Changing Identities

“That ain’t me, that ain’t my face. It wasn’t even me when I was trying to be that face. I wasn’t even really me them; I was just being the way I looked, the way people wanted.”
― Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Private or professional identity?

The advent of social media has blurred the divide between our private and professional selves. It has made us rethink the way that we create, manage and project our identity.   Look at the following presentation and use the comment box to say whether you agree with the points the author is making.

Or listen to what this panel of expert speakers had to say:

What do you keep private?
Consider the following digital items you may have.   Arrange them on a continuum from ‘very private’ to ‘very public’.

Who is your friend?
Add your opinion to this Padlet board.

Creating a digital identity

In some occupational areas having a multi-platform, online presence can be very important. For example, if you were an employer looking for a computer games developer or a marketing professional or a researcher you would expect the successful candidate to show up on a variety of social media. If they didn’t, then you might question their enthusiasm or abilities. In other jobs it is far less important. You need to consider carefully whether a future employer would expect you to be an active social media user, and, if so, how you can construct an on-line presence that demonstrates you have the skills they are looking for before you ever get to the interview stage.

On-line Angela!
Angela Rees works for an organisation that trains teachers to use new technology in the classroom. (As it happens, she is also co-writing this website!). Her organisation’s clients would expect her to have a strong on line presence – it demonstrates her expertise and gives her work authenticity. In terms of her teacher training role, it is definitely a case of being seen to practice what you preach! Google her name and see what you can find. In case you get the wrong Angela, here are some links to help you.

Google you!

Most people have googled themselves at some point.  Do it again now and make a list of what you find. Make a second list of the things that you would ideally LIKE people to find if they Googled you.

What impression would you want to give to your friends? A future employer? A future boyfriend or girlfriend? Your elderly aunt?

What platforms exist?

Most of you will be familiar with at least some of the following social media:

  • Linked In 
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • You Tube
  • Google+
  • Pinterest
  • Flickr
  • Slideshare
  • Scoop.It
  • Instagram
  • blogs

Click on any you are not familiar with and check them out.  Choose 3 of them and share something you are interested in.  This could be text, image, audio or video. Alternatively, you could just comment on someone else’s content.  Commenting also helps to build your identity and your digital footprint so make sure your comments are well thought out and not likely to offend.

Who am I?

We all have multiple identities both online and offline.

Activity: Use Thinglink to create your own ‘Who am I’ and share the link in the comments. Find a picture of yourself of which represents you.  Add hotspots to any multimedia objects that reflect different aspects of your ID. (keep text to a minimum, use pictures, video, music etc). Here is Angela’s for inspiration.

Managing Identity

Now that you’ve had time to reflect on your many identities, you might want to learn more about how to organize your on line presence so that you are showing the right parts of yourself to the right people.


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