Digital Identity Crisis: Are You Really Who You Blog You Are?

Digital Reputation Management…or who you Tweet you are?

Facebook? LinkedIn? Chat?

I’m asking because this new explosion of social media has created a billion bite-sized authors; each one published and readily available to influence the masses. Everyone has a story to tell and an outlet in which they can tell it. This is a truly wonderful thing. We all have a voice.

Who am I?

Unfortunately, with that voice comes a new digital identity to manage. We’ve got to manage our Facebook, Twitter, and whatever accounts in order to present ourselves in the proper light. You can’t leave those Friday night party pics up on Facebook for your boss and coworkers to see, because that’s not who you really are.

Right?

Marketing Product Me

We’ve all become marketers for ourselves, whether we know it or not. The way you conduct yourself online gives me a perception of who you are offline. I can make snap judgements on your character and respond to you in kind. Right or wrong.

But you probably don’t want me to do that, so you filter. You filter out the ugly comments. You hold back the posts that can be taken out of context. You screen the pictures. You tweak the privacy settings.

I get it. I do it too.

Filters are Walls

As individuals, we’re created for community; to bear our scars, share our brokenness, and connect with others. When we buy into the idea of reputation management, we check our true selves at the door and put on a shiny facade. People connect with this fake version, but they don’t connect with the real version.

This feels good for a little while…

…until you realize that you left your true self behind months ago.

Quit It!

If you’re starting to feel like I’m talking to you specifically, you’re not alone. We’ve all fallen into this trap at one time or another. I know I have and the struggle continues to maintain digital integrity. Integrity is simply being who you appear to be. It means those filters; those walls… they’re going to have to come down.

Tell The Real Story

Wether you’re an individual who likes to share, or a business that’s trying to make a profit, you’ve got a story to tell. If you break down the walls and erase the line between real you and digital you, you’ll be telling the real story. Only then will we be able to connect.

When we connect, we have trust…

Businesspeople, when we have trust, we have customers.

Leaders, when we have trust, we have influence, loyalty, and success.

Friends, when we have trust, we have authentic community.

Be the real you. Kill the digital version.

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  • http://theperkinsblog.net MichaelDPerkins

    Excellent man. I was really concerned with this idea. And that’s when I did my first vlog. I wanted people to see that the goof-ball that wrote and tweeted was the same God loving dude in real life…but probably a little goofier.

    • http://kennysilva.net Kenny Silva

      I loved your vlog the other. I think the reason they’re so popular is because they inherently tear down that wall between us. It’s really hard to fool people in a video blog. It builds quick trust. I need to get on that…

      • http://theperkinsblog.net MichaelDPerkins

        I agree. They really do tear down walls.

  • http://moweezle.wordpress.com/ Mauren

    Great post and oh so true!

    • http://kennysilva.net Kenny Silva

      Thanks, Maureen! …Or Mauren ;)

  • http://traceepersiko.wordpress.com Traceepersiko

    I want to be a consistent person. I want to be what you see (online or offline) is what you get. I value being known the same face to face or online- no guessing. We all make the same judgments about another person on or offline. People are worth getting to know – seeing past the screen.

    • http://kennysilva.net Kenny Silva

      Great point. We need to get past our snap judgements and get to know people; who they really are. Sometimes, unfortunately, those snap judgements can prevent us from seeing past the screen. Even in person, if someone rubs us the wrong way at square one, it can be very hard to recover from that and give them a fair shake. Online is no different.

  • http://silenthearts.wordpress.com Morgan MacGavin

    I absolutely LOVE this post, Kenny! I always hope that I am being “me” but I know there are some things that just aren’t out there. As I learn to trust in authentic community, I am finding it easier to let go and share.

  • Anonymous

    We are aligned! I was just gonna blog on this. Instead, I’ll tweak my focus and link to you post for more on this next week.

    Love this: Integrity is simply being who you appear to be. It means those filters; those walls… they’re going to have to come down.

    I think the more soc. media evolves, this will become a huge part of your brand: How closely the digital and “f2f” align will become a plus or a minus in a client, employers, or business associate’s mind. Big stuff.

    Integrity wins more business than a Harvard degree every could. That will soon become a demand online as well.

    Great post, Kenny. Love dropping by YOUR house. Very tidy! Gonna go check out what’s in your fridge now . . . (archives…hee hee!)

    • http://kennysilva.net Kenny Silva

      Thank you so much for stopping in, Toni! Integrity, authenticity, transparency.. It ultimately comes down to character. If I can’t trust you to conduct business with character, then I don’t want to work with you. Authenticity, telling YOUR story, is the only way to win.

  • Anonymous

    I love this. Be the real you. Kill the digital version.
    Great stuff, Kenny. Food for thought!

  • http://twitter.com/unscriptedlife Ivy @ UnscriptedLife

    I love this and you are SO right! As a worship leader (who right now is going through a crisis), I have held back a lot from my online community our of fear that someone at my church might see it and run with it. But why should I care? My struggle might help someone else.

    Thanks for this post!

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