The Splintering of Identity & The Online Narratives

The Splintering Of Identity & The Online Narratives

Lately I have been interested in online identities. As citizens of the digital world, we inhabit this space through an array of social platforms. This raises the question, “How do different social networks shape one’s online identity?” Some social networks lend themselves to certain behavior. What we do on LinkedIn vs. on Facebook is different than what we say on Twitter vs. Google+. The infrastructure these social networks are built upon have been differentiated for market reasons but have also inadvertently changed the way the user uses the network. What he or she says or responds to can vary depending on the site. With each social network’s constraints and freedoms, the canvas for expression is different. These differences lend themselves to certain actions, ideologies, and conversations.

With each social network profile one has, one has a different narrative and thus a different identity. Some networks, whether on the actual site or through their social graphs, make it easier to share links or engage in conversation. As we know, links are the soul of the Internet. Each link we share and each comment we provide carries its own ideology. By sharing these links we are aligning our online identities to these ideologies regardless if we agree or disagree with the content. The online narratives recorded are saved as a permanent document. This recorded phenomenon is different than what we are used to in the physical world.

Essentially what I want to get at is the idea of online identity management. We all have numerous online identities which are constantly splintering with each new niche part of the Internet we inhabit. The Internet, in my opinion, not only has helped push forward globalization but it has also helped put up new boundaries; new distinctions that help showcase our differences. Regardless if these differences are negative or positive, there is an active splintering of identities and the creation of distinct narratives online.


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