Monday, April 2, 2012

New Us?

Dear Baym,

I liked some of the points that you brought up chapter 5, New Relationships New Selves.

You say that basically having online personas are breaking down barriers that allow us meet and start relations with people that we would otherwise never meet and we our selves would open up more because we feel safer due to anonymity. All of this means that online relationships are different than what we know. 

"We are used to assessing people and doing much of the work of getting closer through nonverbal signals. We often size people up and  decide whether or not to talk to them based on how they look...Once a relationship has begun, nonverbal cues are important in its development." (103)

In digital media we use emoticons, uppercase, and punctuation marks. To me it is amazing that we have developed ways not to replace nonverbal communication but as something similar for the online context. 

Furthermore I think it is great that digital media allows one to explore the various identities one has currently or would like to. I think this allows people to get to know their selves better without worrying about other people's judgement, creates "disembodied identities." I think this is great because we are never just one thing, our persona changes depending on context/company. This doesn't make that we make fake personas online it just means that we only put part of ourselves out there, and yes as you brought up sometimes we lie a little to enhance our selves, but all of us do it. 

Finally I think the fact that today more than ever we have less of a say of who we are online because of of our relations to other people. They put stuff up about us or related to us that might not portray us truthfully, how we might like to be looked at, or just extremely negatively and harmful. 


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