Asking someone face to face to explain their concept of ‘self’ would see the vast majority lean toward certain character traits they have been told or believe they posses, as well as perhaps a humble adoption of a few relatively nondescript words like ‘kind’ or ‘approachable’, defining ones ‘self’ is much more complex than identifying likes and dislikes, traits or fashion senses, but something that happens to us online. The formation of the online self.
When we turn to the realm of the online self, which I believe does differ from online persona, things can become both simpler and more complicated too, depending on the situation. Take a marketing executive, working and representing a large marketing brand, his or her online self in this specific situation is directing themselves and any created content at an audience for specific opportunity or remuneration, that snapshot of personality is portrayed in such a way to benefit the business, past and future, as well as the individual responsible. Now understand the difference of how a microblogger or YouTuber who is simply sharing their interests with whomever may come across it could be much more authentic and real. This plays a large part in both the formation of our own online-self and the perception, hesitations and interactions with those producing media.
Furthemore, Poletti & ARJ 2014 consider audiences and authenticity in great depth: “What kind of audience does the site call for? Whom does the site explicitly address as its imagined audience? What verbal or visual rhetorics does the site deploy to engage visitors? How does the site attempt to bracket out potentially hostile users from its audience?”. These questions are sometimes not even considered by the passive audience, but are certainly paramount to those making media.
Good afternoon, good evening and goodnight.
This week I watched the Truman Show, a movie which is ripe with privacy parallels. An entire film based upon Truman Burbank’s life, how he is a product within a set, living blissfully and naively amongst actors scoping and shaping how he is living his life.
The Truman Show won awards for ‘Best sci-fi’ and ‘Best fantasy film’, which when it was released 2008 would have been quite apt, but the global media and the constant movement and development on Media Studies 2.0 – is the concept of the Truman Show that farfetched? Almost two decades later, can we relate more and more with poor old Truman? Is everything in our online lives sculpted to grab our attention or divert us in one way or another? It can certainly feel that way sometimes.
Poletti, ARJ 2014, Identity Technologies, University of Wisconsin Press, Madison. Available from: ProQuest Ebook Central. [31 March 2017].