Books

Is your online identity true to who you really are?

This book captures how to use social media responsibly and tells us how fortunate we are to have it.

Online Identity by Laura Perdew
Published by Abdo Publishing
112 pages

Who do you claim to be online? Since no one knows who you are you could be anyone. Online Identity by Laura Perdew, published in 2017 talks about your online identity and who you put yourself out there to be.

In the first chapter it talks about just your base identity: “family, religion, community, etc.” These small features about you tell the world a basic image of you. Showing them on your personal social media account gives people a way of understanding a little bit about your identity. The book explains how you can have lots of identities to many different people: an individual teenager, a friend, a brother, a son, a gamer… There are endless identities you can have in relationship to different people. This book teaches you how to express and construct your identity online. It helps beginners who may struggle at social media and need assistance on the proper way to start off.

It talks about the “like system” and how it’s like a social currency. Marketers realise the potential in this system for helping them promote their products and getting their objectives spread throughout social platforms. They use hashtags to get their posts widely spread throughout social media, and expand their audience. Instagram now has a feature where you can advertise and everyone can see your post on their timeline even if they don’t follow you. Users should be aware of these commercial techniques if they are going to be sophisticated users.

A relevant problem the book touches upon is your audience–who looks at your content on social media sites. The author writes, “when hanging out with friends in the school cafeteria at lunchtime, students can see clearly who is around,” but online, without a private account, you are visible to anyone that stumbles across you who you may not see yourself, and at risk of hackers or identity thieves.

It explains the benefits of relationships online and the disadvantages as well. It talks about how you can connect with anyone all over the world in ways past generations couldn’t and how we can socialise and have lots of online friends that you can talk to. Obviously with every upside there’s a downside such as how with the new generation all on devices, they could be missing out on real social skills in real life; and all that screen time isn’t good for real interaction with other people.

Overall, this book really captures the great platforms of social media these days and how to use it responsibly. It also tells us how fortunate we are to have it. But of course, there are issues surrounding social media and this book teaches us how to avoid them or handle them so we can have a fun and safe experience online.

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