Sunday, 25 March 2012

Digital Identities Online: Social Networking, Being Who You Want.

My interpretation of the phrase "Digital Identity" is the identity you choose to belong to, whilst in the digital world. In today's highly digital society, things like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, MySpace, Blogger, Bebo and everything else are very common.
Every day, a huge number of us use a social networking site, and the best bit about it, is that we can choose what we want to broadcast - we can create our own personas online, because we can be who we want.
This, obviously has it's upsides and downsides.

A particular upside I wanted to focus on this week is Tumblr. Tumblr is a blogging site, in which people can post pictures and clips of things that express their personal choices, styles and the things they like. I believe Tumblr is a clever way of getting teenagers and other people use to the idea that it's okay to be yourself; expressing what you want, in your own way. Being who you want because you can, because it's allowed, accepted and encouraged.
Similarly, the same idea is Twitter, twitter is mainly used for words, phrases, quotes, daily musings etc, whereas Tumblr is more likely to be images etc.

Now, on the other hand, even though sites like Tumblr and Twitter, even though they give you the option to express yourself entirely, they also give you the choice to create a new identity. This is where the digital identities become dangerous. If I can be whoever I want to be, whose to say someone can't be someone they're not? This is where chat rooms and false accounts on social networking websites become dangerous, for reasons I'm sure I don't need to get into, which is why Facebook invented the "private page" mode.

Are we all the same online?
No. I'm not even the same online as I am in real life. Online, I'm more confident about my beliefs, more expressive and more carefree. In real life, I may hesitate before telling someone I like Green Day or support Gay Marriage.
However; collectively, we could all be the same online. Class is eradicated online, unless you choose to make it very obvious. And there isn't any pressure to fill in what sex you're interested in, what sex you are, or what race you belong to.
In that sense of identity; you can be who you want, revealing how much or how little you want.

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