
Let us take a look at the pros and cons of having multiple online identities.
“78% of anonymous commenters will leave if forced to use a real identity” (Patrick, 2014). This shows the impact on how people express their opinions through the internet. By having different online identities, people are able to express their opinions more freely, as well as discussing sensitive issues. For example, blogging is a way to release stress. However, if an employee blogged about the bad experiences that he or she has been through with their employer, he or she might get sacked in consequences. Hence, being anonymous provides a layer of privacy.
With having multiple online identities, you are able to control your impression to people. You are able to lead your employer, friends or family in seeing what you want them to see. For instance, you will not want your employer to see photos like these
[Images from Ruhuan Ng’s Facebook]
that will spoil your reputation. Besides, it helps to provide a new starting point for people who want to start their life afresh. For example, someone who just came out from drug rehab and is looking for a job.
There may be people out there who are interested in you and wants you to work for them. However, by staying anonymous with different identity, they might not be able to contact you and therefore, you lose the job opportunity.
It is better to create a consistent online identity, so that people are able to track you down easily. It also prevents people from using your username and pollutes your identity with the different lifestyle that they have.
By having more than one online identity, it may appear to be confusing to people. So, who exactly is the real you? You may ended up appearing untrustworthy to people.
“Having two identities for yourself is an example of a lack of integrity.” – Mark Zuckerberg
I do agree with that sentence. Nevertheless, you are who you are. There is nothing to hide and you should be proud of whatever you have done in your life. Therefore, I believe that it is better to have just one online identity.
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Krotoski, A. (2012). Online Identity: is authenticity or anonymity more important? The Guardian. [Accessed: 1st December 2014]
Masters, A. (2011). Identity on the Internet: The Pros and Cons of Anonymity. The Independent Blogs. [Accessed: 1st December 2014]
Patrick. (2014). 78% of Anonymous Commenters will Leave if Forced to Use a Real Identity. Managing Communities. [Accessed: 1st December 2014]
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