Recently, we, as digital generation, no wonder have a lot of different social media account as our own profile regardless real name or disguised. “Though my Instagram account is public, it isn’t meant for my family to see.”(Nicole, 2016). Social media, for instance, Facebook encourages us to become one personality with different type of relationship friends who we already know. Moreover, Facebook provides “Login with Facebook” API which we can easily create new account in different digital site such as Spotify, Vimeo as well as Instagram and so on, therefore our preference and interest things tend to be stripped off which become more visible. On the other hand, people tend to use different character/identities in different social media plat form, as Nicole does it in her life. From this point, I want to explore what different between before the digital era and now.
Before the emergence of social media platform such as blog, Facebook, Twitter, people didn’t have to create different identities on the digital platforms by themselves. However, people creates different identities in different situation in daily life which Goffman describes that we use “front-stage” and “back-stage” behavior. When people are in workplace, for example, individual tend to conform to standardized definition of the situation and of their individual role within it, so it’s type of social norm in our society and in order to engage with it, so we should conform it. (Buckingham, 2008 ) The norm of the image is used to be created by one-way medium such as TV, magazines, Radio, as well as society’s expectation how we should act. Moreover the atmosphere shape one’s identities where he/she belong to, what ideology they share in certain community or society.
On the other hand, created identities on the digital platform is more self expression and more active participation than the past development of identities. Interestingly, the digital identities are not created by others, it’s created by ourselves as danah boyd describes it “write themselves into being” (Buchingham, 2008). From the point, each platform encourages its user to create their identity/image as much as possible, however, the decision to use the different platforms are also our will in order to create ‘front-page’ identities to ‘back-stage’ identities on the digital platform. Therefore, the user can easily create own digital identities as fashion icon, however what the different between in the past of development identity and current one is that also back-stage identities are shaped by strangers with anonymous comment or some.
One of the important fact is that we no doubt have different identities in online digital platform which is not used to be exist. Therefore the technology expands our identities more broadly and it’s become common culture in digital generation. However, more important thing is that the process of shaping our identity is same as the past which I always follow social norm in community, even it is on anonymous community.
Adweek.com. (2016). 40 Websites Now Live with Facebook Connect. [online] Available at: http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/40-websites-now-live-with-facebook-connect/215437 [Accessed 30 Oct. 2016].
Buckingham, D. (2008). Youth, identity, and digital media. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
Nicole, L. (2016). Having multiple online identities is more normal than you think. [online] Engadget. Available at: https://www.engadget.com/2016/03/04/multiple-online-identities/ [Accessed 30 Oct. 2016].