Regarding Digital Identity

In our first lecture on Social Technologies, we were asked to google each other and discover whatever we could about each other. Of course, I’ve googled myself several times before and I know exactly where I am featured on the web. However, the searching did bring up something interesting- how impersonal my web identity actually is. Other people couldn’t find me at all at first, not because my Twitter, Soundcloud and other profiles weren’t high up on the search ranking, but because there isn’t much to distinguish me from all the other Clare Wellses out there. My twitter contains no bio. Other pages have some stilted information, but it’s honestly dry as dust.

I’ve sometimes found it hard to write in a more personal style online, perhaps partly a hang-over from school days when we were constantly warned never to reveal anything of ourselves online in case it was used against us. I’ve posted on forums and held accounts at places like YouTube under a pseudonym and it feels much more natural, much easier, to post that way. I guess it felt safer, but now I need to grow up and face the big scary Internet properly for the first time!
I’ve also realised how important it is to keep online profiles both updated and consistent. Several of mine, even Soundcloud, are very out of date, and I think its worse to have an out-of-date profile than not to have one at all, especially now that I need to start creating a professional identity.
No bio on my twitter account, and while the picture is one that’s funny to my friends and family, you can’t really tell who it is.

A much improved version, now people know something about me and my interests.


3 thoughts on “Regarding Digital Identity

  1. Hi Clare, you raise some really important issues here – especially those around pseudonyms vs. real names. The ‘nymwars’ (as they are known) exploded last year due to Google’s G+ ‘real name policy’ – great article here

    Personally, I’m a big fan of pseudonyms esp. as they allow us to have some degree of individuality – and they don’t stop us having a consistent ID as we’re defined through what we post/say/publish more than our ‘real name’ (and our real names can become associated with our pseudonyms over time, if we allow them to). It’s a really interesting topic, so thanks for bringing this up.

    Your new Twitter profile looks great – we know who you are and what interests you straight away. Great stuff 🙂

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