Your Online Identity & Knowing Who Are You Online?

If you use the computer to play and talk with friends, you also have an online identity. That means you have an identity that’s related to how you look, what you do, and what you say when you’re using the computer. If you play on Club Penguin and put seven disco balls in your igloo, that says something. Sites like Club Penguin and Webkinz let you create an avatar — a character that represents you. It’s fun to dress up that character and maybe give it a sense of style you’d never try at school. Would you like a rainbow mohawk hairstyle? It’s yours at the click of a mouse. Avatar games, instant messaging, and chat rooms also let you choose your own screen name. If you want to be known as King_of_Ketchup, that’s your new name. Maybe your little sister will want to be the Mayor_of_Mustard. So if you start calling yourself the King of Ketchup, does that mean you really like ketchup? Should you tell your new online friends how much you love ketchup and all the foods you like to top with ketchup? That’s up to you, but it brings up a good point: How much should you share about your real self online?

The Coping Cart at Norton Children’s Hospital is designed to help ease children’s stress and anxiety.

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