Your Online Identity

Created: March 2017

Last Updated: April 2020

This learning experience is part of a playlist — two or more learning experiences focused on specific areas of the digital world. You can find this playlist, Building and Protecting Your Online Presence, here. This particular learning experience is the sixth in a sequence of six. Learning experiences in a playlist build off of each other, but they were designed so that they can also be completed on their own!

Estimated time:

40 minutes

  • [20 minutes] Activity
  • [20 minutes] Challenge
Group or individual activity:Individual
Ages: 13-18 years old
Grades:Grades 8-12
Online / offline elements:

This learning experience contains an offline activity and challenge.


Main area: Privacy and Reputation

Additional areas: Context, Content Production, Digital (Literacy), Digital Economy, Identity Exploration and Formation, Media (Literacy)

License:This learning experience has been created by Youth and Media and is licensed under a Creative Commons AttributionShareAlike 4.0 International license. For more information, please visit
Learning Goal

Consider how your online identity and the content you create and share relates to your goals (e.g., career-related, personal, skills/interests you would like to pursue). Explore how to manage an online persona that considers subject, platform, name, visual representation, and privacy settings.


  • Worksheet: My Online Identity

  • [Optional] Computer or mobile device with Internet access

  • [Optional] Paper

  • [Optional] Pen or pencil



What are the different ways that people in your life know you? Does your family call you one name and your friends another? Do you dress and act differently with your friends, family, teachers, and employer? We're all slightly different people depending on where we are and who we're with. You have a similar ability to manage how you and your content will appear publicly online, and it can be helpful to start thinking about how you’d like others to view you on the Internet. 

Public figures (e.g., those in music and/or film (movies/TV) industry, political figures, business leaders) do this all the time. By carefully constructing every part of their brand and public presence, from social media content (e.g., photos, videos, text-based posts), to interviews, they are trying to appeal to fans or customers. 

You don't have to be Taylor Swift or Kanye West or have a billion-dollar marketing strategy. But it is useful to think about who might be looking at your online presence and plan how you appear online. 

With this in mind, consider: 

  • What content do you currently make and/or share online (e.g., videos, music, remixes, blogs, designs, animations)? [If you haven’t made and/or shared content online, you can think about what type of content you would like to make and/or share]

  • What inspires you to make or share this content?

  • What content do you want your real name and image associated with?

  • Is there any content that you would not want to be publicly associated with you? Why not?

Before you get to the Challenge, it may be helpful to reflect on your future goals and how your online persona can help you best reach those goals. Check out the worksheet here to get started!


Imagine creating a new social media presence that focuses on a particular aspect of your identity. You start from scratch and have total liberty to adjust all of the privacy settings and craft content in any way you wish.

In a paragraph, discuss how you might structure this new social media presence to portray your chosen image to your friends/followers/those you are connected to. In particular, speak to the following concepts:

  • Type of account and platform (e.g., social media, blog, etc.)

  • What would you put in the "About Me" section?

  • What kinds of images would you use?

  • What would you set your privacy settings to? Would any of these settings depend on the type of content you share?

  • Type of content (e.g., photos, videos, text-based posts)

If you have completed some of the other learning experiences in this playlist, make sure to incorporate what you learned — around themes such as privacy, surveillance, and reputation management — in this piece! 

Next Steps
Awesome job on completing this challenge! We just know that others are curious to see what you learned! We encourage you to share your write-up with an educator, mentor, or advisor, or a family member or friend. We invite you to also share your write-up with the Youth and Media team through email ( Please note the title of the learning experience in the subject line of the email.

Individual vs. Group 
Release Date 
April, 2020