Monday, 11 April 2011

I is for identity theft

But are you sure you’re clear on your identity, to know what’s been stolen?

Identity theft is a fascinating term because a person’s identity is so completely unique, individual and unpredictable; how can you steal it? Identity theft refers to the misuse (theft for misconduct) of a person’s bank details, passports or other identifying numbers.

But are we really just a set of numbers?

Isn’t that concept giving force to a Big Brother/ 1984-esque culture where we’re defined by the formal papers we’re born with or handed during important stages in our life?

What about our essence, soul and passions? Don’t they contribute to our identity?

What about our memories, our histories, our ancestries and our future hopes? Don’t they define who we are as much as where we were born and the sort code on our bank account?

I’m fascinated by identity at the best of times. I’ve loved reading comments from Canadian and American friends, who were baffled by the phrase ‘hen night’. Without even noticing, so much of our identity seems to be made of where we live, what we do and the people we associate with.

Back to the nature-nurture argument, I believe that a great deal of our identity is predisposed and determined for us. But an even greater part is formed by the experiences we go through and the stories we take with us on the journey.

Perhaps it all depends on your definition of identity. What does identity mean to you?


  1. Identity = 10% Nature + 90% Nurture