Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, LinkedIn: Multiple e-dentity Disorder

How many times have you heard a horror story of how debaucherous Facebook photos have ended the chances of a job candidate?

Most of us have numerous online personalities, from multiple email usernames and messenger logins, to private Twitter feeds and social network profiles. It seems every online tool calls for different behavior. Speaking recently at our Most Creative People in Business event, Soraya Darabi, product lead at and #53 on our list, called this syndrome "multiple e-dentity disorder."

"I'm very different on Twitter than on Facebook," Darabi told audiences. "I have a professional self on LinkedIn, and a personal self on Tumblr."

According to Darabi, all these professional and personal Internet services create a chasm between our true selves and our online identity. "What social media presents really is an issue of Web literacy," she explained. "We have to first understand what it means to be social online before we can accurately and authentically represent ourselves on each individual platform."

Until then, however, what makes its way to our social network profiles and Twitter feeds often offers a skewed picture of our identities—glimpses that interviewers and HR officers somehow always pick up on. Do you have multiple e-dentity disorder? Check out Darabi's explanation below:

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  • Tim Craig

    Many say you should not mix up your personal life with your business life when using social media. Well I like to do business with people I like and who are up front - What you see is what you get.
    I would never impose my views, beliefs on others but I am what I am and the one thing I loath is hypocrisy. I am not going to sit in a room doing business with people whose opinions I find repugnant.

  • dotlizard

    I agree 100%. I dislike hearing experts instructing people to be disingenuous in online social settings out of fear of being known for who they really are. The way I see it, if gaining knowledge of my honest opinions and getting a glimpse into my personal life causes someone to decide against doing business with me, that is for the best -- as I do not intend to live my entire life as a charade.

    And when it comes down to decisions of who to do business with, I tend to be put off by those who maintain a spotless, sanitized image with no inkling of the real person behind the digital branding -- in much the same way I have become suspicious of glib PR messages. I would rather be confided in than lied to.