Digital Identity: Who am I? (@simfin)

Last night I read the excellent post by Simon Finch – “Privacy is gone, live with it” – (@simfin) in which he considers the “complex and changing nature of identity, perception and consequences of naive digital citizenship” and outlines three possible groupings:

  1. “I’ve not got time for Twitter and Facebook, I’m too busy doing real work and besides the internet is full of liars, thieves and weirdos.”
  2. Harder to define but it’s more about the “spectrum on which we travel, rather than somewhere we are firmly placed.”
  3. “Not the Top Group. Not the Best group. This isn’t a competition”

What strikes me about Simon’s post is the well articulated way in which he highlights and describes his online presence and that it’s not only what we post and share is what defines us, but what we’re associated to (whether we know it or not).

“… if you post nothing anywhere then your identity will simply be references by others about the places you’ve been and the things you’ve said and done – ‘This is the worst conference ever (with Simon Finch)’. If I make no contribution, then it appears we are like minded and negative individuals.”

As with Simon I am known as much for my (prolific?) tweeting and blogging as for sharing photos of family, friends, days-out, home/work life, etc. My ‘name’ and reputation is built on what I share, as yours is too – some people keep their work and home online lives strictly separate, some are happy to blur the boundaries, while some ignore boundaries and do whatever they like: boys… ? I go

The saying “what happens in Vegas stays on Facebook, forever” is not new or very original anymore, but it is worth remembering when posting, sharing, interacting online. It’s not even about what you share anymore, it’s about what others share and include you in (with or without your knowledge or permission) that matters. If you have a defined and/or established online presence then, like me, you can be sure that the true you will shine above the dross that others may try and drown you in?

“Until we accept privacy, as we understood it, is gone forever, we will be in a continual state of firefighting. We must be proactive and model responsible real lives online, and face to face. Until we can do this we cannot expect our young people to know how to be safe, considerate, confident digital citizens. Privacy settings lead to misplaced complacency. We must look for opportunities at all times to share and celebrate positive aspects of our lives, and to understand that our every click, upload and interaction forms an important and permanent stamp on our record of achievement and resume.

“It is by using social media to showcase our values, our passions and our work that we can create opportunities for ourselves and help to ensure that ‘Teacher sacked for Twitter post’ becomes a thing of the past and we can become the positive digital role models our young people need.”

Thanks Simon, excellent post!