Home > Uncategorized > Who Am I, Internet?

Who Am I, Internet?

Perhaps one of the most interesting themes we have explored as a class this semester is the theme of identity in the internet: who are we online?  Who do we become when we express ourselves on the Web?  We morph into a virtual representation of ourselves; whether or not it is reflective of our actual, “meatspace” selves is another story.  There are countless opportunities online for us as internet contributors to assume new identities; the realm of cyberspace is a land of creation and, many times, anonymity…why not assume a new identity?

                As Dustin discussed in his entry entitled “Why So Crazy?” YouTube has become a rather interesting outlet for the individual.  However, it is particularly interesting to think of YouTube and identity together: how much can the individual really alter their identity when we can see their physical being on the screen.  Dustin included a video of Chris Crocker in his post to demonstrate to the insane extent some will embrace the freedom the internet awards us; in the video, Crocker makes a complete fool of himself, and his identity is never concealed.  In this instance, he owns his identity.

                Identity is also prevalent when thinking about the online question center ChaCha! that allows people to ask any question that is boggling their minds to complete strangers who are hired solely to answer the questions that are sent in by these anonymous thinkers.  In this representation of the internet, no identity is ever formed: all is anonymous, all is categorized in two ways: the questioner and the answerer.  It is impersonal and wholly distant from any kind of substantial representation of the self.

                Perhaps one the most interesting explorations of identity takes place in the form of social networking sites of Myspace, Twitter, and most importantly, the sensation that is Facebook.  As Kaitlin discussed in her blog entry on social networking sites, Facebook has become the place to “talk about yourself.”  However, to what extent can we trust that the identity a person creates for himself online is an accurate depiction of their true identity?  It is so easy to take a Facebook just as it seems because it is difficult to dispute something as seemingly indisputable as a picture.  However, it is vital to remember Facebooks are created, which  means identities are capable of being transformed.  It truly is fascinating that the internet – an entirely intangible entity – wields the amount of power that it does in the formation and construction of identity.

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