Me, myself and I – my three identities online

For me online visibility fluctuates and changes from site to site. Information such as my email address and phone number, which can be found if you are a friend with me on Facebook, you won’t be able to find on my Tumblr blog,  or Instagram page. This is partly because one these three “identities” I have online. These three identities are linked to different parts of social media. For example on Facebook and Twitter I take the role of a silent watcher, I like things, possibly retweet things but don’t really post my own content. Where as my Tumblr is filled with content, content I have created myself and content I reblog from other people, this is my more active online personality. But although on Tumblr I am more active, the intimation I share is less personal. I post photos I have taken, jokes I have thought of, feelings, ideas, everything like that, but my name is not attached to the blog in anyway, I think there is one photo of my face on there, and no one has access to my email or phone number. The third identity I have online is my past identity. I have 2 old Twitter accounts and one old Facebook account online. They are inactive and at least 5-6 years old. The content on them doesn’t reflect the person I am today. Whether that is the email I had at 14 which is no longer my email now, or the cringe worthy content I posted on them. But due to an inability to access them to delete them, they are out there for everyone to see what 14 year old me thought was cool at the time. These three identities all have different levels of visibility and what they make visible is different across the board. 

I have control over my identity on Facebook and Tumblr, but I only have control over what they want me to control. And I don’t know how long I will have control over my visibility online. Much like my old Twitter and Facebook, that visibility isn’t controlled by me any longer. 

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3 Comments

  1. I agree with you that the sense of control we feel we have on social networks like Facebook and Twitter is only the control they allow us, the fact you can not completely delete a Facebook account is a example and like this and as you rightly said there is evidence of our younger selfs all over the internet, which is a huge misrepresentation of the people we are today. On the app time hop I am constantly reminded of the tweets and posts I found acceptable in the past and what I believed would make me look ‘cool’ completely naive to the fact that when something is out on the internet its there forever. Social media platforms like Blogs do offer a more private form of internet access, its very easy to use an anonymous name and not share any photos of yourself, use an email address that doesn’t reflect your identity. However if you want to socialise online as yourself its at the cost of your privacy.

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  2. I agree with the fact we do have different identities on different social media websites and we do have control over what we post (until we have posted something), but when firstly filling out the forms to register we feel like we have to fill in the entire form so we already share so much information about ourselves that is stored in the company’s database and probably will be, even if we try and delete our accounts. I still use my Facebook account that I first made when I started secondary school, and there are so many reminders of embarrassing photos and posts that also do not reflect who I am today.

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  3. Very relevant post. I completely agree with the point that you make that we have different identities depending on the social network we use. A Facebook profile is often used to provide more personal content to friends and family, and seems to be seen as your primary online identity, regardless of how active you are on the service. This can be seen by the options to to ‘log in via Facebook’ or ‘connect to your Facebook account’ – it even says it underneath where I am writing right now!

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