On Openness & Personal Identity

Here is my response to Amcunningham’s post on The Paradox of Openness: The High Costs of Giving Online.

I agree with many points of Amcunningham’s post, especially the paradox of openness, where there is no easy and fast rules to guide educators/professionals to be open, or not to be open.  It is a personal choice, and although I am in favor of openness, I could understand that openness is not viewed as a nominal practice for many professions. This is especially so, for certain professions like medical profession, where duty of care, professional accountability and responsibility comes before any disclosure of incidents or experience that relate to patients or medical care.  Exposure of one’s true identity (both as a professional, an educator or student) might have an impact on one’s professional identity, personal security and privacy – like those working in sensitive professions – in defence or police operations.  I also think there are significant issues not addressed when debating about political or social aspects in public which may relate to individual organisations, especially when such debates/discourse could be viewed and judged by the public, present or potential employers.

Photo: Online article large

So, why would one risk sharing personal views online with his/her true identity, or revealing ones’ persona in the postings, comments or visits?  Should we encourage and support our learners and/or fellow educators to use their real names instead of pseudonyms?  What are the implications and consequences of exposing “ourselves” with real identity in public or open online or virtual networks?  These are all questions that we all want to know and explore.  I hope Amcunningham would have an enjoyable time with her symposium session.   I have posted here for further conversation.

Further References

Brian Christens & Paul W. Speer.  Tyranny/ Transformation: Power and Paradox in Participatory Development

Debra Ferreday and Vivien Hodgson. The Tyranny of Participation and Collaboration in Networked Learning

Are we losing control of our online identity? Photo: Flickr/Kat B Photography

Postscript: Refer to this Death of Anonymity online has net users fuming  on the issue relating to online identity and anonymity.

7 thoughts on “On Openness & Personal Identity

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