in Education, Technology

Who Are You?

Who's behind the mask?

Image source: Behind the Mask by Chris Martin Sudios, CC BY 2.0

I recently read an article on the CTV website about a study that shows strong correlations between liking something on Facebook and a myriad of personal demographic information including racial identity and political affiliation. Google personalizes results so that we are liable to get caught in our own filter bubble. Our engagement in social media and social networks helps us define our identity, but it also shapes our identity. When you do a search about yourself in Google, the results you find are who you are, or at least dimensions of who you are. The danger of identity in the online world is that it is difficult to authentically and honestly represent yourself. On the flip side, it is challenging to get the complete picture of who a person is. Yet we feel that we know someone after having interacted with him online. However, the snapshots that we get when we interact with someone online or learn about them through search are just that, snapshots. If you engage in the online world, recognize the challenge that you have to represent yourself. Get out of your close knit, comfortable space sometimes to allow other dimensions of your personality to show. Acknowledge the difficulties of getting to know someone online. Be careful not to fill in details from your own imaginations/expectations.