Topic Two – Reflection

Having got the trial run out of the way with Topic One, there was much to improve when addressing Topic Two.  After analysing the marking criteria and engaging with other blog posts, I realised that my first post especially lackedpicture1 the presence of visual elements; this was an area I was determined improve. I saw that many of my peers used ‘Piktochart’ to create infographs so I attempted to make some of my own for my second post. The website was rather easy to use, I quickly and effectively created some informative visual media that helped to get around our limited word count. I will be using this again in my future posts, but having seen Sharon’s nifty use of Photoshop, I aim to explore with other creative sites too.

I also realised that my first post lacked a range of original sources. However, I found this week’s topic to be incredibly interesting, I must admit I was surprised how engaged I became with the research! Identity is a vastly discussed topic, so I was able to take a sociological approach, focussing particularly on Postmodern Ideas to discuss the arguments for having multiple online identities. This slant on the task helped me to think outside of the box and achieve a rich range of sources, differing from other people’s posts.

I really appreciated Mary’s addition of her personal experience with internet fraudsters, it certainly provided strength to her argument and led me to research further. Now knowing the severity of online crimes enabled by the access to multiple online identities – nearly 6 million cases in the UK in 2015 (BBC, 2016), I’d have given this more attention in my own piece.

Over the past week, I have found myself referring to this topic in everyday conversation, I hope that the next topic is just as relevant and interesting.

Word count: 308

Sources:

BBC (2016) Nearly six million fraud and cyber crimes last year, ONS says. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-36854413 (Accessed: 4 March 2017).

Buergin, S. (2017) Topic 2: Discuss the arguments for and against having more than one online identity. Available at: https://sharonbuergin.wordpress.com/2017/02/26/topic-2-discuss-the-arguments-for-and-against-having-more-than-one-online-identity/ (Accessed: 4 March 2017).

Schofield, M. (2017) Topic 2 – is there a benefit to having multiple digital identities? Available at: https://maryschofield.wordpress.com/2017/02/26/topic-2-is-there-a-benefit-to-having-multiple-digital-identities/#comments (Accessed: 4 March 2017).

Topic Two – Reflection

The Age of Multiple Online Identities

‘The notion that we have just one authentic self is a fallacy’ (Lee, 2016).  In a world where we are provided with a vast array of choices and values, it is difficult to maintain a homogeneous identity. Postmodernists argue that in this postmodern society, identities are ‘fragmented’ and individuals can ‘pick and mix’ elements to create a multifaceted identity (Bradley, 1995). This multidimensional aspect has been amplified with the ever-increasing use of the web, users now ‘seek interaction with like-minded people that they may not encounter in their day to day life’ (Poole, 2010). In the video below, Chase explains that ‘the internet generation carefully curate their online self’ to create desired online profiles that satisfies their inherent ‘validation cravings’.

Essentially, having several online identities is a modern-day example of Goffman’s ‘Presentation of Self’ (1959). Goffman explains different human interactions with ‘Impression Management’, in which people change their approach according to the situation or audience.  In fact, Costa and Torres (2011) believe the internet provides users with ‘a platform to foster their digital identities within their (personal) networks’ as well as ‘develop a social presence to complement their professional profile’ via Linked-In etc. Blogger Ashe Mischief elaborates, stating her pseudonym is ‘a new outlet to share that side of herself’ without harming her future employment prospects. Learning from my previous blog post, it is important not to ‘pigeon-hole’ someone’s online identity and instead view it as a positive continuum which shifts according to the motive of the individual.

my-new-presenta_215_7af71f2fbb450aa763fc03ebd7213610245df892This generation is constantly breaking and challenging socially constructed ideas of identity with the help of the internet, but where does it stop? According to Pew Research Center, 46% of teens with open online profiles have some, or lots of false information about themselves, and with the rise of cat-fishing and online trolls, people are questioning whether having many online identities is completely positive. So much so that, Krotoski argues that there is now a ‘pursuit of authenticity’ as the world becomes more dependent on social online profiles as part of everyday life.

new-piktochart_215_f0048f1a2d543b9eb1b247fb07e0be790429cde9I believe having multiple online identities is mainly positive; we’re able to explore different personality traits and manage different ‘impressions’ according to our online social needs; whether that be interacting with people of similar interests, or for an online university module. However, anonymity can be dangerous and social networks must take measures to ensure that this exploration maintains positive.

Word Count: 400

BBC (2011) Trolling: Who does it and why? Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-14898564 (Accessed: 23 February 2017).

Bradley, H. (1996) Fractured identities: Changing patterns of inequality. John Wiley.

Costa, C. and Torres, R. (2011) ‘To be or not to be, the importance of digital identity in the networked society’, Educação, Formação & Tecnologias – ISSN 1646-933X, 0(0), pp. 47–53.

Dictionary (2017) ‘The definition of trolling’, in Available at: http://www.dictionary.com/browse/trolling (Accessed: 23 February 2017).

Goffman, E. (1959) The presentation of self in everyday life. New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group.

Krotoski, A. (2012) Online identity: Is authenticity or anonymity more important? Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2012/apr/19/online-identity-authenticity-anonymity (Accessed: 23 February 2017).

Lee, N. (2016) Having multiple online identities is more normal than you think. Available at: https://www.engadget.com/2016/03/04/multiple-online-identities/ (Accessed: 23 February 2017).

Lenhart, A. and Madden, M. (2007) Teens, privacy and online social networks. Available at: http://www.pewinternet.org/2007/04/18/teens-privacy-and-online-social-networks/ (Accessed: 23 February 2017).

Mischief, A. (2011) The pros & cons of your online identity | IFB. Available at: http://heartifb.com/2011/03/07/pros-cons-online-identity/ (Accessed: 23 February 2017).

Rouse, M. (2014) What is catfish? – definition from WhatIs.Com. Available at: http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/catfish (Accessed: 23 February 2017).

SoulPancake and Chase (2016) Online vs. Offline self: Who is the real you? | new age creators. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZAkZ4TzSEA (Accessed: 23 February 2017).

Sutter, J. (2010) ‘4chan founder: Anonymous speech is “endangered”’, CNN, 12 February. Available at: http://scitech.blogs.cnn.com/2010/02/12/4chan-founder-anonymous-speech-is-endangered/ (Accessed: 23 February 2017).

The Age of Multiple Online Identities

Topic One – Reflection

When choosing this module, I was unsure what I was getting myself in to. The terms ‘flexible learning style’ and ‘all on the web’ instantly appealed to me; I am after all a digital ‘native’ thus learning online seemed easy and natural. However, I had no idea how much work I was going to need to put in and how challenging this module would be; so much so, that setting up my blog was enough to push me out of my comfort zone! At that moment, I suddenly I realised that this module is going to be harder than I thought.

Once I had finally set up my blog, I got stuck in to my very first blog post. I realised that not only was I going to need to do a lot more reading than I anticipated, but also realised that this reading was going to be interesting than I first thought. For the first time in a while, I felt in control of my own education and was actually stimulated to learn more. As well as this, the topic task at hand forced me to draw upon my own online experience, I felt like this really allowed me to acknowledge the relevance of these typologies in real life, which really helped me to appreciate Prensky and White and Cornu’s views.

I found sticking to a low word count especially hard. Having done all this reading and engaging with the topic on a personal level, it was incredibly difficult to limit my words. This difficulty is certainly something that I will continue to battle with throughout the course; but I believe it is helping me to maintain consistent and concise. I also found that the limitation on word count made reading my peers work easier, and helped to keep me engaged to be able to provide constructive feedback. Eloane’s blog post really highlighted the fact that clearly sectioning your work using subtitles can further help consistent clarity.

Finally, receiving feedback, engaging in discussions, and extra questioning from Raziya has helped me to critically analyse my own work; which is a skill which I hope will improve my writing for the next blog post!

My comments can be seen via:

https://eloanerochasemedo.wordpress.com/2017/02/09/the-concept-of-digital-visitors-and-digital-residents/#comment-4

https://mecsoton.wordpress.com/2017/02/09/topic-1-digital-residents-and-digital-visitors/

Topic One – Reflection

Digital Visitors or Residents, Which One Are You?

In the last 20 years, internet usage has exponentially grown; in fact, according to the UN (2017), there are currently approximately 3.5 billion internet users. Each one of these users engages with the web in a range of ways; David White and Alison Cornu (2011) attempt to describe this ‘continuum of modes of engagement’ with the concepts of digital ‘Visitors’ and ‘Residents’.

Their typology aims to replace the works of Prensky (2001) who categorised users as digital ‘natives’ and ‘immigrants’. Prensky believed that older generations born before the digital age were ‘foreign’ to technology and thus ‘immigrants’ with limited technological capabilities. Conversely, younger generations were ‘native’ speakers of the digital language. His clear distinction stated that even when ‘immigrants’ became familiar with technology; they would never be fluent users, permanently asserting them as technologically inept.

However, despite being influential for over a decade, Prensky’s theory has recently been criticised on two fronts. Firstly, due to the predominant focus on age, users can’t move between the categories despite improving or regressing in competency – his theory was too rigid. Secondly, as Mckenzie (2007) writes, the theory is based on ‘thinly supported claims’. He does not acknowledge other non-age-related factors, such as, internet usage and needs, or access to digital technology; therefore, his theory is also too generalised.

To correct this, White and Cornu (2011) replaces Prensky’s flawed paradigm with one that makes sure not to make the same mistakes; digital ‘Visitors’ and ‘Residents’. As seen below, ‘Visitors’ go online for a specific purpose, and once fulfilled return offline. Whereas, ‘Residents’ use the web to enrich their identity whilst communicating on a variety of social media platforms. Instead of pigeonholing groups according to their age, White and Cornu establish a ‘continuum’ which can change according to the individual’s internet usage.

 randv (Cardiff University, 2014)

I personally find this alternative to be more accurate. My sister was born in the ‘digital age’, but is a ‘visitor’ as she only uses the internet for quick google searches and for the odd shopping spree. Conversely, as a resident, I am glued to my phone and would be lost without the internet. I have also witnessed the ‘continuum’ element. My dad who was technologically hopeless, has somehow upped his game since I’ve been at university; he’s now poking me on Facebook and Whatsapp’ing me dad jokes and old memes. Thus proving that age is not a predominant indicator of digital usage, and that users can transition across the spectrum.

Digital Visitors or Residents, Which One Are You?

Introduction and Self Assessment

Hello, My name is Faazila Ashraf, and I am a second year Marketing student at the University of Southampton. I have created this blog to track my progress with the UOSM2008 ‘Living and Working on the Web’ module. I’m excited to explore different topics and improve my blogging capabilities in the process.

Below I have completed a self assessment which scores my experience in various online aspects from 1-5; 1 meaning I have no experience, and 5 meaning that I am proficient. I aim to complete another self assessment at the end of the module to measure my progression.

Rating at start of module Comments Rating at end of module Comments
Accessing, managing and evaluating online information

 

4 As a university student, I am constantly assessing and evaluating the credibility of sources online.
Participating in online communities

 

 

2 For someone who is glued to their phone, I am surprisingly not part of many communities online.

This is an area that I particularly want to improve on.

Building online networks around an area of interest

 

 

2 As I am already on some social media platforms, with practice, guidance and motivation I could easily improve this, however I lack the confidence and knowledge on how to create a personable but professional network.
Collaborating with others on shared projects

 

 

4 I collaborate with others on shared projects in all aspects of my everyday life, whether that be at my part-time job, at home or at University.
Creating online materials (text, audio, images, video)

 

 

1 Other than informal twitter and Facebook posts I have never created rich online material. In fact, I have never had a blog before, so this is definitely a new experience.

Managing your online identity

 

 

3 I believe that anything that I make publicly accessible is professional or at least does not tarnish my reputation. I keep my personal accounts private.
Managing your online privacy and security

 

 

4 I ensure that I maintain the highest of security and privacy settings. I believe I’m rather experienced in managing this aspect.

 

Q1) Why did you choose the module?

We are constantly reminded about the growing importance of the web; whether that be for a company or for an individual; thus I chose this module to provide me with insight to living and working on the web. I also chose this module for the challenge and stimulation – it offers a unique delivery which I am intrigued to experience.

Q2) What in particular do you want to learn from the module?

I hope that this module equips me with the skills to be able to create a professional but personable online profile, as well as provide me with new knowledge about living and working on the web such as implications of online posts and privacy issues.

Q3) Which degree programme are you studying?

I am currently studying Marketing.

Q4) Have you studied online before?

I have engaged in online research, and have watched youtube tutorials before, but I have never completed an online course such as this one before.

Introduction and Self Assessment