We often have two identities – one in the physical world and the other in the digital world. While our physical identity is shaped by our presence and interactions with others in our immediate surroundings, our online identity is formed by the content we post on social media platforms and our engagement with online communities. Nonetheless, our online identity tends to diverge from our real-life persona since the anonymity and remoteness of the digital realm can prompt individuals to present a contrasting image of themselves online. This can create a lack of genuineness, resulting in adverse outcomes like misconstrued intentions and diminished trust (Hampton et al., 2014).

In order to foster online inclusiveness and increase online participation, it’s important to recognize the potential differences between our online and real-life persona, and take steps to bridge the gap. This can involve being mindful of the tone and language we use online, as well as actively seeking out diverse perspectives and engaging with individuals from different backgrounds. One way to increase online inclusiveness is to create safe spaces where individuals feel comfortable expressing themselves and their opinions without fear of judgment or ridicule. This can be achieved by establishing clear guidelines for online behavior and promoting respectful discourse . Another way to foster online inclusiveness is to actively seek out and promote diverse voices and perspectives. This can involve reaching out to individuals from underrepresented communities and encouraging them to participate in online discussions, as well as amplifying the voices of marginalized groups through social media and other digital platforms (Herring, 2013).

By creating an environment where all voices are heard and respected, we can increase online participation and ensure that all individuals feel valued and included. It’s important to remember that the digital world can be a powerful tool for bringing people together, but it can also perpetuate existing biases and inequalities (Herring, 2013; Poole and Doherty, 2016).


Hampton, K., Rainie, L., Lu, W., Dwyer, M., Shin, I., & Purcell, K. (2014). Social media and the ‘spiral of silence’. Pew Research Center, 20.

Herring, S. C. (2013). Gender and participation in computer-mediated linguistic discourse. In The Handbook of Language and Gender (pp. 625-644). John Wiley & Sons.

Joinson, A. N. (2008). ‘Looking at’, ‘looking up’ or ‘keeping up with’ people? Motives and uses of Facebook. CHI’08 extended abstracts on human factors in computing systems, 1027-1036.

Poole, E. S., & Doherty, I. (2016). Digital literacies and learning: Designing a path forward. Springer.

Online participation and digital literacies (updated)