Personality; we all have one, but when it comes to our online identity, our personality and persona can be forever changing, and can be the way in which others ultimately view us. We can define our personality, and persona as one’s ‘…true self’, (Chandler & Munday 2011, p. 197). But how does this shape my further online identity?
Who am I? I am a 20 year old Media and Communication student, who enjoys being creative! I love photography, graphic design, Illustration, blogging, and I love spending time with family and friends. This description can briefly outline my overall identity, but on which platforms do I portray them on?
Our online identity can be viewed through our different social media platforms. For me, my online identity is represented through my various social media accounts. The most active platforms I use which are, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter can pretty much sum up the perception of my identity and personality, my likes and dislikes, and who I really am. Cinque states that, ‘…identity plays a key role in virtual communities’ (2015, p. 9).
She continues on, stating that identity is essential for understanding and evaluating an interaction (2015, p. 9). As an avid social media user, my online identity is very important as I need to communicate with people who have similar interests as me.
(Photograph by Emma Miller, 7 April 2017)
Instagram, the best social media platform for uploading images with a short caption, which is great for catching the attention of others. I use this platform for business use rather than personal- showing my art work, photography, travel and to promote my creative website.
The two screenshots above, both show how I use Instagram. In the first image we can see that I like to promote my self as a Media and Communication Student, and a ‘Fellow Creative’. This is so I can interact and connect with audiences throughout Instagram who have the same interests and likes as me. Another method used for promoting my profile is using hashtags within posts, as it generates attraction to my work, so anyone with interests similar to me can view my profile. The second screenshot is of some creative services I provide; camera assisting, lighting, and sound monitoring just to name a few. I have posted this image to promote that I work for a production company called ‘Miss Productions’, and that this is a skill I can use in future job opportunities. Using the hashtag #endotaspa #missproductions, which can generate views to this post as others may be interested in this field.
The above description of my account use on Instagram, can show my particular identity and personality as one to be affiliated with creative work and services. Rather than using my account for personal reasons, I am using it for business agendas. This creates a professional, creative identity in which others can perceive me as. The effectiveness of this has lead to followers within the creative bubble; production teams, artistic pages and bigger agencies are now following me due to my posts and how I portray myself on my Instagram account. I also follow them back as their interests are very similar to mine! (Social media is great in this perspective!)
So what about Facebook? As my Facebook page is set to private, we can already suspect that this platform is for my personal use only. Cover states that Facebook is, ‘…a site for sharing personal experiences among friends, or sometimes strangers’ (2015, p. 2).
Where as, on this platform, I keep it on private settings just for my friends and family. I post personal images and statuses; for example interests, likes, and for posting memories. This creates my identity as a family, friendly persona (as I post a lot of memories too!) as I do not post images and statuses about work related events.
Where as I use Twitter differently to Facebook, to construct a different online identity.
Tweets embedded from my profile @em_louise_1996 respectively.
I like to use Twitter for discussions, and to connect with people with interests similar to mine. My identity on Twitter can be viewed as professional, and can also be seen as a follower and a contributor within group discussions. I only post things which are not personal, and show myself more as an experienced Media and Communication student, rather than a student who posts excessive amounts of memes and family photos, spamming my online community (making them want to unfollow me!)
(Photograph by Emma Miller, 7 April 2017)
Above is an icon photo (Drawn by Emma Miller) which I have added in this post, to briefly and creatively show the three different ways my identity shines through on social media platforms, which is described further below:
Instagram: Creative Photography, Vocal, Networking
Facebook: Family and Friends, Liking, Networking
Twitter: Discussions, Vocal, Networking
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.
Cover, R 2015, Digital identities : creating and communicating the online self, London, England : Academic Press is an imprint of Elsevier, .
My broader ALC203-related online activity
In relation to the unit, my broader online activity represents me as an avid social media user. I am always active on my social media platforms; liking, commenting, tweeting, posting and blogging. Using Twitter within this unit is such a great way for myself, and others to gain a larger online community following, and to communicate with fellow students interested in the same topics as each other!