Who am I? This might sound like an overwhelming philosophical question but as we increasingly tweet, blog, post cringeworthy photos of ourselves online (maybe all of these don’t apply to you!) etc. we are continually having to negotiate questions of identity.
Who do we want seeing that drunken night out? Do we want our employers to know who we associate with? Should we befriend our colleagues on Facebook? Which ‘me’ we share with others in cyberspace is starting to get rather messy, as the boundaries become increasingly blurred over what constitutes ‘real life’.
I know myself that I suffer from an online multiple personality disorder reserving different rules of engagement for different social networking sites. However I have found the more prolific I become with my ‘online’ activities the more difficult it is to disassociate between these sites and the life I live outside of cyberspace. Hence I thought it about time for my digital identity to come out especially for those who know my alter ego rainycitytales – now you can put 2 and 2 together and hopefully get B.
Putting yourself out there though can come with its pitfalls. What happens to privacy at a time when we are led to believe the net is crawling with cyberstalkers? Despite letting it all hang out with the blogging and the tweeting I still consider myself to be a private person. Although not everything maybe under my control I have choices I can make about what to share. As well as enough digital literacy to set appropriate privacy settings – unfortunately not everyone is as aware and whether the Facebooks, mySpaces, Bebos make things clear enough for the uninitiated is a question for another time.
Despite being cautious about my digital identity, when it comes to social networking, there is a trail of information left about who I am through my Google searches, buying patterns and so on. Should we be concerned about being monitored in this way? After all CCTV and the Tesco Clubcard to name just two examples have been keeping a check on us for sometime now, is this not just the next evolution?