I believe so passionately on this topic:
“We all have multiple identities. It’s part of being human. We’re all multi-faceted people.”
Perhaps this rings more true for me due to my Gemini characteristics, but typically most of us have a professional, social, and even rebellious presence on the internet. Having your online identity directly tied to your real world identity is dangerous in a world where Governments are actively patrolling social networking sites and punishing people for their comments. How dare they infiltrate our social circles and tell us what we can and can’t say to our friends, our family. The internet is and should always be about the freedom of speech!
Facebook and Google are currently fumbling their way trying to correct this rather complex issue providing tools to allow us to draw lines between these different personas. It is becoming more and more complex to keep our private online lives private. Nobody understands these tools and are continuously caught out by them. This perhaps might be the only way we do get to grips with such an issue – trial and error.
As the digital world rapidly permeates into the ‘real world’ this issue will become all the more controversial, will we allow a ‘mirror’ identity to exist? I guess the easiest example to portray is the popular film Minority Report. Will the future be reminiscent of the scene of Cruise walking into The Gap, is instantly recognized by the tech with his fashion taste laid out for the world to see. Not so long ago we were all talking about using facial recognition software to identify the culprits in the London riots through Facebook. That tech reality is getting closer and closer. In fact that reality already exists, its just not mainstream yet.
Anyway to end this ramble – I believe more research is needed into this area and perhaps we should take a step back and re-think what it is exactly we are trying to achieve and how our identities online and offline will be affected.