Saturday, July 3, 2010

"Multiple E-dentity Disorder" - Or, Welcome to the Real World

"Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, LinkedIn: Multiple e-dentity Disorder"
Austin Carr, Fast Company (July 1, 2010)

"How many times have you heard a horror story of how debaucherous Facebook photos have ended the chances of a job candidate?

"Most of us have numerous online personalities, from multiple email usernames and messenger logins, to private Twitter feeds and social network profiles. It seems every online tool calls for different behavior. Speaking recently at our Most Creative People in Business event, Soraya Darabi, product lead at and #53 on our list, called this syndrome 'multiple e-dentity disorder.'

" 'I'm very different on Twitter than on Facebook,' Darabi told audiences. 'I have a professional self on LinkedIn, and a personal self on Tumblr.'

" 'I'm very different on Twitter than on Facebook,' Darabi told audiences. 'I have a professional self on LinkedIn, and a personal self on Tumblr.'

"According to Darabi, all these professional and personal Internet services create a chasm between our true selves and our online identity. 'What social media presents really is an issue of Web literacy,' she explained. 'We have to first understand what it means to be social online before we can accurately and authentically represent ourselves on each individual platform.'..."

There's a video embedded in the article, so you can listen to what Darabi said. It's pretty much what the article highlights:

video, 1:13

I think I understand what's being discussed here - and agree that it's an important issue. Particularly since so many people seem profoundly clueless about cause and effect.

Decades ago, when I started doing time in American academia, we had a similar issue. Then, it was college kids doing stupid things because they didn't see the connection between their college years and the "real world."

One of my kids told me that I was "born 40." She could be right. I remember, then, wondering how anybody could not realize that they'd take the same body they had in college with them into the "real world." And that it really mattered how much booze and drugs they poured into it - and how many diseases they exposed it to.

These days, it looks like we've got the same general situation with a tech edge. Folks - some folks, anyway - don't seem to realize that acting one way at the office and another online may not be a good idea.

I rather wonder if the same people would be astounded when they realized that starting a fight at the corner bar had an effect on their job as, say, a bank teller.
A tip of the hat to TweetSmarter, on Twitter, for the heads-up on this article.

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