What is your digital identity? (I need this for school!!)

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What is your digital identity? (I need this for school!!)

Postby Eschaton » April 6th, 2017, 3:34:24 pm

I'm supposed to make a small magazine about the topic "digital portrait", but I'll only be graded on the layout and whatnot, not the actual text content. I just thought it would be much cooler to use actual input from other people, instead of making it all up myself or copy-pasting something online.

So if anyone has something to contribute, I would greatly appreciate it! Even if it's in the form of discussion. Just know that parts of this might be used by me in my homework.

I'll start this off with some questions, but feel free to comment however you please, even if it's not directly related to this topic. I might still be able to use this. "Digital Portrait" is just the name of the magazine, so any sub-titles can go in any direction vaguely related to that.

1. What do you consider to be your digital identity?
2. How do you feel about anonymity? Is it good, bad, harmful?
3. Do you often change your identity (like when joining a new site), or do you stick to the same one? Why?
4. How well does your identity represent your "true self"? Is the way you act different than you would in real life? Why?
5. Should we be honest in our digital identity? Is it okay to pretend to be different than you are? Is it okay to pretend to be someone else? Why?
6. Does anonymity bring out the worst or the best in us? Why?
7. What would the world be like if everyone was exactly like themselves online? For example, used only their own photos as avatars, their real names as usernames, acted exactly how they would irl, etc. Do you think that kind of world would ever be possible?
8. How important is the internet for your "social life"?
9. Has anyone ever lied to you about who they are on the internet? Why do you think they did that? Have you ever done this to anyone? Why/not?


You don't have to answer those exact questions if you don't want to! It's just a little something to start thinking about.

It would be great if you could forward this thread to your friends too. The more input this gets, the more I'll have to work with. This homwork is due by the end of May.
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Re: What is your digital identity? (I need this for school!!

Postby Aethris » April 6th, 2017, 7:14:04 pm

Oooh this is an interesting one, I guess I'll go ahead and answer your questions first:

1. What do you consider to be your digital identity?
I'm honestly not sure how to answer this one. I'm pretty much the same person except I'm way more open about things that I like or dislike than in real life, I usually use either this name or 2 others.
2. How do you feel about anonymity? Is it good, bad, harmful?
I believe anonymity promotes honesty in discussion. It's way easier to give your true opinion about any topic knowing that everyone else discussing it has no idea who you are and no one will be able to judge you for it beyond your digital identity. If I say I dislike politician A, at most you will hate Aethris, you won't know who I am in real life and you won't be able to associate this opinion with the real me unless I tell you who I am.
Of course, on the other hand, anonymity also brings chaos. People may feel more inclined to do harm knowing that there's no way to trace it back to them.
3. Do you often change your identity (like when joining a new site), or do you stick to the same one? Why?
I keep my real life related stuff disconnected from my online stuff as much as possible to protect my identity. I've had people attempt to dox me and I do this for my own protection. Other than this, I go by about 3 names (one of which I don't use anymore) and I tend to not hide my digital identity too much.
4. How well does your identity represent your "true self"? Is the way you act different than you would in real life? Why?
Like I said before, I'm pretty much the same person except I'm more honest and more open about my interests.
I see no reason to lie about who I am other than to protect my real life identity, so I tend to be more honest and open about my interests online. I'm kind of a huge nerd so I have a lot of trouble finding people with the same interests as me IRL. XD
5. Should we be honest in our digital identity? Is it okay to pretend to be different than you are? Is it okay to pretend to be someone else? Why?
I believe people should try to be themselves as much as possible, I've seen so many people lie about their gender, nationality, studies, college degrees, jobs, age, etc... It's never ended well. I knew someone who pretended to be an electrical engineering student in the middle of a community of all kinds of engineers, and that did not end well. This person didn't even know what a logic gate is...
If you're going to lie about yourself, at least do it to protect your real identity. Not to one up people or try to impress them.
6. Does anonymity bring out the worst or the best in us? Why?
Oh absolutely. For both of them.
One huge part of our game server network (and the one that started it all!) is the creative Minecraft server. And as you may have guessed, not everyone who joins has good intentions. Some people join and instantly start attempting to destroy others' creations. If these people had their real name over their heads rather than their username, I don't think they would've done this. But then, I don't think that a lot of people would've built anything either, out of fear of being judged by their friends that might see it.
7. What would the world be like if everyone was exactly like themselves online? For example, used only their own photos as avatars, their real names as usernames, acted exactly how they would irl, etc. Do you think that kind of world would ever be possible?
Photos as avatars? I would have no friends hahaha... :lol: No, but seriously, I think that everyone would be way more worried about what they say and who might be reading. This would prevent a lot of constructive serious discussions from ever happening, but would also prevent a LOT of damage that has been done. I believe that in the long run it would be more harmful than good as people would be way less open about themselves. I know I wouldn't be on here if this were the case.
8. How important is the internet for your "social life"?
Extremely important, I would never have met my boyfriend without the internet! I've made countless good friends online that have helped me through the worst times. I've learned things I would never even have known about otherwise. I study networking and sysadmin, I wouldn't have a job without the internet!
9. Has anyone ever lied to you about who they are on the internet? Why do you think they did that? Have you ever done this to anyone? Why/not?
One of the perks of owning a game server network is that you get all of this juicy drama when people find out someone has been lying about who they are. A big downside of owning a game server network is dealing with that drama. I've seen all kinds of stuff like this happening. I've met several pathological liars. I've had people beg me for personal info. I've even banned someone who was begging our younger players for pictures of themselves. The story that stands out the most to me is the person who lied about their gender, their age, their location, their occupation and even got someone to roleplay as their sibling! That was some serious dedication, it went on for almost a year. I don't know why this person in particular lied about themselves like this.
I personally haven't gone to this extent to lie about myself, the most I've done was lie about my location when people get too creepy begging for it.

This is an interesting topic and I have way too much to say about it and too many stories from my servers XD so I will leave it at this I guess. Sorry if the wording is awkward in some spots, English isn't my native language.
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Re: What is your digital identity? (I need this for school!!

Postby Eschaton » April 7th, 2017, 5:52:42 pm

Feel free to share as much as you want! The more info I get, the more I'll have to work with. uvu
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Re: What is your digital identity? (I need this for school!!

Postby Bluewyrm » April 8th, 2017, 5:23:10 pm

1. What do you consider to be your digital identity?
I consider my online identity to be more like me that I usually present myself... with the caveot that that also means that I joke around a lot more. Occasionally I've run into issues with IRL friends I let onto my digital grounds because they think they see some bias that is the reasons I did specific things IRL instead of me playing the devil's advocate to someone making a really extreme argument.


2. How do you feel about anonymity? Is it good, bad, harmful?
I don't like sites without user handles. I like the ability for those user handles to be connected - or not - to the user's other identities as they see fit.

I think complete anonymity empowers people to say horrifying things, and I don't think that's right. However, I think there are places where allowing people to ask questions anonymously is very important - for example, someone asking whether something is a symptom of abuse.



3. Do you often change your identity (like when joining a new site), or do you stick to the same one? Why?
I keep the same identity on most sites. However, because some of my online presence is not totally PG-13, and some sites have extremely restrictive rules about linking or leading people to things that are not PG-13, even if you do give advance warning about that, some of my user accounts are not directly linked to each other. Me as a person stays the same.


4. How well does your identity represent your "true self"? Is the way you act different than you would in real life? Why?
I generally assume that if I don't get along with people, we can part ways without accidentally running into each other all the time. Being a luxury I don't have in real life, I can afford not to hide parts of my self. However, being online means that a lot of things about my behavior aren't translated, since everything is text and still images. On a superficial level, though, there isn't a huge difference between online me and IRL me, just how much I let people know about.


5. Should we be honest in our digital identity? Is it okay to pretend to be different than you are? Is it okay to pretend to be someone else? Why?
- To your own self be true.
- Life's a stage, and we are merely players in it. If it's you doing the thing, how can you claim to be pretending? (This doesn't extend to your genetic family's history and the culture(s) that raised you. However, it does extend to your gender identity, and, following from that and one's right to privacy, whatever lurks under your clothes.)
- If you're sockpuppetting or pretending to be preaching to a choir that's all you, then no. If you're pretending to be another real person or another person's online face, then no. If you're pretending to get something from someone, then no. Beyond that, I think it loops back to the second part of the question.

6. Does anonymity bring out the worst or the best in us? Why?
It depends on the person. Some people (see: Tumblr asks claiming a person is Problematic with absolutely no evidence) see it as an excuse to tear down people they don't like and hurt as many people as possible. Others use it as an excuse to randomly send people money and items to make their day a lot brighter. I'm ambivalent about answering this, because I don't think it's possible for either yes or no to be a correct answer.

7. What would the world be like if everyone was exactly like themselves online? For example, used only their own photos as avatars, their real names as usernames, acted exactly how they would irl, etc. Do you think that kind of world would ever be possible?
That would be terrible and awful. It might be possible, but it's not a world I'd want to live in.
Go look at facebook for a while. The people there are not that much different from the behavior of the rest of the internet...think of how much more damage jerks could do if it was easy to track down where their targets live. Yikes.

8. How important is the internet for your "social life"?
My IRL friends are all busy, so I talk to friends online instead. I should really be writing my term paper...

9. Has anyone ever lied to you about who they are on the internet? Why do you think they did that? Have you ever done this to anyone? Why/not?
Various people have lied to me online to me because they were trying to sell me something, whether literally or figuratively (ex. an idea).
A few times, I said something about my identity online that I thought of as lying. Much later, I came the the uncomfortable realization that what I said about myself had been the truth. I don't like to deceive people, and think it's a waste of everyone's time, so I avoid doing it.
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Re: What is your digital identity? (I need this for school!!

Postby Eschaton » April 9th, 2017, 6:23:27 am

Thank you for your reply!
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Re: What is your digital identity? (I need this for school!!

Postby Yungoos » April 14th, 2017, 11:25:41 pm

1. What do you consider to be your digital identity?
More laid-back. I make myself seem a lot more responsible and sociable than I really am. I have severe Aspergers, and as a result I stutter and backpedal and all of my nervous tics are there for all to see. Text irons out the kinks and stumbles in my speech so I'm somewhat coherent, and that makes me a lot more confident to talk to others online.

2. How do you feel about anonymity? Is it good, bad, harmful?
Really, both. It's freeing to be able to step forward and talk about yourself and the like without being judged... but without consequences, people can very well use it to harm others.

3. Do you often change your identity (like when joining a new site), or do you stick to the same one? Why?
I keep it more or less the same. Facebook is different because I'm part of the meme community on there, so I keep my hobbies and such on the down-low so I don't get harassed by others.

4. How well does your identity represent your "true self"? Is the way you act different than you would in real life? Why?
I'd say it's very faithful. I'm the same online as I am in real life, for the most part. I created a character I use to represent myself, and even she looks just like IRL me.

5. Should we be honest in our digital identity? Is it okay to pretend to be different than you are? Is it okay to pretend to be someone else? Why?
Of course! I've seen firsthand from the Facebook meme community just how much lying about who you are can hurt people. There's a new slice of drama every day. Oh, you like this individual? Today they're a catfish. It's awful. It's cool to roleplay and make yourself look good and all but jeez, man. Don't go deceiving people.

6. Does anonymity bring out the worst or the best in us? Why?
The worst. Absolutely. Without a doubt. Just look at 4chan.

7. What would the world be like if everyone was exactly like themselves online? For example, used only their own photos as avatars, their real names as usernames, acted exactly how they would irl, etc. Do you think that kind of world would ever be possible?
It's possible, but not probable. How would it be enforced? Remember, Facebook used to enforce people only adding people they new IRL way back when (what a joke) and still attempts to make people use their real names. If it could be forced, I doubt it would still be a perfect idea. Not being face to face with people makes one bold. You'll still say as you please.

8. How important is the internet for your "social life"?
Very! I live in Wisconsin and all of my friends and family live in Missouri. I rely on the internet to keep our relationships together.

9. Has anyone ever lied to you about who they are on the internet? Why do you think they did that? Have you ever done this to anyone? Why/not?
Specifically to me? Sure. Guys will add me all the time and say stuff like "I'm a big, bad hacker. My dad is the boss of Microsoft" or some absolute trash like that. They get too full of themselves and think people will believe anything. It makes their flaws seem smaller and themselves more interesting. I've never done that (though I could very well be lying, of course).
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Re: What is your digital identity? (I need this for school!!

Postby levantou » April 18th, 2017, 2:49:00 pm

1. What do you consider to be your digital identity?
My online identity has definitely changed throughout the years. When I was younger, when the internet wasn't as large as it is today (maybe about 15-20 years ago....showing my age now xD), I felt like I shouldn't put my real name on anything. Like it was going to be revealing some big secret. Keep in mind, my parents did not use the internet or anything. I pretty much taught myself. My online identity was first "levantou" because I translated the word rose into French or Spanish (I don't remember now haha). Then I was Meii, then changed to Jalakins and now I have Casiidy for online games (I play soo many MMORPGs). My real name is Julie, so I clearly have some sort of issue with sharing my real name, even after all of these years. My personality is the same though. Maybe I'm more open online than I am in real life. But when I started online, I wasn't good at talking to people. I felt so uncomfortable talking to anyone that I didn't know, and the only reason I got a job after high school is because a friend helped me out. But being able to talk to people online, and getting into social gaming helped that phobia of mine, and I don't really have it any more.

2. How do you feel about anonymity? Is it good, bad, harmful?
It really depends. I feel like it is both. I like anonymity because of some issues I have with myself. I'm overweight in real life, and that matters to a lot of people, even if they don't admit it. Online, it doesn't matter what I look like, whether I'm male or female, or if I'm pretty or not. However, many people take online anonymity and just do horrible things with it. We have cyber bullying that's out of control and stalkers who follow people online to hurt them. In a perfect world, anonymity wouldn't even matter, because no one would judge you anyway. We don't live in a perfect world, and unfortunately, I feel like anonymity is used more for harm than for good.

3. Do you often change your identity (like when joining a new site), or do you stick to the same one? Why?
While I have changed a lot over the years, I stay with the same one nowadays. If I could make them all the same, I would for sure! Jalakins is my favorite online identity so to speak, because then I have everyone just call me Jala - which is close to my real name but not quite.

4. How well does your identity represent your "true self"? Is the way you act different than you would in real life? Why?
I feel like my online identity is pretty much the same as me, just a little more open and fun. I come online to enjoy things that I like, for example Magistream, or pokemon games. It is my escape from a depressing reality, where I'm stressed, overworked, and underpaid. I don't have to worry about paying bills on time or beating that work deadline when I'm doing fun things online. So I try to keep my identity a positive one, in hopes that it has a positive impact on the "real" me. So far, I feel like it has.

5. Should we be honest in our digital identity? Is it okay to pretend to be different than you are? Is it okay to pretend to be someone else? Why?
I don't feel like I've ever become someone else online, since I typically stay true to who I am (with the above exception). And in some cases, I don't really see a problem with becoming someone else online. But, like I said before, there are some cases where this becomes wrong. Older men becoming young girls to befriend is just one bad example I can use. On a site like Magistream, it really doesn't matter who I pretend to be. But there are sites out there where it does matter if you pretend to be someone else. So....in one sense, yes it is okay to pretend to be someone else. To come up with a unique identity and be someone else. But people also need to know where to draw the line.

6. Does anonymity bring out the worst or the best in us? Why?
Both. Being able to talk honestly and openly with people about things that you may not do in real life can help people. But if you look at any online articles that allow comments and you see the most horrible comments. It's sad. You know many of them wouldn't say stuff like that in front of their friends or parents. So in the end, if good and bad were on a scale, the bad side would be so much heavier, unfortunately.

7. What would the world be like if everyone was exactly like themselves online? For example, used only their own photos as avatars, their real names as usernames, acted exactly how they would irl, etc. Do you think that kind of world would ever be possible?
It would be an interesting world for sure! I don't think the internet would have grown the way it has if that were true, so I don't think this kind of world would be possible. Can you imagine online gaming if your character running around in a fantasy world looked just like you? I only bring up the online gaming because one of the reasons I myself got into gaming is because I could be someone else who isn't overweight, socially awkward, acne face, etc. While I've grown from that awkward teenager, I think the online experience has been a positive one for me in helping accept aspects of my physical appearance.

8. How important is the internet for your "social life"?
Well to be completely honest here (which I probably would not have done if the above was true...) I don't have many real life friends. My best friend from school moved away years ago, and we only really talk on Facebook now. My boyfriend's gaming friends have become my friends as well, and we talk over things like Discord and Skype.

9. Has anyone ever lied to you about who they are on the internet? Why do you think they did that? Have you ever done this to anyone? Why/not?
Yes, it has unfortunately happened to me several times. I don't know why they lied to me, and for so long (over a year) but it was hurtful when I found out the truth. Unfortunately, I have also lied about myself online, though nothing as big and serious as what happened to me. I used to tell little "white lies" about myself. Things like....who I was, what I did for a job, school, etc. I don't do it anymore because I feel like it was wrong, and I like being honest about myself. If someone asks me something that I don't feel comfortable talking about, I'm not going to lie about it. I'll just say I don't want to answer that.
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