Thursday, 27 March 2014

Digital Identities

There are many different digital identities available today; some are restrained than others whereas some reveal a persons personality extremely easily and effectively.

Facebook, for example, is one of the identities that is more restrained in that it now mainly consists of photos and does not reveal much about a persons identity, only what they have been doing. Although, there have been many incidents of 'catfishing' (based on the documentary), where people pretend to be somebody that they are not and therefore create a completely different identity than that of their own, or perhaps it is the identity that they wish they had.

Twitter is similar to Facebook in its ways of communication because it restrains a persons identity more than Tumblr, for example, but reveals it more than Facebook does. Twitter is very clever because it is a medium that allows a person to voice their thoughts and opinions as they would do in real life and are also able to connect with strangers from all over the world. This does not happen as much on Facebook, primarily because it is easier to find other people on Twitter. This move forward shows how the future of communication is based on the virtual world and that good friendships can be forged. (I know many people that have friends on Twitter that they have never actually met in real life.)

Tumblr is the most useful when trying to understand a persons identity or personality because it is such an open and non-judgemental space. Reblogging pictures, quotes and thoughts is the basis of Tumblr but it simply reveals so much about a person. Through Tumblr, communication with strangers is encouraged and because of this, a focus is placed more on the 'freedom of speech', therefore making a person feel that they can voice their thoughts and things that they perhaps cant say in the non-virtual world, with an emphasis again, on connecting with unknown people from all over the world. There are countless stories of couples that have met through Tumblr and this seems to be an extremely good way of communicating and meeting others. I believe that this is the most effective portrayal of identities because through Tumblr you can see into a persons real thoughts and perhaps the things that they are not brave enough to say, showing that this is not a changeable form of 'identity', but a persons real identity and indeed, their personality. As each user has to have a name, it is as if it creates the unrestrained alter ego that you wish you could be in real life.

Tumblr has a userbase of nearly 178 million blogs, showing that it is incredibly popular and what I believe to be the way forward. The way that is focuses on freedom and not having to hide allows you to communicate with others similar and with the same interests as you, creating an instantaneous link. Whereas Facebook is beginning to die out now, Tumblr is still on the rise and I think spaces that allow you to be your real self are the ones that are creating the most effective form of identity and are the future, telling us that Americans don't want to have to hide behind a socially acceptable identity anymore, but want to be able to be themselves and show that identity, proving that it is not in fact creating an identity that is important, but being able to show the one that you already have.


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