Social media and identity management

8 August 2016

Currently, people are living in a virtual world that is dominated by social media; the influence of emergences of social media platform, such as Facebook, YouTube, has far beyond the imagination of people(Pennsylvania, 2011). There are an increasing number of people who are willing to use social media to manage their identity, which offers a large amount of opportunities for those audiences who want to standing out from the crowd. (Matthieu; Serge et al, 2013) But because of information overload, to some extend, social media are probably making it harder for them to differentiate from the counterpart .

In view of the fact, how to manager personal identity has been view as a vital approach, which not only makes people appear in difference, but also causes personal information disclosure. As a consequence, there are both benefits and risks of identity management, when people immerse in surfing online. Mathias (2013) stated that identity management (ID management) is defined as a wide-ranging area that manages the personal identification during a system, (such as a country or a social networking) and have access to gain resources from it through associating user rights and restriction with established identity.

Social media and identity management Essay Example

One kind of main benefits from ID management is that it enables people stand out in a sea of similar targets, to achieve this, people should create their own personal brand. Olins (2003) assert that brand is “a symbolic embodiment of all the information connected to a company, product or service. ” Also, there is another view of the issue, that personal branding is a core value of their products and even beyond themselves, which blending with reputation, belief, concern and execution (Chris, 2003).

In other words, personal branding is that gives people the ability to differentiate from the crowd. Therefore, the rapid growth of social media has provided certain chances for people to establish their own personal branding. Peters (1997) claimed that everyone could use their skills to establish a brand worthy of remark, Montoya and Vandehey(2005) reported that there are some people tend to be more professional, especially actors, agents, artists, architects, author, etc. They need create a personal brand to stand out from the crowd.

Some of them have been specialists on their sphere, but they need these platforms to be employed by big companies, which not only brings more reputation, but also gains personal profits. (Rambe, 2013) It is worthy to mention that, the promotion used to be quite expensive and difficult, but now the use of free social media for promotion saves lots of advertising fees. This is why more and more people prefer to use social media to promote themselves like creating their own profile in the YouTube, and regularly post their video that they are expert in aspects.

Rambe (2013) highlight that more and more users are able to stand out from people, because they sign up YouTube and upload their video constantly, after that, they attract a large amounts of views, and when their channel have more 500 + subscribers, YouTube will initiatively contact them to become partnership, and share with their advertising revenue that hang over their video before, right cornet. The more like, the more money (Mathieu; Serge et al2013). As a consequence, through this way, most of users posting content for free who are seeking to get attention so that they can get more jobs, or just to be famous.

The interesting thing about it is that they are making all content for free that is supposed to be free from the gatekeeping process of the past, but actually only the very best, and only certain kinds of stuff ever gets the promotion it needs to be successful on a massive scale. (Aaron,2010) Due to the information overload under the free personal media background, how to stand out and establish the personal brand in the crowed environment, which become a far more important issue. Therefore, it is necessary for users to know about how to use social media to manage personal identity in a proper way.

The other one advantage is identify management brings the cloud computing. This is a IT service that through identifying and managing personal information, having access to collect data from application and computer resources. It is a better way for people to get convenience, especially for improving user productivity and reducing IT services. (Tufekci, 2008) Social convergence imposes the risk of vertical surveillance of youths by “invisible audiences” (Boyd, 2007) like parents, lecturers and prospective employers.

There is a case that one parent-student who established an alias on Facebook add her child’s friend on the friend list in order to supervise the behavior of her child. She believes that identity management is a good way that makes her concern about her children invisibly (Rambe, 2013) However, for some teenagers, even adults users, identity management poses a threat for their privacy. In a series of case study by Mary and Aaron (2010) reveals that the majority of SNS users(77%) have altered their privacy setting.

At the mean time, it is also the case that only 6% users have bad experiences owing to their privacy exposure, which causes them feel embarrassed. Moreover, there are 12% social networking users feeling regret the content that they have posted and shared. As a result of analyzing case study, there are increasing number of people realized the significance of identity management on social networking sites. In the view of the fact, there is not only citizens utilizing the social networking site to manage their identity, but the department of government is supervising all people’s communication and managing citizen’s information as well.

That means if government also have access to people’s networking accounts, it is dangerous for all Internet users, especially those who support opposite political views. For example, in several ‘dictator belt’ countries, Swedish telecoms giant Teliasonera allied with their government control and oppress their Swedish citizens by using technology that their participants can be traced and identified. In view of surveillances, the government gains access to steal your privacy data (Uppdrag Granskning, 2012).

Besides, if users are managing personal identity via using social media, government not only hold people’s communication, even have people’s secrets. As mentioned before, some people regret that they have shared stuff like comments, pictures. As long as government want, they could expose citizen’s any secrets. It means this kind of identity management expose people’s privacy in an invisible way. ( Altshuler, Y 2013) Due to the information disclosure, Internet users tend to control and impose restriction on access authority.

They have more concerned about the personal privacy in the Internet. Indeed, if everyone are able to optimize their management on social networking sites, which means they will have more personal space to choose what they want to share with others, what they want to keep secrets. In a series of case study by Mary (2010) reveals that the majority of SNS users (77%) have altered their privacy setting. At the mean time, it is also the case that only 6% users have bad experiences owing to their privacy exposure, which causes them feel embarrassed.

Moreover, there are 12% social networking users feeling regret the content that they have posted and shared. As a result of analyzing case study, there are increasing number of people realized the significance of identity management on social networking sites. To summaries, people are using social media to manage their identities; this is because that it benefits these users from establishing personal branding. It means social media is probably making life easier for aspiring content makers to get noticed, but also social media is making it far harder for people to stand out from the crowd.

Therefore, people want to differentiate from others, it is a better way to gain reputation for what they achieved in their careers or the contribution they made to society –personal branding online. Furthermore, cloud computing is viewed as another benefit from identity management, which make people’s lives easier and more conveniences. Despite these benefits, there are also some drawbacks resulting from the influences of identity management via social media.

On the one hand, people have to consider that their privacy are exposed to the public; on the other hand, if governments are able to gain access to our social (or other online) networking accounts, they would have all the information that they could ever need in order to utterly destroy that carefully managed image, such as the event of telecoms giant Teliasonera. Therefore, social media gives people an unprecedented ability to manage their identity. But it cannot be denied that there are both risks and benefits.

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