This week in ECI831 we are reading about Identity, Reputation and Social Capital. Some of the readings posed questions such as are resumes dead, how one can land a dream job by using the web in creative ways and is Facebook only a place where we display our best, fake selves? While another reading helped us understand how to manage our digital identity in constructive, careful way.
After reading these articles I still had more questions. There are many Youtube vidoes and online sources to learn from. One video that I found particularly helpful was Managing Your Digital Identity by Kate Myers Emery of MSU.
Of course, it is important to manage your digital identity and ensure that when a potential employer or anyone at all Googles you, they find positive, informative information about you. And certainly, we want to do everything we can to ensure that no one can use our identity in any harmful way. After considering these ideas I decided to look a bit deeper.
I think an even more interesting topic is identity in the larger sense. Who is it that I want to be? How do I want people to percieve me? The answers to this question may be somewhat different when you insert the word online. However, I believe to a great degree the answers will be the same. In my online search about identity I found a number of interesting videos on the topic of mashing online identity with “real-world” identity.
In the video below futuristic novelist William Gibson predicts that future generations will make no distinction between online identity and real world identity.
Another interesting (and shorter) video of William Gibson’s ideas can be found below.
Classmate Carla Cooper also referred to transparency. I agree with Carla that transparency is a key aspect in thinking about who we are in real life and online. What is really the point in “faking” our identity in any space? Why not define our “brand”?
As teachers (and parents) we have the ability to affect the thinking of our young people on this topic. I believe we have a responsibility to have these discussions. It is important that we talk to them about who they want to be and how they want to be perceived by others. We can all “design our identity” online and in real life. In my opinion, this is not a negative. In fact, you might think of it as one of the important purposes in life. We are constantly defining and redefining ourselves, trying to figure out “who am I?”. The reality is that defining our identity now involves the internet as well as the real world and real people. The more conscious we are about our identity, the better, I think.
What do you think? Should we (or to what extent should we) make a distinction between our “real-world” identity and our online identity?