“Remember to like the company’s Facebook page!”
Have this ever occurred to you after an interview or when your boss asked for your social media accounts and you frantically delete all your tag photos with you partying around and having a wild night or create a separate social media account just for business purposes to hide your unethical behaviors from your potential bosses or client?
Such instances will make you question yourself, do i need more than one online identity? What’s the pros and cons of having more than online identity?
So, what is online identity? It is the sum of information and characteristics that makes who you are and what you do as on the web. Your online identity is not the same as your real-world identity because the characteristics you represent online differ from the physical world.
In recent years, many people are creating different online identities to separate their profile for business and private use. Some even create fake profiles to remain anonymous to protect their own identity. For example, just on 2015 Facebook announced there were around 170 MILLION fake users and profile. (Parson ,2015)
So why do people create multiple online identities? Because in recent years , employers starts to review employees online presence as a standard operating procedure. (Tarpey, 2015) The image below shows why employers view their employee social media:
By having different online identities, it helps people to distinguish themselves from business and personal life. Having multiple identities also helps to provide anonymity to prevent identity theft and job losses. You will never know what you share or posted in your teenage years or your party nights might cause you to lose your job!
However having multiple online identities, may result in lack of authenticity. The reason why employers want to review their employees online identity is to know their real name, connections and activities across the cyberspace. As quoted from Mark Zuckerberg (Zimmer,2010) the creator of Facebook:
“Having two identities for yourself is an example of a lack of integrity”- Mark Zuckerberg
Having a single online identity, allow people to be true to themselves, with no insecurity to hide themselves from people. Multiple online identities may cause people to be worry and doubtful of who you are online and offline.
In conclusion, there’s no absolute reasons to be for or against having one or more than one online identity. However, I believe it is good to have more than one online identity as it allows people to balance through the essence of life between work and life. To do that people just have to remember the golden rule of sharing.
Parsons, J. (2015) Facebook’s war continues against fake profiles and Bots. Available at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-parsons/facebooks-war-continues-against-fake-profiles-and-bots_b_6914282.html (
Tarpey, M. (2015) More employers checking out candidates on social media –. Available at: http://thehiringsite.careerbuilder.com/2015/05/14/employers-checking-candidates-social-media/
Zimmer, M. and Nicora, C. (2010) Facebook’s Zuckerberg: ‘Having two identities for yourself is an example of a lack of integrity’. Available at: http://www.michaelzimmer.org/2010/05/14/facebooks-zuckerberg-having-two-identities-for-yourself-is-an-example-of-a-lack-of-integrity/
McGraw.M (2016) How to be authentic online #DomainME. Available at: https://scrapsofmygeeklife.com/online-life/how-to-be-authentic-online/