Wk 9: Int Footprints

iLecture: Tama Leaver

Welcome to Module 3. Internet Footprints is your purposeful self online, something you know you are doing online. Digital Shadow deals with things that are out of your control, Social Media Rivers eg Twitter, Friendfeed and the shift from Module 2 to the Future Trends: The content generated user. Web 3.0?

On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog. 🙂 You can be anyone you want to be online. This was a web 1.0 tenet.

1. Theories of Self  (concepts of self)

2. Technologised and Mediated Sleves in Contemporary Popular Culture

3. Self and/as Social Media.

Self is subjective, you see you in different ways to how others see you. We have pre-programmed presumptions which need to be rethought when there is a shift in the way we identify ourselves.

Erving Goffman, a sociologist, wrote The Presentation of the Self in Everyday life 1959, presented the idea that the most fruitful way of thinking of self is to think of a series of performances. It keeps the audience in mind. Goffman’s ideas are influential in digital media studies as all self is presentation. Goffman is interesting because when we switch from tangible or physical media to digital media, that shifts the way we present ourselves? Can be our name which tells about gender, ideology etc. We need to think through what we present to the world.

Judith butler, wrote Gender Trouble in 1990. she is a radical feminist. She came up withthe idea of performativity. For her all self is a performance, which is a form of contstruction but this not distinct from a ‘real’ self. Basically this differs from Goffman because she believes our entire sense of self is mediated by culture, language and ideas. That when we are alone, we don’t ‘suddenly have our full selves’ as would happen under Goffman’s theory, but taht we don’t really have a distinct self, separate to the selves we show our audience. She was part of postmodern and post-structuralist movement: saw everything as discursive and thus constructed.

Donna Haraway, wrote a manifest called A Manifest of Cyborg 1984.  She concluded that everyone in contemporary society is already a cyborg (not robots) as in we are deeply entwined with technology and would be funamentally different people without it. Mobile phones and calcium enhanced milk are just two extreme examples of how technology has changed our lives. She is mapping a shift in the way we think.

Humanity and Technology were discrete, separate entities but now are creating a subset of cyborgs. Epistemological: means the way that we know things. Humans and tech are entwining on both material and epistemological levels. This forms technology based within our way of living and the way we live our lives.

These give us insight into some ideas for how our identity can be formed online. It helps us to consider our performance our lives online, and our identity. This forms a framework for us to consider.

Alter Ego by Robbie Cooper: he takes a series of photos in their physical self and a photo of their avatar. His online character is a different representation of who he is. You can be a dog on the internet, without it being unrelatable. Is it about creating a new id, or about an extension of your id?  Second Life is the largest virtual world. a 3D world. It is a great place to explore identity but is losing popularity. Lineage II avatar vs an economics and public policy professor. Difference in age, gender, outlook and background. If you play that character long enough would he have more insight into what the experience for that avatar?

Most people couldn’t convey who they were with dishonesty on the net. We would fall into usual patterns of speech, thought and concepts. Surrogates was a terrible film (!) and pretty much everyone in the world is now staying home in real life while they pilot their robotic replica surrogate in normal day to day existence. This is an extreme displaced identity. Gamer starring Gerard Butler, he played an incarcerated prisoner where prisoners have a option to be implanted and other people will take control of them and ‘game’ with them. if you survive 30 games, your sentence is revoked. Running man was similar but a critique of reality tv, whereas this was a critique of gaming. How deeply entwined are we with technology?

Self as Social Media. My cold is killing me. I have no idea what he’s saying. He’s saying that there is no sense of us as people without social communication. Physical/analog interaction brings elements of self including mood, intention, argument etc. Digital communication needs to build cues. We must construct selves and construct positions from which to meaningfully speak or communicate. How do we communicate without those visual or audio cues?

Everything was generated as text in the 80s and 90s. We used text to communicate about everything we thought and felt about things.  Even the font we use tells you clues. We quickly adapted text into cues to assist with communication. Emoticons helped convey tone and intention.

ASL – age/sex/location. This was the default greeting. Why are these three things that are the key things that convey that is enough for you to get a sense of identity? How much does the name tell you, how much does ASL tell you?

Homepages are digital composites of self. Blogs are written for a specific audience and evolve dependant on that audience. Social networks are little boxes (codified) that you either tick or fill in. Facebook’s insistence that we give our real name has altered and shifted the way we deal with our online identity.

Are you your web presence?

Data Mining: MIT Personas http://personas.media.mit.edu/personasWeb.html

(I am staggered to find out how insignificant my web presence is. When I type in my name, it says the majority of things I am interested in is sport, followed by religion. This was because some people credited my business incorrectly and attributed those works to me personally. With product names like Horse of Course, Chesterfield etc, it’s a no wonder that it gave me a big sporting persona. However, with my maiden name, the sport category was even larger. As December is a big month for sport, and Hamilton is both a place for sport and the surname of many sports people, the search kept searching for things like “Hamilton left in December” or “In Hamilton, December was very snowy” and so forth. It made it impossible to determine how much of this persona could ever be associated back to me.

I also attempted to put it back to dedicated2digital.com but it wouldn’t let me add numerals to the name. But when I did the search, the largest area was online, followed by art. Maybe that is correct after all?

So the answer is NO, i am obviously not at all related to my web presence. )

How is identity conveyed through tools? Delicious, Twitter and Flickr. Web presence is the totality of the ways different digital tools build a sense of self and presence for others to ‘read’.


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