Okay, so this may seem like a weird title and topic for a social media blog…but by “identities” I mean online identities.
Do you think it’s possible to have two online identities?
What do I mean?
The web is a huge place; you can either be yourself or an idealised version of yourself. But is it possible to do both? I believe, to a certain extent, that it is possible. I think you can use the internet for both being yourself (personal) and creating an idealised version of yourself, in this case, a professional “version” of you (a version that is heavily censored/monitored/edited).
The internet allows you to portray yourself as whoever you want to be, meaning you’re able to ONLY post things online that you want others to see. You can, for example, post edited images of yourself onto your Instagram profile – which would give your followers a certain impression – you decide the impression you want to give. YOU choose what people see/think.
It is easy enough to post pictures on Facebook of the night before, but would you want a professional who may potentially hire you to see your drunken pictures?
It’s easy enough to use Facebook privacy settings to stop these from being seen, but it isn’t always easy monitoring, editing and changing articles, websites etc. you may have been signed up to when you were younger – all these things can be found in a Google search (of your name) which will (most likely) be found by a future employer.
What can you do?
What can you do to ensure that your past profiles, etc. are invisible to a prospective employer? Well, first things first DELETE THEM. But, what do you do if you’ve forgotten your Myspace password, for example? Or if you’ve got a profile on a website that won’t allow you to delete that profile?
If you can’t delete your profile then DETACH it from you. For example, change the email address (if possible), change your name on the profile so it’s made up…change ALL of your details so that the profile can no longer be associated with you.
Even though it’s hard to maintain two online identities it’s possible, however it’s (in my opinion) impossible to stop these two identities from overlapping…after all it’s YOUR name attached to both ‘identities’.
You just have to bare in mind that – you shouldn’t post anything on the internet that you’d be ashamed of, or embarrassed by. Only post things to the internet if you’re happy to post them. After all, you don’t have to put EVERYTHING about you online – YOU CHOOSE what you put out there about yourself. If it’s out there then it’ll be found.
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