How identity is being stretched in a modern world…

Wednesday 26th September 2018 by in 2018

A guest blog post from York-based design studio United by Design

In today’s hyper-connected world, the average person tends to have a number of different online identities, which present different versions of themselves, according to the role they play - be it social (Facebook, Instagram), professional (LinkedIn), legal (HMRC), etc.

Considered by some, as just a modern-day extension of how we ‘naturally’ may alter our behaviour in certain situations and/or environments, for others, this is rapidly becoming a topic of wide debate. What happens when these identities begin to blur and overlap?

For example, accepting a work colleague as a ‘friend’ on Facebook, effectively grants them access - and some element of publishing right - to your social identity. They now get to experience your social interactions, as opposed to just your professional ones because, in this instance, you have allowed your social and professional identities to merge.

This can then be taken a step further when we think about those people whose personal identities have gone on to become established worldwide brands. Food blogger Ella Mills (was Woodward) of Deliciously Ella is a great example of this. Ella’s brand is her. She is the woman behind the brand - both professionally and socially and it is because of this, that her brand has become so successful. Her customers have ultimately bought into her - her story, her lifestyle, her recipes.

So at what point do you then have to stop and consider the implications this success has on her everyday work life balance? At what time of day can she stop being Deliciously Ella and go back to being Ella Mills? Or is this just a sacrifice of her cult following?

This just highlights how our online-self is now, more valuable and vulnerable than ever before.

Written by Laura Harford (Copywriter at United by Design)

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