Offline and Online Identity


  • Use mainly my provided sources.
  • Writing in simple English
  • only use examples that foreigner can be experienced because I am not Australian (my tutor know it).
  • The ideas base mainly on provided sources.


2,000-word essay: online identities

Weighting: 30%, due end of Week 9, 5 May 5 PM

Erving Goffman (1959), as discussed in Alice Marwick’s ‘Online Identities’, argues that we construct and perform different identities or versions of ourselves in different social contexts. What factors (personal, social, technical) determine how you express your identity in online environments? How do you construct and manage your online identities? How close are your online identities to your offline self? What are the implications of having and managing multiple identities, or multiple versions of the same identity?

Address these questions by comparing and contrasting one or more of your online identities with your offline identity:

your avatar identity (from an online role-playing game or virtual world)* and/ or your online identity a social networking site such as (but not limited to) Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, or Instagram with your offline identity

Use specific examples from your personal experience and online practices to illustrate your points.

You may also include screenshots in your essay to visually illustrate your online and offline identities; do not include identifying information for anyone other than yourself.

You must use academic references to support your argument. Note that you will be evaluated on your understanding of assigned readings and your ability to use them to construct a nuanced argument about your own use of technology. While additional external sources are necessary for a high distinction, in no way should they substitute for the reading you should be doing as assigned for this unit.

Upload a copy of this essay as a word processing file to Blackboard (do not submit assignments in Adobe .pdf format).

Submissions should be titled using the following format: SURNAME_FIRSTNAME_IDENTITYESSAY.docx

* No prior experience with virtual worlds or games is necessary for this essay. You may either discuss your experiences as a newbie or as an existing participant. If you do not want to discuss virtual worlds or games, then you can discuss social media, as noted above.

Technological advances have impacted on communication regarding the spurring social sites that people would exchange their information with others. No one has been immune to the effect of social media on their identities. While some people are opting to maintain their identities regarding giving accurate information about themselves, others use different identities while online.  Traditional forms of communication involved textual exchange without exchanging their pictures.  The modern social technology has become a platform where people share their personal information with the public. There are two forms of identity that are shaped by the context, personal and social identity. Social identity is the identity that a person adopts when on an online platform while personal identity might incorporate both the offline and online personal identification (Marwick, 2013). As a result of the multifaceted nature of identity, it is thus defined to be a compound, embryonic and situational relationship between one person and other people whom they together belong to one group. The online identity has been a factor in several aspects such as technical, social and personal reasons. As Alice Marwick (2013) suggests, they are the three factors that assist in building an online identity. The internet in the contemporary society has been described to be an identity factory with two types of individuals. One category is those that establish radically different identities while online, identity that has no affiliation with offline self. The other category, in which I fall in are the people who opt to portray similar a persona while online and offline. I have personally chosen to maintain a single and fixed identity while offline and online.

Factors that influence my identity

 Personal factors

I always try to reduce the gap between my offline and online as small as possible. I want to be formal regardless of whetherI am online or offline. Due to personal conventionalism and formality reasons, I use my real personal information to shape my online identities. For instance, I use my real phone number, email and my real photographs on all the social media platforms as an avatar. I do not want to be anonymous, and I have responsibilities online. Being a member of most of the commercial and professional sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook, it is imperative to give correct personal data. As suggested by Coleman (2011), certain companies gather the information of the users and assemble them with other data from different platforms to create cultured personal dossiers. Furthermore, Clark (2003) accounts for the benefits of giving truthful information, citing some organization that utilizes online sites to sell and advertise their products based on the demographic data of the site users. As a professional, I feel that it is not good to obscure personal information, especially in professional sites where people interact with potential employers and colleagues. In professional sites, for example, LinkedIn, when employers want to select an appropriate person to be considered for employment, they observe the profiles of site users and the need to have truthful information arises. I always feel that the conception of leading a truthful life starts with building a personal identity.  According to Ken (1999), the aspect of individuals using multiples different personal profiles by using different nicknames in different or same social sites leads to difficulties in tracing the originality and accuracy of information are difficult.  I like being formal in the sense that having multiple identities that are different to the real identity leads to mistrust from other professionals that we share information and interact on the site. Having a different personality while online, according to me, can affect the real persona…

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