Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Online Identity

Dear Ms. Baym,

When thinking about how individuals present themselves online different mental images are always drawn. We've all seen it or heard stories; the photoshop horrors, the stud online nerd in real life, or the "Chris Hansen". Online identity is an interesting subject because people choose to represent themselves online a certain way in order to attract a certain audience. Dating sites for example, people upload the pictures of themselves that they think will be most attractive to potential mates. People highlight parts of their personality that are "the most interesting." Rather than presenting your full self, your real self, the self that will be experienced in face to face communication people will alter the way they appear online in order to make the greatest impression.

It's extremely easy to make yourself seem more interesting online. You can choose the picture that makes you look the best, you can say you like the most popular bands, and say that you frequent the most exclusive clubs on the weekends. But a lot of times that isn't the truth, or it isn't the whole truth. In the reading it says "pressures to highlight one's attributes are experienced in tandem with the need to present one's true (or authentic) self to others," I think it is strange that some people are afraid to present who they really are online. You think you want to attract a certain crowd through the use of social media and dating sites. The crowd that you attract will soon get to know the real you in the physical, so I always wondered why not present the real from the start. If you are more willing to be yourself in the digital world, the people you attract will be the same type of people that are expecting you to behave that way in face to face interaction.


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