Online Identity: our addiction to the illusion of social media
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The accidental narcissist and the connected customer

The accidental narcissist and the connected customer | Online Identity: our addiction to the illusion of social media | Scoop.it

Have you ever noticed that your Facebook News Feed is the digital equivalent to “It’s a Wonderful Life?” Perhaps you’ve likened your Instagram stream to that of  “Lifestyles of the Digital Rich and Internet Famous.”

In each network, and across multiple social streams, you’re fed a visual buffet of seflies, travel, food, fashion, and celebrations. In assemblage, they tell the story of life well lived, or at least a life well curated. At the center of each of these experiences is the person living and sharing them in real time.  Every day that passes, it seems that a growing network of our friends, family, and colleagues are charmed with this picturesque life.

Some may see this behavior as self-centered, self-promotional, or view it as a form of attention seeking, but at a human level, it’s simply a new form of self-expression and an open invitation to interact.

But who are we kidding? It’s not just everyone else, we might as well be talking about ourselves.  It’s a social world after all and shared experiences are the epicenter of a growing majority of engagement. As such, we’re introduced to a new law of social physics, if you will, where for every action there is an equal or greater reaction. The truth is that social sharing is part self-expression and also part provocation. People share to communicate who they are or who they want to be, while concurrently hoping to incite a reaction that validates or substantiates their intended online persona.

This phenomenon may seem like a personal discussion, but I can assure you that it has everything to do with your business.

I’d like to officially introduce you to your connected customer. I believe it’s about time we get to know the connected set to better understand how to engage them in social and mobile networks now and throughout the entire customer lifecycle.


It’s all about you and me…but mostly me

If you’re reading this, then you’re most likely the very person you’re trying to reach. You’re connected, always on, unabashedly multitasking, and living across multiple screens each and every day. You live a digital lifestyle and without realizing it, you and others like you, are gradually exhibiting slivers of narcissism. Believe me, I say this with the utmost discretion. You can’t help it of course. These networks prompt you to share your world, your way, all day, every day. And each time we do, we contribute to our “egosystem,” where we are the center of our own digital universe. Experiences and engagement represent the orbits that bring us together.

Let’s visit planet Facebook and its orbiting moon Instagram for a moment. Facebook is now home to over one billion digital denizens. To put that in perspective, that’s roughly about 12 percent of planet Earth. Instagram is a fledgling digital society in its own right. At 100 million residents and counting, a culture of sharing one’s experiences is further enhanced by the ability to instantly enhance them with a creative filter, broadcast them across multiple networks, and earn the attention and reaction of a boundless and seemingly idle audience.

The question is, if everyone is busy sharing content, then who is consuming it? This is also the law of social attraction. It’s a reciprocal relationship where to earn reactions, one must equally or progressively react. How do you do that if the real-time web moves in real-time?

 

The age of prevalence

Understanding digital behavior has never known greater importance. As it evolves,  we need to appreciate its velocity and impact. For example, on Facebook, conversations lose momentum in an hour, give or take. The reason for this is because people consume until they create. As they create, expectations shift as characteristics of narcissism take over. What about Instagram? Allow me to share some revealing behavioral stats that will make you say “Wow.”

Statigram is a third-party tool that tracks activity on Instagram. According to a fascinating article in pdn (Photo District News) written by Kathleen Hay, Statigram tracked the number of photos tagged “selfie,” social slang for self-portrait (yes, that’s a thing.) At 11 p.m. PST on December 28, 2012, the number of selfies numbered at a noteworthy 5.5 million. The egosystem wouldn’t be the same without the “me” in social media. At the same time, photos tagged ‘me’ completely eclipsed “selfie” with a staggering 72.6 million self-portraits. Added together, you start to get the picture of just how prominent the egosystem is becoming.

In the article, Hay introduces us to Dr. Jean M. Twenge, Ph.D. Professor of Psychology and author of Generation Me and co-author of The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement. The titles alone convey that connected consumerism is nothing like the conventional customers you once knew. To better understand the crux of selfies and the digital “me,” Twenge explains that at the core of narcissism is this invention or aspiration that people are better or more important than in reality. In the digital realm however, perception is reality.

Agree or disagree, this is your connected customer. And in many ways, you and those you know are among them.

How can you re-imagine your engagement strategies to align with and inspire the “me” in social media? How does — or how can — your brand evoke an experience that elicits self-expression? And how will your brand become part of the egosystem and create a gravitational pull for others to orbit?

Kristen Louise Crawford's insight:

17. The above article is explains that the seemingly narcissistic updates that bombard each social media platforms walls are actually, "new forms of self-expression"


The article raises great examples of trend in social media, involving selfishness and attention seeking. 


The website it came from seems reputable, I enjoyed the read and its inclusions.


This article provides another positive for social media identities being positive. 

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Defining Your Identity

How do you define yourself, what really is your 'identity'.
Kristen Louise Crawford's insight:

1. This video reveals how our identity is formed throughout life and how your identity transforms. Similarly to the definition of online identity, this provides fundamental understudying of topic key terms. 

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What is a Digital Identity? - Definition from Techopedia

What is a Digital Identity? - Definition from Techopedia | Online Identity: our addiction to the illusion of social media | Scoop.it
Digital Identity Definition - A digital identity is an online or networked identity adopted or claimed in cyberspace by an individual, organization or...

Via Alice
Kristen Louise Crawford's insight:


2. In order to get the fundamentals of the topic down and understood, here is a definition of digital identity or online identity, a keyword which can be used interchangeably throughout my presentation. 


I believe the supplied definition to be accurate and that it will serve as a powerful tool when organising my presentation for audience consumption. 

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Alice's curator insight, August 22, 2014 1:49 AM

1.

 

Founders of website:

Dale Janssen - Co-founder Janalta Interactive Inc.Cory Janssen - Co-founder Janalta Interactive Inc.

 

http://www.techopedia.com/about/about.aspx

 

 

I think it's INCREDIBLY important to be able to accurately define the topic your are researching. Provided here is a link to a site http://www.techopedia.com/definition/23915/digital-identity

that defines digital identity accurately.

 

Alternative Google search result:

 

Definition: Internet identity, or internet persona is a social identity that an Internet user establishes in online communities and websites. It can also be considered as an actively constructed presentation of oneself.

Kate Isabelle Fincher's curator insight, December 28, 2014 1:13 AM

13# good starting point but a bit simple

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Facebook & Self-Identity - CMNS 253

"We shape our tools, and then our tools shape us." - Marshall McLuhan A Mock-u-mentary on how Facebook is shaping the self. Starring: Sevan Director: Darragh...

Kristen Louise Crawford's insight:

14. This 'Mock-u-mentary' reveals how Facebook is shaping the self.


The social theory, technological determinism, suggests Facebook changes who we are and the persona we develop online continues to grow. With many young people on Facebook and other social media platforms, there are mounting concerns of what technology means for the formation of self identities. 


How is Facebook really shaping us?


 Social media often help people feel better about themselves. Many people are addicted to using Facebook and technology is taking over because the stimulation of feel good emotions is what gets people hooked to social media consumption, and just like a drug they are chasing the next high. 


The clip claims that Facebook is ultimately a gateway to narcisism and this could have negative self image affects later in life, as well as alludes to the fact social media caused isolation from real friends and family members more than anything else. 

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6 Types of Girls on Instagram

Watch "6 Types of Guys on Instagram!" http://youtu.be/KbfqQfnML9U Holla at me! INSTAGRAM: http://instagram.com/yomuscleboii TWITTER: http://twitter.com/#!/jo...
Kristen Louise Crawford's insight:

12. This 'funny' clip, although some may consider as distasteful, actually represent a reality pretty close to the truth. Female Instagram (IG) bloggers usually fall into one of these categories which could be considered as narcissistic or even attention seeking. Although some would deny this truth of publicising an idealised self image to the world, it is undeniable. The worst thing about all this is that some people's entire lives/purpose actually seem to revolve around Facebook or Instagram. e.g. if you don't IG it, it doesn't count. Once again this is just a snapshot of your life, highlighting the good and leaving out the bad. 

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Online Personality Influences Real-Life Identity | Psych Central News

Online Personality Influences Real-Life Identity | Psych Central News | Online Identity: our addiction to the illusion of social media | Scoop.it

"One rapidly expanding area of psychological research is the study of how participation in social media affects everyday relationships and behavior."


Via Fleur Prinsen
Kristen Louise Crawford's insight:

10. The article above looks into a few issues surrounding online identities, however one of significance to the topic is, how our online identities and activities relate to our everyday real lives.  This text proved to be of relevance. I consider the article to be reliable and accurate, bringing plenty of valuable information to my project design. What I found most relevant in the article was about how people disseminate misleading identities of themselves. The following excerpt explains this more…

 

“In yet another area of research, investigators are studying how closely the information we disclose online mirrors who we are offline. In two new sets of studies, psychologists looked to World of Warcraft players and to profiles of people who frequent cafes and bars.

 

“Whether we’re creating a screen name or avatar for ourselves, or broadcasting that the bar or coffee shop down the street is one of our frequent hangouts, we are inevitably telling those around us something about who we are as individuals,” says Graham of the University of Texas, Austin, co-author of the studies with Sam Gosling.


In the study about World of Warcraft players, the researchers found that although people can make consistent judgments about a player’s personality, those impressions do not match how the players view themselves.”

 

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Look Up (social media) HD

An amazing story, that just has influence on everybody every day. The things you miss because you don't live in the moment. Subscribe for more.
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20. This poetic masterpiece covers a vast range of issues surrounding social media. I believe this clip depicts how overtly addicted we are to connecting via gadgets and gizmos.


The narrator says, "This media called social is anything but, when we open our computers and doors we shut. All this technology we have it's all an illusion; community and companionship, a sense of inclusion. Yet when you step away from this device of delusion, you awaken to see a world of confusion. A world where we're slave to the technology we masted, where information gets sold by some greedy bastard, a world of self-interest, self-image, self-promotion, where we all share our best bits but leave out the emotion." 


This text, despite being incredibly emotive and enjoyable, actually covers the concept of the illusion social media provides and what we are missing out on in reality because of our online obsessed behaviour. 

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Buy Real Instagram Followers - The Epoch Times (blog)

Buy Real Instagram Followers - The Epoch Times (blog) | Online Identity: our addiction to the illusion of social media | Scoop.it
The Epoch Times (blog)
Buy Real Instagram Followers
The Epoch Times (blog)
And now imagine the following: A person visits your Instagram page and discovers that you have over 1000 follower and 200 likes.
Kristen Louise Crawford's insight:

5. This blog article represents that Instagram as a self-promotion or marketing device.


It talks about buying real followers in oder to raise traffic to your account. 


For businesses or brands, I think this is not overtly inappropriate, however for normal people to buy followers in order to appear more popular is down right pathetic in my opinion. Hopefully I will be able to get some more sources together about this...


Although people with Instagram accounts are not always trying to sell something with a dollar value, they are still trying to sell themselves or their online identity/life for popularity in the form of likes, followers etc. 


Instagram is online attention seeking. Each to their own though. 

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The Importance of Digital Identity

A video compilation arguing the importance of digital identity. For my WR496 class project. Song Credit: Oscar Poblete: http://www.youtube.com/user/DeadOnNig...
Kristen Louise Crawford's insight:

7. This six minute YouTube clip defines 'real identity' and an 'online identity,' explaining how the two differentiate and are in no way the same. It describes how online users can completely control an manipulate their online identities. 


The composer of the clip has depicted his/her argument through referencing six authors and their academic texts. 

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fashion life and literature

fashion life and literature | Online Identity: our addiction to the illusion of social media | Scoop.it

"Pintrest makes me hate my house"

 An article by Madeleine Marcella:

 

http://madeleinemarcella.wordpress.com/2013/12/10/pinterest-makes-me-hate-my-house/

 

Information about the author:

 

http://madeleinemarcella.wordpress.com/about/

 

 


Via Alice
Kristen Louise Crawford's insight:
6. 


This Wordpress article, although very short, exactly represents what my topic is trying to explore.  

 

Throughout the article, the author Madeline Marcella discusses the idea of the identity of bloggers, making reference to Adam Reed's journal article “my blog is me,” which devulges ideas focusing mainly on the “kinds of person these digital texts can become” and how their identity might be received.


Marcella's article basically discusses that people's online identities are often not as great as they seem and that we are all guilty of feeling envious at times over social media. 


I believe this text provides great scope and relevance into my topic and is incredibly. 

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Alice's curator insight, August 22, 2014 8:19 PM

20.

Although this piece itself is short,  it raises some interesting and relevant points in relation to my chosen topic. There are also some insightful comments and other links posted my readers in response. This certainly worth a read.

 

Here is a link to another article posted by Madeleine to her blog that I think is also relevant:

 

http://madeleinemarcella.wordpress.com/2013/10/25/my-blog-is-me/

 

 

"In his article “my blog is me”, Reed explores the identity of bloggers; focusing mainly on the “kinds of person these digital texts can become” and how their identity might be received. This is something I’m interested in exploring with my research, where I will look at the message that the sender is trying to communicate (e.g. via a photograph on Instagram or post via a blog) and how this compares to the message that is actually being received; this will help me to draw conclusions about the identity of the author (or that which they are consciously trying to portray) vs how followers perceive the identity of that author..."

 

 

References:

 

Gell, A. (1998). Art and agency: An anthropological theory. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

 

Reed, A. (2006). “My blog is me”: Texts and persons in UK online journal culture. Journal of Anthropology. 70(2). Pp. 220-242.

 

 

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IS THE SOCIAL MEDIA YOU THE REAL YOU?

IS THE SOCIAL MEDIA YOU THE REAL YOU? | Online Identity: our addiction to the illusion of social media | Scoop.it

Via Alice
Kristen Louise Crawford's insight:

4. This information in the above link is taken from a survey done by market research company Redshift Research. It utilises plenty of info grams which will give a break from all the youtube videos (side not:only you tube videos seemed to come up, it was so annoying). 


The info grams depict a number of trends about how people lie or exaggerate things online to provide well sculpted perceptions of themselves to the world. 

 

Looking at Redshift Research's background, they seem to be somewhat reputable and objective. 

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Alice's curator insight, August 22, 2014 7:28 AM

8.

This data is taken from The Intel UltraYou survey: A quantitative study conducted by Redshift Research - an independent market research company. I did a bit of research into Redshift Research's company history and found them to be a credible source of information.

 

 

"...we use online exaggerations, or "social lies," to create our digital alter-ego - the 'Ultra You.'"

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The New Digital Age: On Dual Identity

The New Digital Age: On Dual Identity PARTICIPANTS Eric Schmidt Executive Chairman, Google, Inc. Board Chair, New America Foundation Jared Cohen Director of ...
Kristen Louise Crawford's insight:

3. This video also explored the idea of dual identity and the two different societies. Your identity online is also constrained by the physical world. The two world can be used to keep each other in check. 


I find it a great point that the internet provides all the people in the world who have lost the opportunity to function in a physical world for various reasons. 


Online identity provides opportunities for incapacitated people to have a second chance at life online. 


This text really opened my mind up to a new idea I hadn't considered. This will aid my presentation is being more of a holistic approach to the topic with differentiated perspectives and arguments. 

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I.D. / self :: the new "real"

Description: In this digital age in which Internet and online activities are part of the daily routine for most people, the construction of online identities...
Kristen Louise Crawford's insight:

4. This video represents how 'real' life and online identities often combine and become unclear. It is relevant to my topic as it soundly represents the different personas people have in both online activities and reality. It depicts the importance for some people or personality types to have online alter egos because to many people, they are just as 'real' and valid as the personalities they assume in the physical/real world. 

 

This clip raises some important ideas... Are our online personalities any less authentic or valid as our physical world embodied self, simply because they are virtual? Could our online identities be, in a way, more real representations of who we are? This is a possibility due to the fact our online selves remove the restraints to some extent of hierarchy, wealth, personality type and more.  


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Understanding Ourselves Through Our Online Behavior - Design At Large lecture series

This seminar with Cornell professor Dan Cosley is part of the weekly Design At Large lecture series organized by Prof. Scott Klemmer. People create enormous ...
Kristen Louise Crawford's insight:

18. This video lecture talks about some incredibly interesting ideas surrounding social media. It opened my eyes up to an interesting ideas in that how social media works or can be used with marketing to us can actually help people become their idealised self. e.g. if they like certain pictures containing yoga equipment or accounts of cosmetic brands. This persons 'like,' 'comment' or positive response to image represents the individuals values or interests, therefore marketers are able to get hold of this information and market things to you as an online user that are of interest to you in shaping your ideal self. Then we may see a transience from you ideal online identity into a real life one. Although, don't think commercialising people in this way is a very positive thing, some people probably find this incredibly convenient. 


The lecturer actually explains that psychological mental heath status of  increases after involvement in social media because it allows them to reflect on positive memories. However, these images can also distract from what experiences you have in reality. 


I don't deny, that this lecture is confusing, but it is incredibly interesting and I feel it will come in handy in prodding some great arguments both for and against social media and our addictions to the illusion of it all. 

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online identity

online identity | Online Identity: our addiction to the illusion of social media | Scoop.it
Vloggy-type thing about online identity on Web 2.0.
Kristen Louise Crawford's insight:

15. The creator of this clip talks about the concept of 'impression management'. This can be the impression we give people in real life or online. Online it is much easier to control these impressions. This leads to me putting together the idea that people are choosing to make online identity changes or upgrades because it is easier that way. Online is a place where people can present their ideal or idealised self. The creator of the clip says, "its good,"  however, I disagree....


I feel that it is making onlookers feel as though they must also be that way online, and if they're not they're doing something wrong. I also perceive that a lot of individuals, mostly young individuals, waist a lot of time and energy trying to forge these fruitful online identities and relationships etc. However, in reality these people wouldn't go out of their way to help you when you're in need. I just believe it is a big waste of energy when people could actually be developing themselves personally. 

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Social Media Revolution

Social Media Revolution (Original) This video was produced in 2009 based on the book Socialnomics by Erik Qualman. There have been two newer versions since t...
Kristen Louise Crawford's insight:

13. This YouTube clip represents the social media revolution. It contextualised and provides how it came to be throughout history of communication. 


From this clip anyone can understand why social media is so popular:

  • convenience
  • accessibilty
  • affordability (digital)
  • removes barriers of time and space
  • reaches the masses


Although this text is not directly related to my topic, it definitely still brings meaning to why our social media landscape is  taking over our homes, work lives and everything else in endemic proportions. 


It also represents the idea that social media is some what inescapable. 


Scary!

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Instagram In Real Life

My Instagram is @realnatalietran or http://instagram.com/realnatalietran just incase you want to see the non magic. When I say that, I just mean if you want to see photos of my cat. Subscribe...
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5. I found this satirical piece about Instagram filters and more which was very entertaining. 


Although the content was not incredibly deep, I thought that it involved the overarching ideas that Instagram can make things look better online than they are in reality. 


I enjoyed the composer's comment where she said, "to be fair  a lot of the things on my Instagram look better online than they do in real life. Sort of like how thoughts are better in your head than when you say them out loud." 

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Online Identity and Kids

Virtual worlds, online games, and social media are fun ways for kids to play around with identity. But the mask of a digital persona can also be used as a wa...
Kristen Louise Crawford's insight:

11. This youtube clip is short however represents that, even from a young age (especially from a young age), social media usage can get out of control and people can lose sight of who they are. 


The clip addresses that people should stay true to themselves, conduct themselves respectfully, appropriately and consider their reputation.

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The Social Net

The Social Net | Online Identity: our addiction to the illusion of social media | Scoop.it
In the past two decades, the Internet has come to dominate every aspect of everyday life. This has been a huge change for many of us, and, for the younger generation - born into this situation - there has been no other way of living. How does this new way of life affect our health and happiness, our well-being? How does it affect our relationships, our friendships? Has the definition of friendship changed now that we have hundreds of friends on Facebook? Why is it that some people find it so hard to talk to people in their daily lives but find it so easy on the Internet? People spend so much time on the Internet - so what do we actually do on there? Why are some people so aggressive and others exceptionally helpful? Are these behaviors that we see from the same people offline? How do we take decisions online and which groups would we rather belong to online where nobody knows us, rather than revealing our true identity to the outside world? The new edition of 'The Social Net' provides a comprehensive understanding of the social aspects of the Internet. It contains chapters on topics such as identity manipulation, online romantic relationships, online decision making, the internet and aggression, and online prejudice and discrimination. The book provides the reader with an understanding of both the negative and positive influences of the net and is an exceptionally useful guide for for how to use the net to improve wellbeing. Today, when there is so much negative publicity surrounding the Internet - despite our reliance on it - this book provides a much needed balanced understanding of the Net and its influence.

Via Alice
Kristen Louise Crawford's insight:


9. This text is excellent. It gives and incredible amount of information into social media, identity and more. 

 

Specifically, chapter 3 - What Happens When Identity Presentation is Not Truthful, is incredibly relevant. 

 

This information enclosed on this text will be invaluable to my topic.

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Alice's curator insight, August 22, 2014 12:16 AM

16.

This text provides history and context on the topic of Identity and behavior, in both online and offline environments. However, I have highlighted here some key parts of the book that I think are particularly relevant:

 

CHAPTER 3: Identity Manipulation-- What Happens When Identity Presentation is Not Truthful (Kathryn Y. Segovia and Jeremy N. Bailenson) Pages 45-54*

 

 

*See p. 48: Identity Manipulation in Computer-Mediated Contexts

Kate Isabelle Fincher's curator insight, December 28, 2014 1:13 AM

14# long winded but can take away some good points

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Identity: Are you the Same Person Online & Offline?

Is it true that we can be anyone we want to be, online? rdigitaLIFE explores identity in the age of avatars and digital alter egos. Host Ramona Pringle speak...
Kristen Louise Crawford's insight:
8.


This two minute YouTube clip provides some insightful ideas surrounding online identities and the altered illusions that can come into play with social media. These ideas are presented professionally and represent well-shaped and researched perspectives with industry professional comments and contributions, thus improving the credibility of the text.


It clip is well suited to the topic of Online Identity: our addiction to the illusion, depicting great relevance and offering excellent, but brief insights explaining the phenomenon of our addiction to the illusion social media can provide. 


Despite the great concepts and value of the text's ideas, the clip is quite short and lacks a lot of depth. 

 

Excerpt from clip:

 

"As we spend more and more time connected to our digital devices, we now live in two worlds living digital double lives." 


"The internet gives us the ability to craft our ideal personas, but to what extent can we control who we are on lie and to what extent are  we bound by who we are in the real world?"


"Living in public all the time and having our thoughts and actions archived for eternity, are we really free to be ourselves online or are we constantly performing, constantly being watched and plotting our actions like updates in a strategy game." 


"From social media statuses to avatars, we connect and communicate, and create parallel selves living parallel lives."

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