Online Identity Reflection
By Evan Harvey
Social media can be a confusing place when trying to decipher someone’s online identity versus a real identity. Normally people will discover social media by possibly a friend or family member and from there they take the initiative to start their own account and see what it’s all about. I personally did not care for its aspects but my mother became enveloped into and decided to make an account for me, where I slowly started to discover what social media was all about. It allows a person to create a different identity separate from their own lives and through this they convey certain messages about themselves or about topics they are passionate for. After searching my social media there are two distinct sides of my actual personality that show through it, my strong academic side as evidence of numerous accomplishment post made for a general audience and my humorous post made primarily for specific audiences, making it a fairly good representation of my character.
In terms of the online representation of myself and how I actually am, there are many posts that are able to demonstrate the two large sides of my personality, even though the only social media I’ve used is Facebook. For the academic side, one can see many post being made about personal achievements made while during college. For example, one of my most liked post is a result of actually being accepted into three different colleges. At that point almost, every semester there is some exciting development involving my academic achievements. I post significantly less than most users on Facebook so the ones I do make are ones either deemed important enough that I want friends and family alike to see, or revolve around my comedic side. To prove this, there are two post that expertly show this divide in character. One post in regard to my academic side is “I’m truly honored to be inducted into the national honor history society Phi Alpha Theta! I’ve done a lot to get this far and I’m excited for what the future holds,” which demonstrates a genuine appreciation and reflection of the accomplishments made during college (Harvey). If one where to only see this post because I don’t post quite often, they would believe me to be quite studious, and academic without knowing my humorous side as well. Many of the pictures of myself as well give off this academic side as many of them portray either a certificate or me standing in a picture with one.
For the humorous side of representation on social media, there is a certain characteristic of mine that goes along with Brakes ideas on inadvertent self-disclosure. There are very few post made that are personally made by me as for the most part I tend to only put important events of my life on there. Many of these specific posts are always geared towards a certain audience that I have in mind so there’s no real expectation of others liking, or even understanding what its about. For example, there was a recent post I created saying “Nintendo could have just announced Smash Brothers and it would have won E3” (Harvey). Now this statement assumes three things the target audience should know in order for it to make sense. They have to know what the company Nintendo is, what Smash Brothers is, and what E3 is. Without this knowledge the entire post makes no sense to people who don’t know what those three things are, but as for the small target audience trying to be reached, they would understand it entirely. Post made personally like this are a more accurate representation of the real me while academic posts are a better representation of my academic identity. Now the thing about this is that my mother who is surprisingly more active on social media than I am enjoys making numerous post on my Facebook wall. They are all posted without being checked first and because of that it can give misguidance on what my character is because it’s what my mother believes I am, not necessarily what I believe I am. While generally the posts are harmless, it may have the unattended effect of affecting future careers because the wrong impression could be given.
Looking through many of the post made on my Facebook wall, there are many positives and negatives that can be drawn from out that could potentially affect future circumstances. For the positives two things can be drawn from the post I make. The first is that the multiple academic achievement posts made can be a potential sign to future employers and companies of dedication and intelligence. The second is the humorous side can show candidness and laid-back side many might like or desire to see. For negative effects my social media presence could have, the concern comes from the post on the wall made by someone else. Potential Employers could see these posts and see a lack of seriousness or professionalism that may affect a person’s interpretation of my character.
Harvey, Evan. ‘I’m truly honored to be inducted into the national honor history society Phi Alpha Theta! I’ve done a lot to get this far and I’m excited for what the future holds.’ 29 April 2018, 7:05 p.m. Facebook post.
Harvey, Evan. ‘Nintendo could have just announced Smash Brothers and it would have won E3.’ 12 June 2018, 6:40 p.m. Facebook post.