Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Do You Have Identity Integrity? Just Kidding...

To make up for my ridiculously long post yesterday (which I'm hoping that some of my classmates will still heartfelt thanks in advance) today I'm going to keep it short and sweet. Today I was hunting around because I realized that I really need more research/sources that prove that digital natives desire to reconcile multiple identities into one singular identity online. I found a Harvard intern blog about digital natives that claims that interconnected mediums of social media, like facebook, blogs, flickr, and other services like Friend Connect, prove that digital natives want to have "one coherent identity." But the article "Does Social Media Produce Groupthink" argues that "social networks like Twitter and Facebook have consumed our lives" leading to only "herd mentality." I wouldn't say this is the reconciling of identity at's more like the loss of coherent identity.

Ok, so I want personal experience from my fellow classmates. Do you present yourself as the same person in all of your social networking sites? Do you conciously/sub-conciously present yourself in different lights through different mediums? I'm not asking for confessions here, and I'm withholding judgment. Who's to say what's right and what's wrong?


  1. Personally when I am participating in all of my social networking sites I present myself in the same way except for possibly my personal blog. Since I write my personal blog as more of a journal of sorts, I tend to be more personal and possibly even emotional. On my Facebook page and even twitter I am more vague in my everyday activities. I don't go into very much detail.

    Here is an article discusses creating a virtual persona today, particularly for teenagers. I'm not sure if it is what you are looking for, but from what I know from my friends, it is pretty accurate for how I portray myself online.

  2. I find it hard to believe that people are using social networks online to create a coherent identity. We thrive on playing the game of having different masks that go with our varied roles and potential identities. I get tired of any one of my individual personas and feel great relief to be able to switch them up, and I don't see this as a lack of integrity. Sometimes it's just the switching of audiences or contexts; sometimes, its just the switching of moods.

    Compare identities to clothing. Don't we assume a different personality, an other persona, when we dress formally/informally, etc.?

    There is so much written about identity, especially independent of issues about the online world, that I really think you need to tap into it. What do standard psychological or sociological sources say about identity? I mean, even Freud's basic id/ego/superego considers the way that we rhetorically mediate our identities. And there have been scholars looking at this. Take a peek at Patricia Wallace's book, The Psychology of the Internet (online: . Some interesting things there about how we pilot identities. Another: Identity Management in Cyberspace (

  3. Ok here's another "lame Becca" moment about to happen. Honestly, I have two online identities, my facebook and my blog, and given that my blog has a purpose, yes, I present myself as two different people. I am "everyman's" Becca on FB and "scholar" (oo, can I even use that words given the superficial nature of my thinking all together lol!) on my blog. People see two different sides of me. That's ok though, because they are both who I am, just in different settings. It's like Dr. Burton said, I play my role to my intentions and audience. The general world is my audience on FB whereas all ya'll scholars (how's that for Texan grammar!) are my audience for blog. Possibly you could look into the fact that instead of reconciling identities, digital natives are finding different platforms to perform different roles and put on different digital "clothing"...just a thought!