NEXT UP ON this.
It’s easy to take for granted the perpetual connectivity of today’s society. As Dr Adam Brown, Senior Lecturer in Communication at Deakin University explains, ‘We’re not necessarily online or offline now; we’re very much in both spaces at once a lot of the time.’
Because of this, your online identity has become just as important – and in some cases, arguably even more important – than your offline identity. So are you putting your best self forward online?
Many people keep themselves shut off from online platforms such as social media, because they’re worried about sharing too much of themselves online. But Dr Brown says this is a mistake.
‘I think that a lot of the moral panics around the invasion of privacy and the so-called “relinquishing of our privacy” is actually holding people back,’ he says.
Our lives are becoming increasingly entwined with the online world – so much so that Dr Brown says even the concept of privacy has changed. But it’s not a bad thing.
‘In terms of what we do online, it’s always a performance, and that can be very strategic,’ Dr Brown says. ‘Sometimes the more authentic performances appear to be open, but are not necessarily giving away privacy.’
He adds: ‘People are actually really good about being quite intuitive about protecting their privacy. If you think of privacy as something that you have control over, and you’re empowered by thinking that way and acting that way, you’re actually going to be protecting yourself.’
Being active online and curating a valuable online identity is also imperative when it comes to defending yourself against certain kinds of negativity that may get directed towards you. ‘If there’s something bad online that someone else posts, people have potentially got a really strong sense of who you are outside that,’ Dr Brown says.
In many ways, visibility is your greatest asset. Even before it comes time to start your career, being proactive and exemplifying your skills online can lead to job offers down the track.
So, how curated is your online identity? Take our quiz to find out…
If you’re a firm believer that communication online is just as important as it is offline, a degree in communication could be perfect for you. Check out your study options within media, communication and creative arts.
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