Social media is a platform which allows us to tell a narrative about a subject we have the ultimate authority on: ourselves. We construct persona online, to showcase to anyone with an internet connection. Our digital identity is not based solely on our avatars, usernames, and bios; it is formed around what we curate; “In essence, our online selves represent our ideals and eliminate many of our other real components.” (Green, 2013)
Are our online identities accurate reflections of who we are as a whole? Do we successfully communicate our ideals through our digital profiles? Or do we instead present a false construction of ourselves? One of the ideas I suggested in my post about branding and transmedia, is that perhaps our online identity varies across different platforms, together creating a larger narrative of the self, but also existing separately, without the need of information from another network.
Different social media networks can be used to showcase different aspects of your persona, performing for a different audience on each platform. We curate the content to create a very specific depiction of who we are to our friends/followers/subscribers.
My remediation attempts to hone in on this aspect of seperate identities across platforms; by presenting an extreme, satirised version of my own networked persona.
Davis (2010) suggests that we “preemptively alter our offline selves in order to authentically convey ourselves online in a particular way”, which is interesting if we acknowledge we present different persona across varied media. If we are trying to authentically portray ourselves, do we lose authenticity by omitting certain aspects of our lives? I would argue that this is not the case. Owen (2011) gives a practical example of being authentic in different environments: “James is an honest man and also kind. At the funeral of his wicked uncle, he will not be honest about his thoughts about the deceased, in order to be kind to the feelings of the rest of his family. […] Our identities are not socially universal.” This also applies online, leaving us to perform for different audiences, often aimed at those with similar ideals.
OPTIONAL EXTRA THOUGHTS:
As some extra food for thought; if we portray a different element of our overall identity on digital platforms, and chose to invest in AI technology, to tweet/post/message on our behalf after we died, would that mean our varied social presences would generate a number of vastly different versions of ourself as a result of the content we offer across the varied networks? Would the AI version of ourself on twitter, create a different sense of authority if it was no longer a physical person tweeting? Would the only way for this content to be an accurate reflection of our whole self, be to combine all the social networks and have the AI technology incorporate how you interact across all of the platforms, rather than each single one by itself.