Are We Losing Our Identity to Social Media?

Some of you may be familiar with the story of how I was threatened to be sued by a restaurant for a negative review. I refrained from telling my parents to keep them from getting worked up, until they stumbled upon my blog. Fail.

Many of us are tending toward a high external locus of control, which is to say that we change ourselves, our behavior, our thinking, our attitude, as many times in a day as our environment changes. This is becoming increasingly true, and challenging, with our addiction to social media platforms that allow us to assume pretentious personas not meant for everyone.

Professional identity

We all pay close attention to maintaining our reputation as subject matter experts in the workplace; a necessity for people to take us and what we do seriously. However, our publicly open social media presence is diluting that identity. Would you use Twitter / Facebook the same way if you knew your boss or co-workers were scrutinizing your every tweet / update?

twitter, boss, facebook, work

Family identity

Whether it’s your family or kids, this is a tricky one. There is a line in our social life beyond which everything is out-of-bound to anyone whose related by blood. If your mom is on Facebook, you know what I’m talking about. Someday, when our kids read our tweets, we’ll want to hide our heads under the bed and wish we had been addicted to alcohol, or something else that’s offline instead.

twitter, family, mother, son

Personal identity

This one is the most boggling of all. Juggling who we are in the workplace, with that at home, with that online, can be quite a handful in itself. Add to that all the alternative online presences we juggle – from being socially acceptable on Facebook, to finding a geeky niche on Twitter, to getting headhunted on Linkedin, to gaining credibility as genre experts in the blogosphere, the list goes on.

Among all these avatars we can so magically transform ourselves into, can we even remember who we really are? Who are we, really?

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  1. Nice and honest thoughts…
    & for this post, I would initiate a discussion with Mark “FB” Zuckerberg to arrange for a Nobel Blogging Prize to be handed over to you. 🙂
    As far as the question in title of the post is concerned, the answer is an affirmative. We are indeed losing it by the day. And the mere thought that today’s online footprints will make us answerable in future too, is frightening.

    1. Thanks Dev! And the nomination for the Nobel Blogging Prize is good enough 😀

      The future is frightening indeed. But I guess to many of us, the thought of no longer having these platforms is more frightening.

  2. manchitra says:

    I also thing we are losing our identity to social media. These things are transforming the lives of people. We are hooked on to this and I would say there are pluses and minuses too.

    But the story , the experience in that hotel shocked me. Treat customer as king …is all forgotten and is seen only in books.No apologies even when fault is on their side. What ever people learn, any number of degrees they acquire ,the attitude doesn’t change.

    1. I agree that there pros & cons in the transformation.

      Oh yes, that was quite an experience. Thanks to social media, their threat couldn’t be pursued! There goes a big pro 🙂

  3. Well said! I, for one, am extremely unimpressed with social media and got on the Orkut bandwagon just recently, after being repeatedly chastised by friends.
    I simply don’t see any need to have minutely updates of my activities being broadcast to all and sundry. Have the words ‘privacy’ and ‘lone time’ lost their meaning in these socially enlightened times?

    1. I think you haven’t been social networking long enough. These aren’t the words of an addict 🙂

      I think we have the choice to control privacy and decide what we want to share. But most of us slip past that line! So it’s a good thing you aren’t addicted as yet.

      Thanks for the Tangy congrats 😀

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