Online, Offline, and What’s On the Line: A Blog Post for Library School

As a millennial I grew up with many warning labels about the internet and the mysteries and depths of it. Some of the statutes drilled into me were as follows: The internet is forever; Don’t post anything private; and never believe everything you read or see online. Such warnings came to be as it became more and more obvious that anything could get put on the internet and be claimed as “real”. In our lectures and class discussions we have discussed how to find verifiable information online as well as how to ascertain such verifiability. We’ve all heard of fake news, Photoshop, click bait articles, etc. This all threatens the accuracy of what can be found online. The same is true of people. In the world of online dating we are all familiar with the phrase cat-fished.

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If anything can be “true” online so can anything about YOU. The biggest identity crisis of the generation is who are you? Which you is the real you- Online or off? And you’d be surprised how complicated that question can be. In the NY Times article Who Are You Online? Considering Issues of Web Identity┬ávarious difficulties and issues with reconciling our online selves with our IRL selves are brought up. The issue being: how to verify your identity.

 

Discussion Questions:

How is the verifiability of people a problem in the accuracy of information online?

Is it possible not to “edit” ourselves online?

 

And for a little fun Online by Brad Paisley