, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 477-479
Date: 26 Aug 2011

The Construction of Personal Identities Online

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Information and communication technologies (ICTs) are building a new habitat (infosphere) in which future generations, living in advanced information societies, will spend an increasing amount of time. In the infosphere, it is progressively more difficult to understand what life was like in pre-digital times and, in the near future, the very distinction between online and offline will become blurred and then disappear. The phenomenon is variously known as “Ubiquitous Computing”, “Ambient Intelligence”, “The Internet of Things” or “Web-augmented things”. GPs are a good example of this convergence: asking whether you are online when driving a car while following some GP’s instructions updated in real-time is becoming progressively less meaningful. We already live mostly onlife.

Against this background, how individuals construct and maintain their personal identities online (PIO) is a problem of growing and pressing importance, affecting millions of people everywhere. Today, PIO can be cre