A digital identity

Sara Haque



Countless hours of scrolling, eyes become itchy, attention span is decreasing, yet we continue to mold our hands to fit the size of our phone. Whether it’s the steady stream of texts flowing in, or the internal drive to constantly refresh Twitter, Instagram or Facebook feeds over and over again hoping for something new. Lunch dates with friends have become a quiet meal staring at a rectangular screen. Family vacations become a gush of selfies with just the background changing and sitting class has become a 75-minute torture chamber restricting one’s open cell phone usage. Can we really consider it a phone anymore since there isn’t much talking involved? A device filled with information has become the lifeline of our existence. Creating the question, who are we without our phones?


With a firm increase in “social” apps, creating a digital identity is becoming less of a mystery. The app Yik Yak, is largely popular within schools and universities. It is an unidentified post forum where users can anonymously post about someone or something they notice or hear. Whether it’s regarding someone’s appearance or something overheard, these posts can be interpreted as a joke to a third party. When a person sees an anonymous post that is directed towards them, there really isn’t much to laugh about. Apps like these have created a sense of confidence within these users to not care about other’s feelings, but rather post for the sake of other’s approval.


The wildly popular television show, Catfish, spotlights people of all ages creating fake profiles to talk to people they would not necessarily talk to in person. Hiding behind the fake identity, these people have different motives towards the people they talk to. Whether it is regarding dating, friendship or revenge, those who call upon the show want to know the truth behind the person they have become quite close to it. Usually, each episode concludes with the person behind the screen being someone entirely different from whom he or she claimed to be. Fake profiles usually are created on Facebook and Instagram using photos from accounts that have the settings on public viewing. That is why we all have to be thoroughly cautious when uploading photos onto social media sites.


With the whole world in our hands, it has become effortless to create a digital identity. Causing a double-life aspect. Whether we choose to or not, the way one carries his or herself is not always the same in person as it is online. Social media has become an outlet for people of all ages, especially teenagers, to create an identity that has the power to say or do things they would not necessarily do in person. Social media can be a great source to keep in contact with friends and family, but we have to be careful of not creating a digital personality that can cause more harm than do good.