Discussion | Self-Identification Online

This week, in the midst of trying to put more care into my online outlets, I actually took a proper look at my online profiles and realised that perhaps it was time for an update. My Twitter profile, for example, still listed me as an English literature student – a fact I still can’t seem to let go despite the fact I graduated in December. So it’s safe to say that it required some changes, as difficult as that might be for me to admit. But, as soon as I clicked on that ‘Edit Profile’ button, I paused. I realised quite abruptly that I didn’t know how to define myself. Who was I? What did anyone online need to know about me? What did they really need to know my location, my nationality, my age, my Hogwarts house?

twitterdiscussion0104

This is something I’ve always struggled with. I’ve never been very good at, nor quite comfortable, writing ‘About Me’ pages – this blog’s ‘About‘ page is testament to that fact, as I lean more on other peoples’ quotes to reveal something intrinsic about myself. The less ‘public’ my profiles are, the more I am unapologetically myself, and less anxious about how I come across. (This is most apparent in my personal tumblr, the url of which I will never openly share but, trust me, at the moment it’s just a shameful amount of The Night Manager gifs.) Conversely, when asked to introduce myself or, worse still, provide a ‘fun fact’ about myself in icebreaker situations in new classes or group interviews, I blank entirely. In the past the ‘fun fact’ I’ve provided is that (touch wood) I’ve never broken a bone in my body. Yes the term ‘fun’ is debatable, but it is factual. From casual icebreakers to online profiles, I have always struggled with how to identify myself appropriately for the context. I notice this most acutely online, however, so it’s that which I’m going to concentrate on discussing for the purposes of this post. Continue reading