Brave New World of Digital Intimacy

5 May 2016

News feed, status updates, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, when one hears theses word one usually thinks about social media. What is social media though? Social media is forms of electronic communication (as Web sites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (as videos).

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Through the use of social media one can create an identity. However is one identity confused among the way? In Thompson, Clive article “Brave New World of Digital Intimacy” Thompson describes the relationship between one social media identity and one actual social identity. Thus because of the use of social media one’s identity can be confuse.

In this present day, with my generation, Thompson explains, “[that social media] participation isn’t optional… [that] if you don’t dive in…other people will define who you are” (Thompson 8). It is sad but true, I have seen it happen before. Once two girls (from my high school) where fighting in and out of social media.

Thus girl A’ deletes her face book account. Girl B’ seeing this, thought it would be a great idea to create a new Facebook for girl A’. After adding all of girl A’s friends back girl B’ made girl A’ profile out to be something that girl A’ was not (to put it nicely). Soon afterwards everyone at school had a new “Identity” of girl A’ because of what girl B’ did. Long story short they are still fighting and the Facebook profile got deleted.

The point being is everyone believe the new Facebook profile was girl A’ and because of what girl B’ did, girl A’ was being treated differently. Girl A’ was not like her “new” Facebook profile made her out to be. Thus the identity of girl A’ was confused. Though people can confuse your identity, one can also confuse their own identity.

In some cases, one can create a fake identity. However Tufekci argue in Thompson article, “‘[that one cannot] play with [one] identity if your
audience is always checking up on [him/her]’” (Thompson 9). Tufekci is right to a point, but what if they haven’t always been an audience of one?

I was in middle school and just moved to New London, New Hampshire. No one knew who I was. As I started to make aquatints they started to ask me if they could add me on Myspace. Not knowing what Myspace was, quickly research, and created one so that I could start to make friends. Since I was new I wanted to be liked and to be popular. I mean, what new kid wouldn’t.

In New Hampshire everyone skate and snowboard. Even though I had never touched a skate board or snowboard, I created my Myspace to look like I had and that I was quite good at it too. It work, everyone that added me on Myspace believed that I could skate and snowboard (till I had to actually prove it). The point being is that I confuse my own identity and everyone else identity of me. It is not always like that however.

Now I am not saying that because we use social media that our identity instantly confuse, quite the opposite. Plenty of people are who their social media identity is. However just be careful of oneself own perception of someone on social media. Many people own perception of me was wrong.

After someone looked at my Facebook profile back in high school they would get the perception that I was a stoner, surfing, gym addict, and a freak. For the most part they were right except for the fact that I was a stoner. I have never touched weed in my life. Yet because of my Facebook profile picture was of me with stoner/surfer long hair, rostra color shirt, and that I like Bob Marley people instantly thought I was a stoner.

Even now I can’t escape someone perception of me being a stoner. I go to work for the United States Marine Corps and when I have to show my driver license for some reason, usually to a Sergeant, they will start laughing and say “you were a stoner before the Corps, weren’t you”. My friends, who actually know who I am, would know that I would never smoke weed. Now because of their own perception of me on social media (and my driver’s license) my identity is confused.

All in all why does it matter? Identity should not be affected by this “Brave New World of Digital Intimacy”. The fact however, it is changing the way we are being identify. One cannot apply for a job in these times without the employer looking at one social media.

Therefore because of our identities are being switch from social interactions to social media oneneeds to be careful one’s identity is not confuse. If one does not dive in other people will define who one is. Also just because one create a false identity of oneself does not mean people will not find out who one really is. In addition one perception of someone on social media can also confuse their actual identity. Thus because of the use of social media one’s identity can be confuse.

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