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Digital Identity and the Ghost in the Machine

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The demarcation line that used to separate your digital identity from your real world physical identity is rapidly disappearing. More seriously, it is permanently changing the way in which the world sees you and you see yourself. Social identity lies at the very core of our existence as human beings. Without identity we are lost both in the physical and virtual world. Before the coming of the digital revolution, most people struggled to create a single, permanent identity that stayed with them for the remainder of their lives. Digital technology has changed that way of life forever. People are now given digital identities by governmental, business and military organizations, sometimes with their knowledge but often without them knowing. People have also begun to weave multiple digital identities for themselves - using digital technology they can now create their own alternative identities that they can wear and shed like skins for their own personal purposes. In this lecture I will discuss how the digital identities that we create for ourselves and those that others create or us affect both our image of ourselves, our own psychological makeup and well-being as well as how it affects how others see and deal with us.

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