Students’ Online Identity Management



Acknowledging the inevitability of an online identity in to-day’s digital culture, where much of the social interaction has moved online, this paper places the concept of online identity amidst a highly commercialized Web, the epitome of our late-capitalist market logic. As such, online identity is seen as the expected response of individuals that are exposed to a highly promotional environment which views self-iden-tity as a valuable commodity – both a product of labor and of market exchange. In a quantitative study on 945 students, we measure the level of interest in online identity management, using a scale developed by the authors; at the same time, we look at several indicators that are likely to signal an increased interest in online identity management (OIM). Our findings show that students who are more materialistic, who have higher levels of self-efficacy, who spend more time on Facebook, and who believe that employers browse their online self-presentations are more interested in OIM.

Keywords: online identity management, self-commodification, identity capital, materialism, self-efficacy