Guess who’s back, back again? So after promising myself I wont fall off the blogosphere I did just that .. but hey, at least my absence this time was not as long as my previous hiatus. 😛
So what made me put pen to paper or in this case manicured fingertips to keyboard – something I came across during one of my random moments of social lurking on Facebook. One of my friends had shared a fake profile, someone who was impersonating her, and had asked those on her friend list to report. And a couple of days ago I found a fake profile on Instagram stealing images from a popular (one of my favourites!) digital influencer’s Insta feed. And the one that took the cake – someone had uploaded a nude image on Dropbox and falsely said it was my cousin.
All of this got me thinking, in a day and age where our lives are laid bare on social media platforms have the lines of identity become blurred? The concept of identity is a murky one – is it the country or state you come from, is it the religion you practice, is it the colour of your skin or even the race you follow.
However, what I believe makes you inherently you is your personality. If someone were to ask me to describe myself, say I said 25 year old Sri Lankan Muslim Moor, it would not be completely unique. However, if I said I am a writer and a baker, who roots for Chelsea FC and Sri Lanka cricket, has One Direction and Bob Marley on the same playlist, loud mouthed, opinionated, loves passionately, gets jealous easily, a bit obnoxious, extremely sensitive etc etc .. that I believe would give a better idea of who I am.
And I can give you similar descriptions for my close friends.
These personalities then translate on to social media platforms and however hard you try to layer it with privacy it is still a window into who you are.
Many thrive on this. First it is subtle phrases and little paragraphs they plagiarise, you know how someone’s Facebook rant sounds very similar to something you read on the Internet a couple of weeks ago. Next comes the pictures that look eerily similar and before you know it your pictures and information starts showing up on fake profiles. There is no saying if these would lead to defamation of character, financial fraud or even a loss of a job.
While Facebook allows you to report a fake profile including those that impersonate one of your friends, on Instagram only the person who’s profile is being impersonated can complain. I am not sure about Dropbox or Twitter or LinkedIn’s policies on privacy.
It is scary to think .. someone at this every moment maybe using a social media platform with yours or my details .. someone might be a carbon copy of you.
photo creds: http://larundel.deviantart.com/art/3D-person-windows-mirror-261516436