It’s nine o’clock on a Sunday Morning, and I am sitting on my phone, scrolling through the latest gossip and trends on the most recent activity through Instagram and Facebook. It is a bit boring on a Sunday morning- so I decide to make a post. Looking back through old pictures in my phone album, I finally pick a photo (one I haven’t posted before…)
The photo in which I decide to post is of a new (but not so new as the photo is very old) camera prior to this post. The tags in which I included reads, ‘#snaphappy’, ‘#Nikon’, ‘#lenssss’. So, months after posting this photo, I had to question myself on why I chose to post this on a Sunday morning. Was I really that desperate to construct my online identity, at the time as I put it, ‘snap happy’? Did I post this photo to show all my fellow followers I am a photographer? How does this post, and ultimately my other posts and updates on social media platforms, construct my overall identity? To answer all of these wonderful, exciting new questions, we first have to take a look back at a few of my digital media platforms, in which I update, post, like, and share media content. But first, lets take a look at what identity really is and if our real life identity is the same as our online identity. Chandler and Munday state that identity is, ‘inner, authentic, or ‘true self’ (2011, p. 197) . This definition can be seen as the real word identity; one where we communicate with peers and can be perceived as ‘authentic’. But what happens to ones ‘true self’ identity when we can choose what persona and characteristics we only want to show the digital media world? A more relatable definition states that, ‘identity is the active construction by individuals’, (Chandler and Munday 2011, p. 198). This definition relates to the self construction and manipulation within digital media platforms, to create our own, personalised identity, actively on digital media platforms.
The construction of my persona and identity is generated by a vast range of digital and social media platforms. I am active on a wide range of media platforms; Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Behance, WordPress, Creative Cloud just to name a few. When we try to pick apart my overall construction of my online identity, we can see similar characteristics and posts in which I am uploading to my digital platforms. For example, I tweet a lot about the media, about my Behance profile, and my likes and dislikes.
So why am I doing this? I do this to generate a scene in which other media platforms and agencies can view me as one of there own. To be on there level of ideas, to communicate and to be ‘follow’ worthy. This idea is used to create contacts and links to people out there who I want to know I am here, and that I am actively involved in what they do. An example of this is my Twitter retweet, on social media and branding. I have done this to create an online identity which can be seen as apart of the online media agency world. Another tweet which can relate to my digital media online identity, is retweeting posts from media and advertising agencies, I would like to be apart of. Here is a retweet of BMF’s latest work, and my Behance tweet. Once again, I have tweeted this to try and be apart of the niche media groups.
So where do I want my online persona to be in the next few months and why is it important? I have created a short Prezi to explain how I can achieve the progress within my online persona.
By creating a vast range of media platforms and keeping active on social media, creates my identity as my own- it gives me sense of self awareness of who I am, and who I want to be. Digital media is a fantastic way to create an identity unlike any other, to create new characteristics and start fresh within a virtual community where liking, posting, blogging, tweeting are all within the social network bubble- we are all linked and can all view each others work, this is what makes digital media so special and so appealing. We can be who we want to be on social media, and still have little to no impact on our real lives.
Chandler, D., and Munday, R. 2011, Dictionary of Media and Communication, First Ed, Oxford University Press.
Cinque, T. 2015, Changing Media Landscapes: Visual Networking, Oxford University Press.