Mask Off?


According to Costa, and Torres, Digital Identity denotes Presentation and Reputation. Presentation is the way we interact and showcase of our practice, while Reputation is the way people consider us to be. Even if we’re just using the Internet for temporary educational/project purposes, we’ve unknowingly succumbed to the possibility of identity creation (Costa, C. and Torres, R., 2011).

As a student and frivolous digital consumer, I am resigned to a multi-identity approach, although I would try to maintain a single identity approach whenever possible (by linking my social media accounts), as it is more convenient to manage; not having to remember many passwords.


Fig 1 – Personal Online Identity (Self-Created using Powerpoint)


Fig 2 – Single Identity: Pros vs. Cons (FutureLearn, 2017; made using Canva)

It’s hard to determine authenticity even with a single identity, an individual can curate/personalise his profile to the extent where it does not accurately portray his true self.

Having multiple identities can be related to materialistic things – car and/or clothes? Do we really need that many of it? (BBC, 2016)

Screen Shot 2017-11-20 at 8.03.11 PM

Fig 3 – Factors to Consider when Creating > 1 Account (Engadget, 2016; Wil’s.Wonderful.Web, 2017; made using Canva)

Lines are blurred as personal profiles have even been used for work. Employers are also peeking into the personal profiles of prospective candidates (Popularity, 2017).

When an individual has multiple accounts, the likelihood of having an anonymous account is probable. Anonymity is sometimes good as it encourages freedom, disregarding emotions in the equation, where learning can take place (Magni, 2013).

Particularly encouraging for people who are secretive about their credentials, discussion websites such as 4Chan, does not require an account. With that said, identities are ever-changing and never-ending (Boyd, 2008). It is impressionable, based on the currency of individual’s experiences and interactions.

Screen Shot 2017-11-20 at 10.43.39 PM

Fig 4 – Screenshot from 4Chan

Interestingly, Catherine charts the number of identities against the anonymity of the online profile(s), which emphasises heavily on an individual’s privacy.


Fig 6 (Self-Created using Powerpoint)

In conclusion, no matter the number of profiles, individuals must be accountable for their online doings and maintain an equilibrium of authenticity and privacy.


Count: 294 words



Costa, C. and Torres, R. (2011). To be or not to be, the importance of Digital Identity in the networked society. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 Nov. 2017].

FutureLearn. (2017). What is your network identity? – Learning in the Network Age – University of Southampton. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 Nov. 2017].

BBC. (2016). The Online Identity Crisis – BBC Radio 4. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 Nov. 2017].

Engadget. (2016). Having multiple online identities is more normal than you think. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 Nov. 2017].

Wil’s.Wonderful.Web. (2017). For and against multiple online identities: We are who applications and other users say we are. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 Nov. 2017].

Popularity, K. (2017). Keep It Clean: Social Media Screenings Gain in Popularity. [online] Business News Daily. Available at: [Accessed 20 Nov. 2017].

Magni, L. (2013). Anonymously productive and socially engaged while learning at work. Interactive Learning Environments, 24(1), pp.68-84. (2017). /lit/ – Literature – 4chan. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 Nov. 2017].

Boyd, D. (2007) Why youth ❤ social network sites: the role of networked publics in teenage social life. IN Buckingham, D. (ed.) The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Media and Learning: Youth, identity and digital media. Cambridge: MIT Press, 119-142. (2017). Topic 2 | catherine frances. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 Nov. 2017].



  1. Hi Amoz,

    Great post! I agree that as the digital world is integral in our daily life, most of us owned multiple identities necessary to cater for different purpose and people.

    I feel that having multiple identities is beneficial if managed well. By separating my work and personal life, I can filter out unnecessary information. I wouldn’t want to be distracted by pictures of my friends partying when I am working, and I don’t like to be reminded of work when I am recuperating at home. Additionally, how I portray myself in front of my boss and colleagues is different when I am with my families or friends. We don’t need too many identities, but I feel it is important to separate identities.

    I agree that single identity can also be unauthentic. We must be cautious when sharing thoughts online to prevent offending others. But when we have multiple identities, we can show our inner and truer thoughts in private or anonymous platforms.

    Liked by 2 people


    1. Hey Adriel,

      Thanks for your comments! I agree that we should air our opinions with discretion. In light of that, other factors such as the context of message, and receiver’s interpretation of message has to be factored in ( Many times, regardless of the platform of communication, though the message may seem fairly neutral on a normal context, but the receiving end seems to feel shortchanged, that’s where the disconnect occurs. Which leads me to the point on authenticity, how then do we remain true to ourselves without offending others? In my opinion, the ball is then thrown back to the sender of the message “Is the message being objective to the situation at hand? Problem vs. Person? Which is being aimed at?”

      Would love to hear your thoughts on this one!

      Liked by 1 person


      1. Hi Amoz,

        In my opinion, catering to the targeted audience is what makes us less authentic. Having a single identity can restrict us from being authentic. A single identity is a reflection of our online presence and it is vulnerable to criticism and scrutinizing by the public. This influence what we post online and it may not be the true reflection of what we felt. Multiple identities are victim of this too. As we have separate identities, the things that we post differs at each platforms. We may fake our feelings on our online platforms to cater to our targeted audience. For example, we can share about enjoying working in a team for a project on our professional platforms but we never talked about how overbearing or irresponsible our team leader is. We do not want to create friction with the team leader and being judged by the company. This cause us to create a mask in our online platform.

        You have to be true to yourself at whichever identity you adopt. It is important to respect your audience but you also have to be honest about who you are and what you deliver. Being true to yourself on your online platform(s) will create authenticity, allowing the audience to know what you really feel.

        Liked by 1 person


  2. Hey Amoz!

    I really enjoyed reading through your post. I also agree that there is definitely a need for me to have multiple identities online and offline as well. I can’t possibly show up to work in my beach attire, and my bosses also would not want to see half-naked photos of me on the beach throwing a frisbee around on social media. I’m sure you can relate too haha!

    With that being said, I also can’t afford to have too many digital identities as well because it will be too much effort to manage. Which brings me to your last point about maintaining an equilibrium of authenticity and privacy. Managing multiple online identities can take a toll on individuals and actually cause them to suffer depression. Thus, I feel that individuals also need to consider the effort needed to manage their online identity or identities. What do you think?

    Liked by 1 person


    1. Hi Aaron,

      Thanks for creating a discussion! Similar to my reply to Adriel’s comments, I believe that the Receiver’s decode of the message plays the huge impact here. Personally, I feel that it’s alright that my boss should see my topless photo, as I don’t see how it has a causal impact on my work performance. In the first place, I wouldn’t make known my social media handles to my work colleagues if I’m not comfortable (good terms) with them in real life – this assessment is on the individual’s part.

      Yes, it’s scary to note the negative repercussions that multi-identities have caused especially to kids growing up nowadays ( Also I feel like there is an importance in putting effort to “beefing” our profiles, it’s only ignorant to shun it, considering this day and age. But how much is too much effort? Adopting a business mindset, note the ROI it can grant us, in terms of the learning and social acceptance we derived out of it. Hope this helps to open perspectives!



      1. Hey Amoz!

        hahaha! I guess its just me. I like to keep things separate online. I just find that it might be weird and inappropriate for the other party to see me in a certain way, I’m afraid of those ‘unintended’ effects. Even on Instagram, I told my dad that it would be uncomfortable for me if he had followed me.

        I also agree to your point that its hard to gauge how much effort should we put in. When I was in the army, my sergeants always told me to give in your best effort during physical training but not too much until you ‘toh’ (faint). I guess the really scary thing is you won’t know what your limit is until you really test it out.

        The point on ROI is also very interesting! Thanks for sharing your perspective!

        Liked by 1 person


  3. Hi Amoz,

    I agree that having multiple identities online is crucial in distinguishing professional and personal – I personally own multiple social accounts myself too!

    Your post has provided more insights on how we should responsibly handle our various accounts whilst striking a balance between the authenticity and privacy of them.

    I agree that having multiple accounts may lead to people to be anonymous online – where they can protect their privacy. However, anonymity online may be detrimental to some.

    Cyber-bullying is a great concern in Singapore now – 1 in 3 students are victims of it. Many people get away with cyber-bullying due to the fact that the accounts they use to comment on these social networks are anonymous. This makes online bullies bolder. The victims of cyber abuse would be depressed, leading to them self-harming and have suicidal thoughts.

    What are your views?

    (142 words)


    Liked by 1 person


    1. Hi Denise,

      Thanks for stopping by! Cyber-bullying is indeed a very real detriment that we shouldn’t turn a blind eye to. In this aspect, Multi-identity approach champions cowardice. Also to note, the victim’s wound is deeper where there is single identity, due to the viability of the information. In my opinion, Cyberbullying deterrence is merely lip service to discourage cyberbullies and advocate a happier digital space ( In spite of this, cyberbullying is pervasive.

      Going back to the issue at hand, the Internet is a free space, and we cannot (or rather it is hard to) micromanage what one does with their accounts. The responder, in this case, has the trump card. By not responding to cyberbullies, inadvertently the remarks would seek to fall on “deaf ears” (, rendering uselessness. A bully would only be satisfied if the victim responds, and responds to his/her intended manner. If it continues, the victim should reinforce (take security measures on his account/seek to find an associative group for support).

      All in all, having multiple accounts is not a problem, but we should strive to be digitally mature in knowing our rights and space (own it).

      Liked by 1 person


  4. Hey Amoz, interesting post on single/multiple online identities. Looks like your post is very popular with a lot of comments! ☺

    I particularly like Fig 6 where you showed that having a balance between authenticity and privacy is important and I absolutely agree with you. I also like that you used Microsoft PowerPoint to create your visuals – reminds me that the simpler and basic tools are still available while we explore new tools and functions.

    For me, Fig 1 is extremely relatable as the online identity that I have is very similar to yours. I do agree that the ease of management is one of the reasons why I prefer to have a single identity. However, I feel that passwords are very important to guard our online identities as hacking is slowly becoming common. So although we would like convenience, I feel that having strong and different passwords are important.

    (150 words)

    Liked by 1 person


    1. Hi Xin Yi,

      Thank you for your kind words. With the bank/wallet apps allowing for Fingerprint authentication on our mobile phone, is this a case of laziness? Or could we also stand to say that we’re fully maximising the app’s functionality? I agree with you that hackers are on the rise, and it’s our responsibility to safekeep our identity, maybe keeping to a set of 2-3 password variation could be a resolve?



  5. Hello Amoz! I agree with you that it is crucial for users to be accountable for their actions and maintain a balance between being authenticity and the privacy of their profile/s. I enjoyed reading on Laws’ infographic on the pros of different states of online identity as well.

    Some users make use of the web to experiment around with their profiles – either being “more-real” online compared to their offline identities or becoming their “ideal” self online rather than their “actual” self (firstmonday, 2017), affecting the authenticity. What are your thoughts on this matter?

    In the 2015 figures alone, an increase of 1266% in online frauds was recorded – including a £113 million cyber-fraud (costing the UK £124 million in cybercrime) (SC Media UK, 2017). What are your thoughts on how multiple or single identity can do to keep their online identity secure?

    Stay safe on the web!

    (148 words)

    References: 2017. No page title. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 20 November 2017].

    SC Media UK. 2017. Data Privacy Day 2017: over 420 billion records stolen in 2016, time for a change?. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 20 November 2017].

    Liked by 1 person


    1. Hi Alicia,

      Thanks for stopping by! If the fact that can express themselves better, why not? The Internet is just another avenue to express what’s already innately inside ( Individuals who seek to be more inclined toward overfluffing their identity online usually suffer from self-esteem issues, and should still note that it doesn’t tackle the root problem (i.e. addressing their esteem in real life)
      ( The misaligned identity could also call for confusion and judgement from others.

      Securing of our personal identity is something I will seek to delve deeper in my reflection post. Likewise, it’s the responsibility of an individual to keep track of the accounts under his/her wing. Practical steps such as being wary of the sites surfed, maintaining password integrity, and being careful with the transaction of our personal data ( After all, if our identity is at stake, the only person who will really care and be affected is ourselves.



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