Digital Identity vs Digital Self.

This is a beautiful video which outlines how your identity is formed on the web. While I am an advocate for children and adults figuring out what this means, and how to manage it, it reinforces my belief that virtual worlds are in fact a far safer place for children to begin using the Internet. I used this video with my eight year old daughter today to help explain why she wasn’t going to play some Zanga game of Facebook, not least supported by fact she doesn’t have a Facebook account. What I didn’t expect is that she largely understood the technical terms and certainly the concepts. She has learned that with her friends in our game world – so do I mind her playing vide0-games and having several avatars? No, what I fear more is what would happen if she didn’t.

This is another one I showed her, to explain how identity follows us around. I really like this kind of project – it’s a really great way of acting out the discussion. I’d love to have a go at something like this one day. It brings the idea into an open public space – which really is where identity ends, whether people believe it or not.

Her avatar lives. She lives in Steam, Xbox Live, World of Warcraft, OpenSim, Massively Minecraft and more … and that is where she’s learning how to manage user-accounts, profiles and participation. Rather than be freaked out by this, I think it’s a far better place, given the enormous amounts of data-mining that occurs. It remains to be seen how peer-pressure will impact her choices, but I’m very sure that she won’t gain sufficient knowledge or experience to make good choices at school (not that her school doesn’t work positively in this area). At some point we can only teach water safety, but allowing kids to get wet. It makes sense to swim between the flags – but I guess to many people, it doesn’t make sense to let an 8 year old play games.


6 thoughts on “Digital Identity vs Digital Self.

  1. Pingback: The Global Internet => the Personal Internet | MarkjOwen's Blog

  2. Pingback: Digital Identity vs Digital Self. « cheyenne5030

  3. The top video was really good and I understand how search results are skewed towards all the data accumulated by me, sitting on this laptop. But I wonder how it works through the narrow funnel of a school network where the web is piped in via one IP address but accessed by several hundred users? Do we get a composite data picture of a community of students that only becomes individual if they are logging on via personal accounts? Just wondering.

  4. Reblogged this on My Thoughts…… and commented:
    I have been thinking about this blog post by Dean Groom for some time. Being online means you are known. Being in the “real world” means you have more anonymity. How well are we representing ourselves, do we think of how we represent ourselves, is this a conscious decision that we make? Or does it just happen?

  5. Pingback: Managing My Data: How I Replaced Google for about $6 | David Wayne Baxter

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