There’s a time when Internet users are so happy with the web where they can say whatever they want to say without letting people know who they are.
And there’s a time when each of our online disguise has been identified by other users.
And then comes the time where the World Wide Web started to build up profiles which have to be absolutely identical with the users’.
Or let me put it this way.
It is a change from ‘Sexy Kitty’ to ‘Talky Anne’ to ‘Anne Qianqian Xu’.
Especially ever since we have social media.
As an active social media user myself, maybe I was a little bit curious about chatting with complete strangers when I first started using social media. But later on, social media became a tool for me to contact only with the people I know just the same as I use the phone. You don’t call someone you don’t know randomly, right? I mean, you don’t usually do that unless you have to.
Well, Internet showed up around 20 years ago. I can still remember how people were excited by being able to talk to strangers online. So happened all those online romance or even taking it offline. Not to mention the pornography and flaming.
But a few days ago I was in an event talking about how social media is developing so fast and wide spread, which has now become the first thing for most of the employers to look at when hiring someone new.
Now you need to watch out your online presence people.
In some cases, the social media platform is encouraging users to register their real identity. To me, such action or movement is showing the urge for responsibilities of the Internet environment.
I am sure you are familiar with some incidents that make a rouse on the Internet such as KONY 2012, the Egyptian Revolution…For KONY 2012, it was quite well know among all the social media platforms, yet on the day of action, no one showed up in the streets. Professionals said that it is due to an unsuccessful campaign, the scripting of the video wasn’t great. I would say it also showed that people are not responsible for what they say on the Internet – those words online doesn’t count really. They spread the video doesn’t mean they totally support it and would like to go out on the streets to protest.
As for the Egyptian Revolution, people who make a rouse on the web were largely not the group that was actually in the protest, as most of the Egyptian population don’t use Internet or don’t read English – according to arguments from scholars.
So I feel that we need to make some sense for the virtual world now.
On one hand, it is recreating a world structure online where it doesn’t exist before, on the other hand, people who are A, B, C in the real world, the Internet censorship is urging them to stay as A, B, C even online without pretending as D, E, F and expressing opinions that they don’t stand.
As the normalisation of the Internet and social media, we are going to create another reality but digital, from what I see.
That’s why I also suggest people to be aware of what they are saying or liking on Facebook or Twitter, because that forms the presence of yours virtually which is likely to be known by others much faster and easier than in the real real world. And when it comes to issues that will actually affect your interest in your life offline, you might regret that you typed in ‘b***h’ in some of your comments.
And, the thing is, you never know which ‘b***h’ is the one that your boss read from your online presence making you lose your job.