The invention of the internet has changed many things in the world; business, media, communications, even romance. One of the most recent impacts the internet has had is on personal identity. Nowadays nearly everyone has an online presence, whether it’s through Facebook, Twitter or even blog sites such as this one. People now almost have two identities, their real-life persona and the image they present online.
Is everyone the same online?
People are always different; this is a fact regardless of whether you are talking about real-life or the digital world. In both worlds there is the need to fit in, to be normal and therefore many people act similar. However I think what the internet offers is the opportunity to realise that no matter what you like, how you dress, who you find attractive, there are always people who feel the same. In a way this means that people have more freedom to be different through their digital identities, they will always be accepted. So no, not everyone is the same online, but there are common social groups.
Impact on identity in the future
I think the shift into the digital universe is going to have massive ripple effects on identity in the future. Already you see stories about people who have met partners through virtual worlds, and the dating scene (which is all about who someone is) has flourished online. People put up profiles of themselves; what they like, their personalities etc, in short they sum up their identities online. In the future I can only see this gaining in popularity, the reason for this is that people live such busy lives these days that online dating becomes convenient and timesaving, it clearly takes less time to create an online profile that others can look at while you’re at work or walking the dog, then meeting someone by chance or being set-up. It also increases the chances of finding compatible partners, if of course, people are honest...
This whole concept of quick, easy communication is what makes having a digital identity so appealing and I feel this can only grow.