Text: Authenticity vs. Anonymity

The 1966 film Persona presents two protagonists struggling with an identity crisis: “the hopeless dream of being – not seeming, but being.” One character, for fear of misrepresenting herself, chooses to stop speaking altogether, while the other gradually reveals more personal details about herself, but then worries that she’s shared too much. While the film was made long before the advent of the Internet, it poses a classic conundrum of transparency versus privacy that has only become more relevant in the Digital Age: How much should we share about ourselves? And how do we express ourselves authentically?

The following article addresses this conundrum, and discusses a few decision-making points regarding online identity. One point of view is to strive for an accurate or authentic online identity, while another strategy is to strive for relative anonymity. Read Online identity: is authenticity or anonymity more important? and consider which point of view you agree with.

Did you decide that anonymity is the way to go? If so, Who Is Hosting This created an infographic that shows you How to Disappear Online.

Before you completely wipe out your online existence, though, consider the relative pros and cons of this choice. How might it affect candidacy for a job? Is a lack of presence better or worse than an inaccurate one – and why?