In the modern age of technology, social and professional networking have taken on a new, digital form. Digital identity is how people perceive you in online networks. It is not something that forms over night. It is a complex entity that one creates throughout their social and professional lives, both intentionally and unintentionally. There are multiple different actions that we do online that are part of our digital identity, including what we post, who we associate with, and how we interact with people.
Professionals and those in academia can intentionally create digital identities by maintaining professional networking accounts, such as LinkedIn, or by creating a blog. Many professionals frown upon blogs because of the reputation they have for being juvenile and unsuitable for academic and professional purposes. The tone of a blog however is entirely dependent on the person who writes it. If the person who writes it is childish or wants to sound childish, then the tone of the blog will be childish. When done well, blogs can be a good way to start a discussion online about important topics and improve develop your digital identity.
Creating and maintaining a positive, well-established digital identity can be a daunting task. Anyone can access your information online with just a few clicks of a mouse. Employers will often do research on digital identities, and may make a decision whether or not to hire someone before they even show up for the interview. A digital identity is not something to fear, however, as long as you take into consideration the effect that your actions have on the way you are perceived by the online world. And there are many resources–such as this one–that can help you build a reputable digital identity.