Topic Two- Reflection

Topic two allowed me to explore the complex dimension of multiple online identities. The concepts surrounding this topic was inevitably going to create a division in opinions and I saw this as a perfect opportunity to engage in discussions with my course peers.

I started a discussion with Rebecca by challenging her views on the use of deceptive online accounts. Rebecca Highlighted that the use of a false online identity shouldn’t attempt to intentionally mislead another user. Initially I agreed with this, however, after some online research I considered the use of police investigators that create fake online profiles in order to catch sexual predators. After presenting this to Rebecca, she replied with a thought-provoking idea that if we deem it acceptable for the police to create fake accounts, then members of the general public may regard fake accounts as justified also. Our deliberations eventually led us to the agreement that intentionally deceptive online profiles should only be used in a controlled manner, such as by law enforcing professionals.

When reading Harriet’s post I noticed a strong emphasis on the use of potential employers that review candidate’s social media profiles as in indicator for employment. Harriet noted that this appeared an unfair exercise by employers who fail to understand multi-dimensional nature of humans. This was something I certainly agreed with and I presented Harriet with a daily mail article that emphasised cases of this injustice. In a similar vein, Carolina made me consider my own online identity, asking if I would be happy to have my online profile reviewed by employers. After some contemplation of my digital self, I suggested that, where possible, I attempt to present my online persona as an extension of my offline self, attempting to create a balance of social and professional presentation, supported by adequate privacy settings. A trait I believe all online users should adopt.

word count: 310


Topic Two- Multiple Identities

As our globalized world continues to flourish and new online systems emerge, the gap between which we can separate our online persona from our real-life activities is decreasing (Costa and Torres,2011).In the 1990’s web user remained anonymous through concealed identities, however, the creation of social networking sites and the formation of personal online profiles places our personal information to a public setting and puts our online activities under surveillance (Krotoski, 2012). As issues over the protection of our online persona grows, some people have started adopting multiple online identities in order to establish a distinction between professional and personal livelihoods (DiMicco and Millen, 2007).

Figure 1 new-piktochart_843_d407e14cc656ac9ac880bd6be5378d519ac188e2-1



Multiple online identities 

One of the benefits to the creation of multiple identities is that it allows us to categorize different attributes of our personality to a distinct persona. This is important in maintaining a healthy working reputation, detached from our social activities (DiMicco and Millen, 2007).In the Ted Talk below, Mario Rodriguez discusses the monitoring of potential employees to a company by analyzing their social network background to assess if they are an appropriate candidate for the job. Rodriguez mentions that inappropriate online content on networking sites reviewed by the employer may discourage them from hiring the applicant, or lead to the loss of jobs for already employed individuals.


Continuing from the theme above that multiple identities allow different facets of our personality to be expressed, is the idea that an anonymity identity permits the user a certain amount of control over their creative outputs (Krotoski, 2012).Online environments often involve the participation in niche private interests that are not always publicly understood. a hidden identity therefore allows the user to explore their unique online hobbies without fear of scrutiny from others (Krasnova et al, 2009)

Figure 2


Issues with multiple identities 

Multiple online identities, however useful, are critiqued for the burden they provide to user in having to manage more than one virtual persona. Not only can this prove to be time consuming, it also may create a personal identity crisis for the individual by causing them to question what online identity is an accurate representation of their offline self (DiMicco and Millen, 2007). Partnered with this, by acquiring multiple identities people may be seen as untrustworthy by not revealing their true identities (Known as “Cat fishing”), limiting the opportunity to establish meaningful online relationships with other users (Peterson, 2013).


Word count: 394


Costa, C. and Torres, R. (2011). To be or not to be, the importance of Digital Identity in the networked society. Revista Educacao, Formacao & Technologias

DiMicco, J. M., & Millen, D. R. (2007, November). Identity management: multiple presentations of self in facebook. In Proceedings of the 2007 international ACM conference on Supporting group work (pp. 383-386). ACM.

Hayley Peterson (2013) Daily mail Article, Catfishing:’ The phenomenon of Internet scammers who fabricate online identities and entire social circles to trick people into romantic relationship

Krasnova, H., Günther, O., Spiekermann, S., & Koroleva, K. (2009). Privacy concerns and identity in online social networks. Identity in the Information Society2(1), 39-63.

Krotoski, A. (2012). The Guardian, Online identity: is authenticity or anonymity more important?. 

Rodriguez. M (2013) YouTube Video, Facebook Privacy & Identity – Exploring your digital self

The internet society- Online identity 

Image references

Figure 1: Self-made using Piktcochart –

Figure 2: Self-made using Tagul-




























Topic 1-Reflection

Upon starting the module I knew that I would be presented with a variety of new and interesting challenges.Firstly, the online format of the module is something entirely new to me and coupled with the inexperience I had at blogging it all seemed rather overwhelming initially.however, once I set up my blog and began to to explore the concepts of online systems I was opened up to a digital world that was both insightful and complex.

Considering the topic covered this week of digital residents and visitors, I was given an opportunity to reflect on my own personal position on the digital scale based on my level of engagement with online systems.while I would consider myself a digital resident based on my social online interactions, I feel that I could strengthen my online identity by engaging with a greater number of digital programmes. The improvement to my online identity has already begun however, through using WordPress, I’ve been granted the opportunity to to express values of my personality, while also providing an informative understanding of digital worlds in an academic manner. As I reflect personally in regard to my digital engagements, I am also able to recognise how others members of the module fall on the digital scale, as well as their personal take on the issues presented from topic 1.

After reading and commenting on Rebecca and Jordan’s blog’s respectively, I was given a deeper understanding of some key debates in relation to external influences that promote online interactions, and the issue of possibly being “left behind” if online systems are not adopted. Rebecca mentioned that often people feel pressured in to using digital systems in order to upkeep social ties.In a similar vein, Jordan spoke of the stigma surrounding digital incompetence that many only worsen as technology advances.


Digital “Visitors” and “Residents”

The concept of digital “visitors” and “residents” followed from presnky’s now outdated notions of digital “Natives” and “Immigrants”. Prensky (2001) Indicated a generational divide between the digital competence of online users, regarding young online operators as “digital natives”, experiencing privileged access to digital systems throughout their life-course, causing them to become accomplished expert’s within digital settings. “Digital Immigrants”, However, are indicated as older online users, unexposed to the technological norms that exist until the later stages of their life and therefore are required to adapt to new digital environments (Prensky, 2001).

Prensky’s categorisation of digital users naturally faced critique for its broad method of classification based on age, while fundamentally ignoring the cultural and socio-economic factors that impact digital proficiency (White and Cornu, 2011). Consequently, Prensky’s ideas have evolved into the more contemporary notions of digital “residents” and “visitors”, which doesn’t implicitly group digital users into a specified category, but instead places them on a moving scale based on their varying degrees of online engagement (White and Cornu, 2011). This is explained in the following video by White (2014).

Digital Residents

Digital “residents”, According to White and Cornu (2008) place emphasis on the preservation of an online identity, utilising the possibilities presented by online networks, both as a tool for improved social capital and in their professional lives appropriately. In this respect, the online persona of digital resident can be seen to undergo developmental growth as digital users online social networks expand and their online characteristics continue to reflect offline activities (White and Cornu 2008).

Digital Visitors

Digital “visitors”, unlike digital residents, place less dependence on the use of online systems as an extension of their life. Instead, digital visitors will utilise web based activities only when necessary (White and Cornu 2008). Digital visitor’s online engagements are usually activities that are less representative of an identity, but instead are functional activities such as checking e-mails or searching the web  (White and Cornu 2008).

Considering my own online identity, I view myself very much as a digital resident. The interactivity permitted to me by online networks has become a crucial factor in upholding social ties with friends and family, but also as a platform for self-expression and individuality. My parents on the other hand, I would regard as digital visitors. Using online services as a convenient tool for web searches and watching YouTube videos.


Harris, L., Warren, L., Leah, J. and Ashleigh, M. (2010) Small steps across the chasm: ideas for embedding a culture of open education in the university sector

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants part 1. On the horizon,9(5), 1-6.

White, D. S., & Cornu, A. L. (2011). Visitors and Residents: A new typology for online engagement.First Monday16(9).

White. D and Cornu, A.L (2008) TALL blog post. Not ‘Natives’ & ‘Immigrants’ but ‘Visitors’ & ‘Residents’

White.D.S (2014) TALL blog post,  What exactly are your students up to online?

White.D.S, (2014) Visitors and residents

Introduction-Digital literacy test

Rating at start of module
Rating at end of module
Accessing, managing and evaluating online information
I feel I am fairly competent at accessing online information, but less skilled at management and evaluation of online material.
Participating in online communities
My online participation is mainly centered around the use of social media sites and online networking platforms.
Building online networks around an area of interest
I have very low experience of building online networks around an area of interest as I primarily access user-created content.
Collaborating with others on shared projects
I have mostly formal experience with collaborating with others, through group presentation work usually as a form of assessment.
Creating online materials (text, audio, images, video)
I have very limited experience of creating online materials, but particularly the creation of images and videos.
Managing your online identity
Although I regularly visit different social networking sites, I rarely update information about my online identity.
Managing your online privacy and security
I try to ensure that my online identity is tightly controlled with high privacy settings.
Q1 Why did you choose the module?
The module looked interesting and is assessed in a unique way unlike anything else I have taken in the past.
 Q2 What in particular do you want to learn from the module?
I want to learn how to blog in a concise and informative way, but also gain key online application skills that future employers may look for.
 Q3 Which degree programme are you studying?
BA Geography
 Q4 Have you studied online before?
No, but I thought this would be a good opportunity to start