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1.1: Identity

  • Page ID
    207055
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    Identity, once an elusive concept, is now expressed constantly online.

    Core Questions

    A. Questions for qualitative thought:

    1. In what ways have a social media platform’s affordances on how you can present your identity felt restrictive to you? If you were in charge, how would you rewrite them?
    2. Write about an example of context collapse you have seen or experienced online. Who were the intended publics, or audiences, or each presentation of self involved? How did the situation end up?
    3. Consider one or more aspects of yourself that do not feel like they have places to be expressed online. What is happening with these aspects of yourself that cannot be expressed online? How does it feel? Envision and describe or map out a platform where this type of expression can be shared.

    B. Review: Which is the best answer?

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    Scholarly Sources on Identity (cited in APA):

    boyd, d. (2013). White flight in networked publics. How race and class shaped American teen engagement with MySpace and Facebook. In L. Nakamura & PA Chow-White (Eds.), Race after the internet, 203-222. Find in Google Scholar

    Pitcan, M., Marwick, A. E., & boyd, d. (2018). Performing a vanilla self: Respectability politics, social class, and the digital world. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 23(3), 163-179. Find in Google Scholar

    About these sources: Racial and cultural identities are expressed online through everything from choice of platform to user language choices. These articles use interviews and observation of online environments to unpack how such choices culminate in cultural coding of online spaces and performances.

    Related Content

    Read it: Internet Society’s Understanding Your Online Identity

    A thumpbail image linked to the pdf Understanding your Online IdentityThe organization Internet Society, or internetsociety.org, was founded in 1992 to manage and guide technical and social standards for internet use. Today they are “a global cause-driven organization …dedicated to ensuring that the Internet stays open, transparent and defined by you.”

    Online identity can be viewed through many lenses. The internet society has dived deeply into online identity through the lens of technical infrastructure, and found that not only public policy, but public education is essential in managing identity-related data collection and privacy online.

    Click here to open the short reading “Understanding Your Online Identity” by InternetSociety.org, then highlight the passages you find useful. Be sure you understand the terms below.

    Term Definition Example

    Identity

    The complete set of characteristics that define you

    Name, nicknames, birth date and any other unique characteristics that com- bined make you who you are

    Identifier (according to InternetSociety.org)

    A way of referring to a set of characteristics

    Your email address (myID@me.com) or user name (RaulB) or an account number (7633)

    Partial Identity (according to InternetSociety.org)

    A subset of the characteristics that make up your identity

    Demographic information about you or any purchase history is stored in your account at a website

    Profile (according to InternetSociety.org)

    Information collected by others about your actions and characteristics. (See also chapter definition.)

    A search you conducted for “discount shoes” or a list of websites visited

    Persona (according to InternetSociety.org)

    A partial identity created by you to represent yourself in a specific situation

    A social network account or your online blog

    Hear It: “Timelessness” from the Social Media and Ourselves podcast

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    Listen to / read the transcript of this second episode of the podcast Social Media and Ourselves, “Timelessness.” Then consider: What were or are your past “selves” captured on social media? If they can still be found online, are you comfortable with that? If not, imagine you had the power to right this situation from the tech side. How would you change things. Envision making changes not only so that these past selves no longer haunt you online, but so that the shame of a past self online does not affect so many younger people in the future.

    Media Attributions


    This page titled 1.1: Identity is shared under a CC BY 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Diana Daly.

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