So much cooler online…

The use of social media and really all media forms allows one to approach our idenity in a more complex and meaningful way. Rainie and Wellman in Networked, that the identity development can become a more complex and interesting with the use of digital media forms. One can actively participate in a multitude of groups engaging different parts of a person’s identity.

“Over time, more people will take at least a few steps to manage their identities by segmenting pieces of themselves—in effect, embracing a networked self in which different parts of themselves are on display to different audiences in their networks. It is not that they will have separate selves for different segments of their networks, or for online versus offline interactions. Rather than different personas, people’s selves are networked: There is a core, but different aspects of that self get emphasized in different social situations.” (Rainie & Wellman, 269).

I do this all the time. I will engage in media practices that are different in each sphere that I am in. For example at school, and on twitter I engage in intellectual discussions. My identity changes then when I hop onto facebook where I am engaging with friends from church and my social life, talking about personal life discussions, such as where I just ate or who I am hanging out with. I think that the development of social media really brought through and helped solidify the idea of intersectionality in the sense that a person can be someone different in each platform they are using.

This whole discussion reminds me of a song by Brad Pasely… Go ahead and laugh with me about this one…

Rainie, Lee, and Wellman, Barry. Networked : The New Social Operating System. Cambridge, US: MIT Press, 2012. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 16 February 2017.
Copyright © 2012. MIT Press. All rights reserved.


One thought on “So much cooler online…

  1. Excellent points! I definitely agree that we all, to some extent, curate who sees certain parts of our personality and on what mediums we share these parts of ourselves. On Instagram I just look like a travel bug, on Facebook I share more Seattle things and stuff I do with friends, on Twitter I network with people in fields that I’m interested in, and on Snapchat I show a more goofy side. I believe that each social media app has its own personality which lends itself to different aspects of my own personality.

    Something you may want to look into reading that discusses this topic more is a book by Jill Walker Rettberg called Seeing Ourselves Through Technology: How We Use Selfies, Blogs and Wearable Devices to See and Shape Ourselves. This book can be downloaded for free from Amazon or her website. I would also suggest you look her up on Twitter because she has interesting tweets and often asks Twitter users to help her with research. Check her out and let me know what you think!


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