Over the past 7 weeks, I have discussed some interesting topics in relation to Living, Learning and Working in the Context of Digital Economy throughout my blogposts. Digital Economy is a vast area of research, with technology developing at a rapid pace in recent decades impacting our society is massive way. As part of this module we have been asked to create a visual essay in relation to a topic within Digital Economy. Through conducting research each week to construct my blogposts, the topic that I am keen to explore more of is ‘Digital Identities’. This will therefore be the main focus for the visual essay.
As discussed in Blogpost 3, having an online identity is something that has become second nature to most people across the world. Our online activity has increased so much with the development of new technology that sometimes it’s just impossible to avoid.
“We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media; the question is how well we do it” – Erik Qualman (Qualman, 2013)
Hurst (2013) discusses the impact of social networking in relation to recent poll results. He states that the British public on average spend an estimated 62 million hours each day on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. This is a colossal amount of hours that we spend sifting through our ‘news feeds’ and ‘timelines’ and really shows just how much social media has become a part of our day to day lives.
The reason I have chosen ‘digital identities’ as my topic for the visual essay is because this an area that I feel relates to me most. As an avid social media user myself, I can see just how much time I spend using these sites and how I have firmly integrated it into my day to day life. Every day without fail I will check my Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and others frequently throughout the day, simply just ‘to see what’s happening’ – which usually isn’t much. As a result of using these sites I have created an online identity.
The photo above has been my stimulus for this visual essay. After seeing this image it got me thinking about how we identify ourselves in different ways online depending which social media site we use. The modern day social networking sites have made it very easy to pick and choose what information we want displayed on our online profiles and therefore we can manipulate what others see, giving them an impression of who we are. As previously mention in Blogpost 3, LinkedIn is a popular networking site that allows you to create a professional profile and a ‘brand’ for potential employers. This is one form of online identity – the ‘professional one’. On the other hand however, if you look at someone’s Facebook profile for example, you could be viewing a completely different person as they showcase themselves in a different way therefore showing another identity – the ‘personal one’.
After looking at these two aspects, I have decided that the main focus for my visual essay will be the idea of multiple identities online. The aim is to explore how and why people create different identities using social networking sites and the effect it has on them outside the virtual world.
Hurst, P. (2013). Britons spend 62m hours a day on social media – that’s an average one hour for every adult and child, The Independent. Retrieved from: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/britons-spend-62m-hours-a-day-on-social-media–thats-an-average-one-hour-for-every-adult-and-child-8567437.html
Pettigrew, A. (2014). Blogpost 3: Online Identities. Retrieved from: https://ajp95x.wordpress.com/2014/10/27/blogpost-3/
Qualman, E. (2013). Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons Inc.