Reflections on Identity

Personally, I have found Topic 2 to be a very interesting starting point for discussion, as its broad nature has allowed it to be taken in a number of intriguing directions. I was most interested in questions in terms of behaviour, as in how having more than one identity online can actually help us socially. This point was reinforced by Din’s blog, where he also looked at how having separate identities as a teenager can allow us to try different parts of our personality, allowing us to shape ourselves into better, more likable people in the real world. He also looked at the other topic I tried to cover, anonymity and how any identity at all on the internet is sometimes not necessary.

Nabeel’s blog also dealt with this more murky aspect of identity. The assertion that “everyone has something to hide” is not one I’m sure I agree with, and the fact that the anonymous side of the web allows most hacking, and drug/firearms deals for example is something that we are going to have to sort out in this age. On a lower level, the abuse handed out on Twitter labelled as ‘trolling’ is something that can be done anonymously, and as a criminal offence can only be stopped by a greater use of identity online.

The comments on my blog also allowed me to think more deeply into the issue. Freya asked the question of online dating sites, and whether having a separate identity on there could be justified, and raised for me the point of the boundary. When you get to a point where you are expected to be yourself, and you are still not, you are just deceiving the other people in an unhealthy way. Catherine’s comment probed at the paradoxical nature of my statements, asking how I could say I saw people converging to a single identity when I myself had had many. A valid point indeed, one which I think refers to the age of the user. At 16, having 2/3 identities was fine and useful, but now I’m 20, I like to view myself as a coherent person online.

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