iAm, Therefore I Am

Identity.

In the teen years, it is about fashion, attitude, extracurriculars, and friends – but mostly the idea that it’s not about those things as self-discovery is muddled with discovering the world from the safe enclave of youth. In college, identity is linked to course of study, friends (again), and extracurriculars. Sometimes even a year off to backpack your way to finding yourself. Then the real world hopes that you’ve figured out what’s inside because identity becomes about what the world sees of you – a Social Security Number, a user name, an avatar, a career (FYI, you are not your job), and the accessories of life (home, car, clothes, OS).

These days it seems identity is wrapped up in technology more than ever before. I know I am not alone in experiencing the modern introduction – having my pertinent user name given to explain who I am to someone at a real life social event. Sometimes it feels like so much time is spent interacting (dare I say, living) online that the little moments in life are changing.

In my mind, the essential part of balancing a virtual life and a real one is keeping a bit of it just for you and your loved ones though — since not everyone needs to know everything about who you are. What counts is that you know who you are.

As I go back to my real life, I’ll leave you with some interesting links about online identity:

In the Battle for Online Identity, Privacy is the Casualty from Simply Converged

Online Identity Privacy – Users Don’t Take Precautions from Matt Flynn’s Identity Management Blog

Career Truth #1: Brand or Be Branded (Are YOU Willing to Risk What Shows on the Top Fold?) from CareerRealism

Creating a Positive Professional Image from Harvard Business School Working Knowledge

Career Identity Crisis from Employment Digest

EFF’s Top 12 Ways to Protect Your Online Privacy by Stanton McCandlish of Electronic Frontier Foundation

Photo by Stephen Orsillo

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