Photo Credit: Dave White, Artist - Superheroes and Villains Collection
Integrity on the Internet is a hot topic! Elizabeth Boylan’s article “Do Multiple Identities Reflect a Lack of Integrity?” hits the nail on the head! I read it and thought the way she approached the argument was exceptional. Although it may seem to some that the Internet is a place where no harm can come of establishing numerous Bruce Wayne/Batman alter egos and using these various versions and visages of the self as masks for different situations, these types of individuals ignore altogether the concept of integrity.
Wikipedia defines integrity as “the honesty and truthfulness or accuracy of one’s actions”, which hits directly to the center of the issue: Using online aliases, multiple Facebook or Twitter accounts or any form or combination of the previous displays a lack of “self-honesty”. Having differing online personalities for different people to see represents the lack of a concrete self-image.
In addition, if you are using these pseudonyms to hide someone from seeing something, then you’re putting the tabooed information in the worst place imaginable to achieve subtlety. As Boylan writes, “the Internet is a public space”, with public being the keyword in that statement. My personal rule (both before I friended my Dad on Facebook and even more so now that I have), is if I wouldn’t tell my father about it myself, then it has no place in my Internet lifestyle.
So if after reading this, people still find no issue with using the Internet as a platform for self-aggrandizement and inner misrepresentation, remember this: Superman is the truest hero. Not only because he can fly around the world and go back in time, but also because he used Clark Kent as his alter ego. Superman is the only superhero who needed an alter ego as a disguise; an escape to take a step down from his usual, ridiculously awesome and buff, but honest self.
Jesse Braunstein is a Junior at NYU double majoring in Economics and Psychology. Jesse joined Madison Technology and SheBytes.com in May 2011 as a summer intern. Jesse has been instrumental in utilizing his expanding background to come up with creative perspectives on the Marketing, Advertising and Business Development initiatives at both Madison Technology and SheBytes.com. Jesse’s outlook stems from an Economics and Psychology education and a deep understanding of the individual and how the individual acts within and interacts with the market. Follow Jesse on Twitter and Facebook.