Module #2 – Online Identity

So this week we are focusing on two different themes, firstly online identity and second, privacy and surveillance. By using the readings outline for this week (which I will post a link to or reblog) I will discuss questions such as where, what and how do I release personal information on what social networking platforms.

Firstly I want to answer the where question by sharing the types of social media that I do use. I currently have a Facebook account, LinkedIn Account, Instagram, and for this class I have obviously started this WordPress blog, and a Twitter account. I do not have a personal Twitter account (shocking I know), and I used to have a Tumblr account but it was been out of use for a while now.

After listing my different types of social media that I use, and going through some of the readings, I realized that one of the readings from TEDBLOGS pretty much nailed it on the head by stating out the different fantasies or illusions these online personas give us.  This could answer the question of why. It states that we use social media because 1) we’ll have attention everywhere 2) we’ll always be heard 3) we’ll never have to be alone.  Even if you are too ashamed to believe it, it’s really true. Our generation craves constant attention and information. So much so that this social networking sites are starting to adapt, and allow us to customize and share so much of our personal lives in order to fulfill those above 3 criteria.

Back to the initial questions of what and how I release personal information on what social networking platforms, I don’t even think that it’s a question of “how” do I release personal information via social media, or “what” information I release it just happens. Like danah m. boyd & Nicole B. Ellison’s article discuss that sites can appeal to people of different races, sexual preferences, religions, or nationalities.  Therefore those people need to disclose any of the above traits, in order to connect with others of similar characteristics. It’s actually embedded in the design of social media site to require people to release various demographic information about themselves to create an account. For me social media is specifically designed to expose all of my personal information, and in doing so I get that satisfaction and attention I wanted in the first place. The NY Times article titled, “The Flight of Conversation” argues “we are able to be with one another, and also elsewhere, connected to wherever we want to be. We want to customize our lives” We are so concerned with the online persona that we create, and trying to maintain a relevant online presence with constant uploads and status updates. danah m. boyd Nicole B. Ellison also talk about how sites are now incorporating new information and communication tools such as mobile connectivity and photo/blog sharing to be able to constantly be in contact with this different social media platforms.

Overall I think that it is necessary for users of social media to disclose tons of personal information about themselves whether it be by picture uploading, adding to their profile where they have attended school, or even what their home town is. BUT that is why we do it, we love for everyone to know what we are doing, at every moment of everyday.

If you agree/disagree, or just have something to add leave me a comment! I’d love to hear other peoples experiences as well!!

ttyl, elise!



6 responses to “Module #2 – Online Identity

  1. melaniemunroe

    I like how you mentioned the fact that many social networking sites require you to include personal information in order to connect with other similar people. For example, on Facebook in order to connect with those at Brock University we have to include our school on our profile. This is opening up the public to some very private information. This gives away our location to anyone out their in the world. You don’t really think of it in that way when uploading it onto your profile but this is some very private information to disclose. Although, I have to disagree with you that it is necessary to post this information. I do not post on my Facebook where I work because there are some things I would rather keep between my friends on Facebook and I. I do not like to mix personal life with work life or even with family life sometimes. I admit though, I do include where I live, my school and, obviously, pictures of myself. Sometimes I wonder though if our profiles give off too much information and whether it is really necessary that we disclose this.

    • Hey thanks for commenting! Ya I would agree with you that you are able to edit what people to do see on your profile with some privacy settings, but still I would get these requests 24/7 to update my work place to Swiss Chalet (fml worked there during school) because someone had tagged me in a post, and used Swiss Chalet to connect us. They are just constantly wanting us to disclose more and more information. Yes I too include everything you do in your profiles, and now that I’m looking for professional work since I’ve graduated Im now back tracking and making sure EVERYTHING is private 🙂

  2. I definitely agree when you say that it is completely necessary for us to post all of that information on social media networks. Especially for people like me, I love to “creep”. And being a social networking “creep” is no fun if no one posts new pictures and status’! I do post pictures on Facebook, and a tweet here and there, but I mainly love to look at others profiles. I honestly wish I could be like you and only have Facebook, LinedIn, and Instagram. I am a victim of the evolution of technology and social networking, and have every program you can think of! It’s hard to keep track of them all, but I do check them every so often. I hate to say that it is because I don’t want to be alone and want people to hear what I have to say, but I think to a point it is very true. I don’t do it on purpose, but that seems to be the point of social networking! I don’t think people need to disclose what they are doing every hour of every day, however. I think social networks should be more to post fun and interesting information that was learned, and pictures of friends and family having fun together. Also, I really like the picture you chose for your blog! It really portrays the topic perfectly, having every social networking site open on the main screen. I look forward to reading more of your blogs 🙂

    • Hey girl! thanks for the comment, and I would love too see a pic like mine of all your social media sites, I’m totally interested aha! And I love that you have no shame is saying that you’re a creep, because honestly I think that everyone is and too embarrassed to say so? Which is silly because obviously these sites aren’t fun if no one is updating right?!

  3. I just realized that I don’t have to respond to everyones comments. Whoops 🙂

  4. Hey Elise

    I like your honesty about when you release personal information on social networking platforms, you don’t even think that it’s a question of “how” you release personal information via social media, or “what” information you release it does almost just happen. I also use to just release pictures or let others throw up pictures of us without even thinking really too much about the consequences, however I find myself now second guessing if those pictures or comments are appropriate. Also I agree that we are so concerned with the online persona that we create, and trying to maintain a relevant online presence with constant uploads and status updates. Everyone these days seems to be constantly updating us through various social media platforms and it is almost to much to keep up with sometimes. I find that I am using my Twitter and Facebook accounts less and less recently when posting information about myself, whether that is a good or bad thing I am not sure.

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