Different faces of our identity?


In an increasingly technological world, social media sites such as Facebook are becoming increasingly important in maintaining a social life and in the workplace. However, this creates the dilemma to depict oneself through a single or multiple identities.

Despite a singly identity being associated with authenticity and integrity , we’ve seen that the norm for many is multiple profiles. Danah Boyd, who works for Microsoft as a social media researcher, interviewed a young person and received the response: “different sites, different audiences, different purposes”. This demonstrates the extent to which people may use LinkedIn to connect with their professional network, whilst using Facebook to connect with close friend and relatives.

Whilst managing multiple profiles may be an added difficulty, associated with remembering multiple passwords and security details, the implementation of multiple online identities may certainly have its perks. Multiple profiles may allow people to separate their professional and social persona’s, to avoid the unintended slip of personal life into their workplace.  What’s more, a survey by Jobvite revealed that 92% of companies use social media during a recruitment process. Thus, a seemingly innocent post may have damaging effects on career prospects.

The case of Justine Sacco was well publicised !

Justine sacco screenshot.png

[Screenshot taken by myself]

Below are infographics which details the pros and cons of having a single identity vs multiple identities :                                                                                                multiple               topic 3

Below is a video containing students and social media professionals discussing the complexity of managing multiple identities on social media :


Mark Zuckerberg was noted as saying that “Having two identities for yourself is an example of a lack of integrity” However, this may decision may ultimately be determined by your circumstances. One circumstance includes issues revolving gender, as reported by Cserni and Talmund (2015) , who found benefits of having multiple identities for members of the LGBT community. The necessity for a support network whilst forming their sexual orientation was cited as a supporting factor.


Whilst the likes of mark Zuckerberg disagree with multiple identities, I personally believe that it is acceptable for one to curate different profiles to suit their personal and professional lifestyles.


Word Count: 310


Boyd, D. (2014). It’s complicated: The social lives of networked teens. Yale University Press.

Cserni, R. T., & Talmud, I. (2015). To know that you are not alone: The effect of internet usage on LGBT youth’s social capital. In Communication and Information Technologies Annual (pp. 161-182). Emerald Group Publishing Limited.



Featured image :  Getty Images, Ashley Britton






4 thoughts on “Different faces of our identity?

  1. Hi Stefan, really great post, you brought up some really interesting points that I hadn’t considered about multiple identities. Particularly where you mentioned the benefits of multiple identities for the LGBT community.

    In regard to multiple identities, there are definitely many advantages as you stated. But, do you think it’s possible to lose control of our multiple identities? The Internet Society has an interesting report which refers to our ‘Digital Footprint’ to describe the trails and traces we can leave behind on the web which can often be forgotten after we’ve set up several accounts, but easily traceable to our other online identities. As we become more active users of the web, do you think our multiple identities will stay anonymous?

    Here’s the link to the report if you want to read it: https://cdn.prod.internetsociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Online-Identity-Introduction_2016-10_EN.pdf

    Thank you for the great read, hope to hear from you!


    Word count: 147


  2. Hi Stefan,

    Interesting point regarding companies looking at social media information when recruiting. This definitely highlights the need to separate the personal from the professional when it comes to online profiles, as someone’s cultural and economic capital could be affected. Do you think it should be socially acceptable for a prospective employer to make a value judgement based on an online profile if it’s not tied to a professional network? I believe that there is something worrying about the possibility of conflating the professional person with the private one, and the online space has made this division blurred but not this is not necessarily known by the individual. Often people who make profiles online do not realize that the information can be easily searchable and retrieved by anyone. Considering the long term implications of every post is not something which is encouraged by social media platforms as they would much rather we give them more and more data to mine and profit off of instead of thinking critically about the way we use the web.
    This article expolores this point: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/stories-41851771


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