Identity Cry-sis


From the Justine Sacco episode, it dawned on me that the receivers’ interpretation of the message plays a significant role, since human interaction constitute a huge part of the Web (Communication Processes, 2017). It also got me thinking – one does not have to hold an online profile to garner a reputation for him/herself (Jon Ronson, 2015). The problem with identifying anonymity is it’s lack of “compassion”; disregarding people who want a clean slate (divorcees or ex-convicts) (The Guardian, 2012).


Fig – My Personal Understanding of Online Identities in Stages (Self-Created using Canva; Inspired by Catherine Laws)

I concur with Helena that digital visitors should favorably adopt a single identity, due to their low footprints, as it would seek to maintain usage integrity, running little risk of falling prey to/being convicted of Internet crimes. Prior to chancing upon her blog, I did not the consider the true value of our virtual data, hence the magnitude of (not) securing it.

Evelyn, while maintaining an egalitarian stance on identity approach, dished out an overlooked terminology – Contextual Collapse. Her blog brought about thought-provoking insights, such as the proneness of children to falling into dissociative behaviors and digital “schizophrenia”.

Of the many hats I wear, as a marketer, balancing authenticity with sales, is indeed trying. In the business world, where ‘face’ is the name of the game, it’s important to fit into the mold. It also got me thinking, the reason why many parent companies have a subset of brands (selling different products or services), this avoids dilution of the child brand, likewise with their online identities (WIRED, 2014). As a regular internet user, the many profiles have elevated my literacy. But within that is a harmony of the identities.

Ultimately, it boils down to one’s choice of being ethically responsible. As Singapore aims to bring our national registered identity to the Web, data security is further warranted (THAM, 2017). Could this be the coming of age?


Count: 300 words


Commented Blogs

Helena Liang

Evelyn Lo



Communication Process . 2017. Communication Process . [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 22 November 2017].

Jon Ronson. 2015. How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life – The New York Times. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 22 November 2017].

The Guardian. 2012. Aleks Krotoski talks to Andrew Lewman on Tor and anonymity online | Technology | The Guardian. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 22 November 2017].

The Guardian. 2012. Online identity: is authenticity or anonymity more important? | Technology | The Guardian. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 22 November 2017].

WIRED: WIRED. 2014. The Online Identity Crisis | WIRED. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 22 November 2017].

Help Net Security. 2010. The importance of identity in the digital age – Help Net Security. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 22 November 2017]. 2015. Forbes Welcome. [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 November 2017].

THAM, I. 2017. Coming your way: An NRIC – but in digital form on your smartphone. [online] The Straits Times. Available at: [Accessed 22 November 2017].


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