This week’s topic was quite different and the concept of online identity is one that I have not previously thought about in much depth. I hardly ever think about the fact that any time I make a google search or like an Instagram picture I am impacting my online footprint, and this is something that Hei Lam Cheung’s online ‘tattoo’ metaphor led me to realise. It can be easy to live our lives day by day mindlessly and forget to take time to really think about the affects of our actions have, on or off the internet.
My post took the approach of arguing against multiple anonymous online identities and I focused on the dangers of anonymous online identities and how it poses large risks due to the blanket sense of security it gives. Will’s post also leaned towards this concept; his reference to Reppler was good in providing an example of an attempt to combat the issue, but the point I made was that it can be quite difficult to draw the line between safety and intrusiveness.
Reading other blogs, I learned much more about the ‘privatisation of privacy’ and how companies benefit from data sharing. This was interesting to me as once again data sharing is an everyday occurrence, but one that I rarely ever think about. A comment that stood out to me in particular and made me think more about socio-economical and political reasons in favour of anonymity was Xiaolu’s. I was pointed towards examples of countries and societies such as China and Iran where freedom of speech can be controversial and where the very ‘blanket of safety’ that I previously argued was corrupt, is actually essential.
Overall, I would say that my views were generally quite rigid and I failed to see why anonymity could possibly be a positive thing. This could perhaps have been because of social conditioning and the general perception of anonymous users, or perhaps because of shows like catfish; but I cannot doubt that it has been changed slightly due to the previously mentioned comment that I got.The idea that there is more to anonymous online use than being malicious and leaving mean comments on photos or videos is something I should have considered more closely, and in future I will definitely make more of a conscious effort to think about more historical, socio-economic and political motivations for online use.