Social Media is Not Real
Part A: Identity
This week in class we discussed the concept of Identity, we described our different versions of self in an attempt to grasp the magnitude of our individual identities.
Figure 1. is a Mind Map which represents how I personally would describe myself, on Social Media I’m outgoing, adventurous and stress free as I snap and post photos of my lunch dates, my animals and my array of hobbies.
Therefore, anyone who stumbles across my social media would come to the conclusion that I live a stress-free life. Although what I don’t post is my personal stressors, my two jobs or my piling up University work… This shows that although we may not be lying about ourselves we often don’t post the whole picture.
Over the next few years I do expect my identity map to grow and change, as I move into full time work and my friendships groups change, over the last three years I have already completely changed as a person, my friendship groups have changed, my hobbies and even my overall mental health.
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Part B: Anonymity
The concept of anonymity is something that is widely debated with some arguing that it is necessary and others arguing that it is dangerous.
On one hand having an anonymous profile can protect the identity of an individual who does not feel safe using their own name, for example one of my friends uses a fake Facebook first name as he is worried about his Ex finding him and blackmailing him online, although this can go both ways as individuals can abuse others online under a fake persona and never be held responsible for their actions.
Concerns are also raised about the commercial implications of Facebook having access to our true identities, individuals are often bombarded with marketing ploys adapted to certain target markets which often surround people with items they would be likely to purchase, you can read more about this here (Boellstorff, 2013; O’Connell, 2016; Tufekci, 2014)
Therefore, I am partly against Facebooks real name policy as I believe individuals should be able to present themselves online as they see fit to a certain extent, in that individuals should not be able to create accounts that imitate real life persons. Although this would be impossible to police as there are already multiple fake accounts across all the social media platforms.
In conclusion social media is not real, everyone to some extent posts a glorified version of themselves online whether it be ultra-professional on Linked in or super adventurous on Instagram, to some extent these multiple personalities are what make up a healthy life balance and ensure that our social groups and work responsibilities don’t clash.
Do you agree? Is your social media media persona different to your portrayed self?