Can you Controll your identity online?

So all throughout the semester in ECMP 355 we have been talking about a digital identity. It’s kind of a cool idea to think that in this technological age we can create a “new identity” online. Youtube has been revolutionary for allowing individuals to speak their mind on their lives, their passions and their opinions. People from all over the world are becoming connected to one an another via “vlogs” ( video blogs) . Youtube is allowing people to embrace their identities in a open and collaborative way. The way that it is set up is that any one can comment on any video. This commenting function also allows fluent and open conversations and collaboration to occur. I strongly believe that youtube has in large part shaped this new colaborative era. Youtube has provided many artist ( such as Justing Beiber) with a career. Youtube is also an excellent way to gain insights into any issue that you might be interested in.

On the flip-side I have been wondering about what kind of negative connotations being completely open with your identity and opinions online might have. I think that sometimes people ( myself included) feel more safe ( less-judged) online. Perhaps this is because of the lack of face to face communication, the social barriers seem to break down. In schools a major problem is bullying via social media websites ( often reffered to as cyber bullying).The Bullying kitchen created a series of videos that show how many people say things online that they would never say in person.

I started to think about accounts of people who have shared their ideas on the internet ( so the whole world can see) and it has resulted in a very negative response from other people. One such video that comes to mind is the very popular movie that a middle years boy posted after being bullied at school for being a red head. Youtuber Coppercab posted a very powerful video saying that he is standing up for himself and will not tolerated being made fun of for his hair colour. In the video he proclaims ” Gingers have souls too”. That one statement made the video become viral. The video unfortunately got turned into a sort of a joke andSouthPark ended up creating a parody of it in his show. I began to think how negative this must have been on him. Would have he had the same amount of ridicule upon him if he did not post his “cry for help” online? Is this video going to become his identity? Or the identity that others lable him as?

I also got to thinking about how easy it is to feel safe sharing what ever you want via the internet. Although this can be empowering, I also think that a certain “internet ethic” needs to be present.

When we post something online should we have to follow the same political correctness that we would anywhere else? What do you think the implications of posting something on line might be?

I look forward to hearing everyone’s imput!

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3 thoughts on “Can you Controll your identity online?

  1. Great post! This is something I struggle with a lot as well, and think I will continue to struggle with it for a while. I agree with you that people SHOULD follow the same kind of ethics on the internet as they do in their face-to-face interactions; unfortunately, this doesn’t always seem to be the case. I think the internet gives people a sort of “safe” feeling, which results in both positive and negative scenarios. Some people are very respectful on the internet, there is no doubt about that, but others also use it as an easy way to target people without that face-to-face repercussion.
    So my answer to your question is, yes, I think there should be some kind of ethics people follow online, Unfortunately, what I think should happen is very different from what I think will happen. So far there has been very little done to people who torment or ridicule others online, leaving this idea of “online ridicule is safe” very much alive. I believe, until there are consequences for people’s actions online, these “ethics” may get lost – and not by everyone, but by more people than I think it should.

  2. It was actually ECMP 355 that got me thinking: who is watching me, who reads my stuff online, WHAT WAS I SAYING?????
    I immediately made my facebook completely private. I checked all the pages I might have appeared on… A kind of panic attack…
    Now… as I look back, I see how this actually payed off. Now I am preparing to publish a book and I would certainly not like to be connected with some silliness from when I was 5 years younger… I guess this is good. I think this can teach out kids responsibility for anything they are posting. I think we definitely should be politically correct and just us, to make sure we are… us?

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