“You are who you are and what you do.”

An online identity is the characteristics and interactions one made with the Internet. Different websites have different perspective on an individual based on how an individual interact with the website. The different perspectives are also being known as partial identities. Based on my own experience, I know of friends who create multiple emails for different purposes for example, to create different accounts.

Online identity


“We should maintain many identities—one for work, another for school, another for home, another for friends. Those folks say we get in trouble online when these identities mix and blur, when our boss sees our picture from the college beer party (as if bosses never had beer).”

-Julia Allison

Websites request users to create accounts in order to have access to information about the users and in the future, they might be able to provide them with a personalized experience. This would benefit marketers as they would be able to track not only the user’s information and also what they are searching for on the web, the links they are clicking online and also the places they have been to. Marketers use it as behavioral targeting as they would be able to make money by selling the right advertisement to the right people based on the resources they have collected.

“Having two identities for yourself is an example of lack of integrity.”

-Mark Zuckerberg

Users could be using fake information to create and it would cause the marketers to have inaccuracy of information which makes it hard to target on potential consumers. The reason why users will want to give fake information because they might be having conflict and confusion with their inner and outer selves. Not only that, it also acts as a threat to other people as they might not know, who they are seeing online is really who they are real life. For example, in Facebook, users might be adding “friends” who they think are their friends but actually, it is a fake account. This gives the fake users a chance to access to the privacy of other people.

All in all, there are definitely pros and cons in having more than one online identity. It would depends on how each individual make use of it; either abusing it or making good use of it.

“The best solution is to be yourself.”

–Jeff Jarvis


(DR), F. (2015). D3.1: Overview on IMS: Future of IDentity in the Information Society. [online] Available at: [Accessed 3 Nov. 2015].

Jarvis, J. (2011). One identity or more? — BuzzMachine. [online] BuzzMachine. Available at: [Accessed 3 Nov. 2015].

Krotoski, A. (2012). Online identity: is authenticity or anonymity more important?. [online] the Guardian. Available at: [Accessed 3 Nov. 2015].

The Internet Society, (2011). [online] Available at: [Accessed 3 Nov. 2015].

Humix, (2015). 10 advantages and disadvantages of social logins. [online] Available at: [Accessed 3 Nov. 2015].

Zimmer, M. (2010). Facebook’s Zuckerberg: “Having two identities for yourself is an example of a lack of integrity”. [online] Available at: [Accessed 3 Nov. 2015].



  1. I really enjoyed reading your blog, I thought it was well written as it covers the views from a marketers. However, does having multiple identities really cause confusion for marketers? Or are they in actual fact benefitting marketers by revealing more information about the background of the target audience?

    I would like to lure you in thinking the alternatives of fake accounts. As you’ve mentioned in your post that fake accounts mislead people causing them to allow fake users into their personal info. What about fake accounts that is actually real?

    I know of someone who changed his surname on Facebook in order to avoid being found by potential employers. Most of his friends already know his authentic identity. But what if he sends you a friend request, and due to your carefulness in revealing your personal info thinking that he’s a fake, you declined that friend request. I guess it’s really down to what personal information you actually reveal online. How much to the extend do you think personal information should be revealed? Our birthdays, income level or home address?


  2. Hello Pearlyn!

    I have to agree with you that it would be beneficial for marketers to have multiple identities, as this would help them understand and know their customers on a more personal level. Another part that hit close to home was where you mentioned that people could use a fake identity to create Facebook posts as pose as someone else. This has happened to me personally.

    I was asked if had created another Facebook account and added my friends again. This was shocking for me, as I have always believed that information that I private would be kept that way, however it turned out to be the exact opposite. The person used my name and tried to pose as me, which was rather scary, as I have no idea what the person have “stolen” from me online.

    I guess this is one of the many cons of having multiple identities online, as it there would be people out there who may have attempted or have already stolen your identity.


  3. Hi Pearlyn!

    I second your comment on “Different websites have different perspective on an individual based on how an individual interact with the website.”

    I have multiple friends I know who creates different emails for different purposes too! Some are for professional reasons some just have different online identities for various reasons!

    I myself have a few email address for different purposes however I maintain the same identity for my case.

    Yes while I agree having an online identity helps marketers to use it as “marketers use it as behavioural targeting as they would be able to make money by selling the right advertisement to the right people based on the resources they have collected”
    I have a question to ask which is how will they deal with people who uses fake identities and provide a fake customer profile?

    I too agree with your last quote is that best is to be ourselves and like Mark Zuckerberg said“Having two identities for yourself is an example of a lack of integrity.”



    (168 words)


  4. Hi Siew Woon,

    Thank you for your comment!

    Multiple identities will cause confusion to marketers as they might be sending the wrong information to consumers. Consumers are not interested in looking at those information as it does not apply to them. Marketers would waste their effort and resources in trying to get hold of those consumers whom they thought would benefit their organisation.

    People not knowing if the account is fake or real is because of multiple identities. Therefore, people have to be cautious for example when adding friends on Facebook. Else, they will be exposed to threat.

    Well, to reply to the last part of your question, I will choose to ignore the friend request if he is not a close friend of mine. You are right about it depends on individual as to what type of information they choose to reveal online. As for me, I would only reveal, my birthday and the region I’m staying at but definitely not my home address!

    I hope this would answer your questions!


  5. Hi Justin,

    Thank you for agreeing with me!

    Well, to answer your question, most marketers would not know if an account is fake or not unless it is obvious. In my opinion, no matter the account is fake or not, I believe marketers would not miss a single opportunity in trying to get consumers. Therefore, they would choose to advertise to everyone.

    I hope I have answered your question!


  6. Hi Pearlyn,

    Nice reading your views on creating multiple online identities! I find that it’s good that you actually add in the point of view as a marketer. For example, marketers actually benefit from us through our account as they can analyse and predict our behaviour online based on our digital footprint.

    I also agreed on your points that it actually very much depends on how the person is using the web. If creating multiple online identities meaning they can abuse it then maybe encouraging people to create more than one online identity is wrong.

    However, I actually would like to know your point of view if you will create one main online identity or multiple online identities and why.


  7. Hey Pearlyn, I really agreed with you that with multiple online identities, it is really hard for marketers to understand what their consumer wants. Us, as consumers, we will definitely want our needs to be met and of course it will be great if the marketer approaches us even before we know we need that item? How cool will that be?

    Imagine the vacuum cleaner at your place is malfunctioning. Surprising enough, coupons on discounted vacuum cleaners appeared right in your letter box. How amazing will it be? I guess it all comes down to the one identity marketers look for to create a “bull’s eye” understanding of their target market.

    Lastly, you shared about the different emails account your friends created so as to be more organized. Not only did you experience that, but I did too! I realize that a partial identity is also creating a multiple identity. However, as harmful as many would think multiple identities are, don’t you agree with me that sometimes creating multiple identities can be a harmless act and they are still remaining their true self for different purposes?


  8. Hello Pearlyn, I really enjoyed reading through your blog post as it is very well written! And i really liked all your quotes that you mentioned in the post!

    Just a small question, when a person has multiple identities and a marketer actually decides to target them, what if they have clashing views and behaviours? Would there be any way in which a marketer could avoid maybe these types of errors? If this is bound to happen, would it still be considered beneficial for the marketers?

    Thank you! 🙂


  9. Hi Andrea,

    Thank you for your compliment!

    I would actually prefer to have a single online identity as I would prefer to be myself and not trying to be “fake” in order to be what people want me to be. Well, nobody is perfect and I wish that people would accept my flaws, accept who I am. I may be posting photos of myself having fun with my friends. This might bring the message across to my employer that I am an easy-going, sociable person before hiring me.

    However, I am fine with people having multiple identities as they might have their own reason for doing so. I hope I did answer your question!


  10. Hi Calanthea,

    I definitely do agree with you that there are still people out there creating multiple identities for different purposes such as for work and for their personal life, at the same time still maintain their true self. However, we still need to careful about what we do online!


  11. Hi Julia,

    I’m glad that you enjoyed reading my post!

    To answer your question, I think the least a marketer can do is to not give up on any opportunity. It is the marketer opinion to come up with ideas to fit the consumers views and behaviours. It may make the marketers’ life difficult but I think that it is unavoidable in the digital life.

    I hope I have answered your question!


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