• Online Identity & Social Media

    With social media becoming such an important part of our social lives, online identity has naturally followed.The creation and maintaining of an online identity is something that we all do on a day-to-day basis. What we choose to post, what we comment on, what we remarks we make, what we select as a profile picture. It all helps us craft an online persona to display to others. Consciously or subconsciously, we all have an aim to be perceived in a certain light and a lot of the social media platforms have recognized this. Facebook is continuously adding features that make it easier to make a statement about yourself. It started with sharing articles that project your viewpoints to your friends and continues with the emergence of cover photos.

    Apps like Foursquare really helped to start bridging the gap between our online and offline identity. Foursquare encourages users to “check in” to broadcast current or past locations to their friends. This really gives users the chance to further craft their online identity by only checking into places that they want their friends to know about. Not many users are going to check into a gas station or bank a few times a month, but you can almost guarantee that a user will check into almost every professional sporting event they attend. This a perfect example of crafting an online identity that may not totally match the offline one since a user will almost always choose to only display content that shows them in a favorable light.

    With the amount of time we spend online looking at each others online we must ask ourselves, do we really know our friends or just the version that they choose to display. I would argue that our online persona's are just magnification of our offline lives with a little bit of editing. I can really never think of a time that there was a huge discrepancy between online and offline identity of someone I personally knew.