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October 23, 2012

Millennials’ Online and Offline Personalities

Leading up to our Future M session on How the Class of 2016 Will Change the World of Marketing, we conducted a mini-focus group with our college interns to better understand their mindsets. In this post, we asked our interns about the similarities and differences in millennials’ on-line and off-line personalities?

Are your online + offline identities the same?

The omnipresence of social media caters to our multifaceted personalities, allowing us to compartmentalize our lives online just like we do offline. My friends can have private and work Facebook accounts, remove vowels from their last names to avoid being searched and secretly follow Justin Bieber on Twitter without ever breathing a word of their secret obsession.” Proma Huq, PR & Social Media Intern

“My online and offline identities are different, but it is also important to remember that these identities are not mutually exclusive. We all take on different personalities when

interacting with our bosses vs. co-workers vs. friends vs. family. Online, my Facebook personality (which is nearly nonexistent, with a private Facebook wall, and the tightest

privacy settings on my photos, etc) is vastly different from my Twitter voice (much more outgoing, open to connecting and conversing with strangers), which is also different from my LinkedIn persona (just friendly enough, but much more professional). It’s natural this way. Human beings are complex, multi-faceted creatures, and I would expect that social networks reflect these traits.” Angelina Zhou, Brand Strategy Intern

“I don’t see my online personality different from my offline personality, but I don’t think that’s always the case. There are some crazy stories about people online vs. what they are like in real life.” Shandi Mahan-Fortunato, Brand Strategy Intern

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  • http://twitter.com/xolotl Nate Angell

    These observations bring to mind a term I learned from @caseorganic: “polyphrenia”, or healthy multiple personalities (as opposed to “schizophrenia”, or unhealthy multiple personalities. Those who navigate effectively today are natural or trained polyphrenics.

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