Communities. Identity. It is strange to think that these concepts also relate to the online world and our online selves and personalities. We’re creating new communities built around our personal perceptions of ourselves, and then building up an online world that revolves around how we want others to perceive us, almost portraying an open record and book entitled, “This is me”. With social media, there’s always going to be those who see it only as evil, others who strive to see the good, and those who make a note of perceiving both the good and evil of it. Without a doubt though, social media is playing a big part in worldly identity and what it means to us.
“…media affords us an opportunity to create a more permanent, public version of ourselves, so solidifying the idea of our identity, and on the other it has made identity fragile, to the point where it can be completely ‘fake’. Is social media strengthening identity or eroding it? The answer, it seems, is neither. What it is doing is changing the idea of identity to something that we have not quite yet got our heads around.” // Lauren Fisher
When you think about it, we all behave differently with different groups. For instance, there’s your professional and work self, your Friday night self, your home self, your family self, and possibly even more. Every situation provides a different context, which then brings about a different set of social expectations and outcomes. So couldn’t this concept also relate to and occur within the different social media outlets we have access to? Is your Facebook self the same as your Twitter self? What about your Blogger and Tumblr self? Each outlet provides a different audience, which then allows you to create and portray different aspects of your personality. It’s an interesting concept to think about: We strive to create and maintain our online personas because in truth, we’re trying to get something in return by “selling” our personalities. We’re creating our own brand, a personal brand of ourselves.
(I truly do enjoy using social media, but I believe it is important to be aware of the changes and effects that come with it. Remember to always be careful, and never use anything blindly and without thought.)