Online Identity and Professionalism
Digital media gives incredible opportunities for learning, social connection, and individual entertainment and enhancement in a wide variety of forms. However, the wide-scale access and multiplicity of sources make assessing the credibility of information extremely complex. Assesing credibility inaccurately can have serious xocial, personal, educaiton, relational, health, and finacial consequences. As a result, determining trust, believability, and information bias become critical as individuals process the information in their lives gleaned from digital media.
Then, how people evaluate and make decisions based on informaiton they obtain from digital media? According to Rieh and Hilligoss, individuals make predictive evaluations of the usefulness of information sources and informaiton-seeking strategies based on their own experiences and refine these assessments over time. In this way, people learn to reuse or avoid information sources based on their verification of them. I think that accumulated experience can result in reliable information search results across various media.
In addition to it, in terms of identity or representation, individuals typically begin to question and desconstruct how they think of their selves. This self-inquiry is not conducted in isolation, but rather in the context of, and through feedback from, meaningful others. People use their personal sites to engage with thir culture, and all presentation is perfomative and we constrantly evaluate ourselves from the perspective of the "others," then moments of self-appraisal and self-presentation meld into one another online.
For examples, maintaining personal home pages and blogs serves youth to identify with a youth culture and they feel connected to a larger peer network, which is united by certain youth-specific values and interests. Since identities are not simply imagened, but reconstituted visually and publicly for self and others, personal sites offer a variety of informal learning experiences; first, leaning about themselves and genuine introspection for online authorship. Second, learning about effective self-presentation. They learn how to use cultural symbols for their own purposes, while at the same time they learn the technological skills necessary to create these representations. By trying to appeal to audiences and solicit feedback, they learn how to negotiate an image-drien culture.
Heverly, Robert A. “Growing Up Digital: Control and the Pieces of a Digital Life." Digital Youth, Innovation, and the Unexpected. Edited by Tara McPherson. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Media and Learning. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2008. 199–218. Available at