I feel like it’s almost a known fact that we all possess different personas; like when we are with our partners, with our friends, in a professional environment, or with our family. Online we also have a different, or many different personas.
A shift has occurred, however, that means instead of having our online persona as representational (a way of showing everyone who we are), they are now presentational (a work of art, where we can present ourselves as we like). Online, we trade our personal information for access. We fill in details in order to be included.
However media nowadays is not mass media, we are not catered to as a whole. Instead media is “massified” by all the individuals. We decide what is ‘trendy’ and what platforms are used, while still personalising them ourselves. What we share is interpersonal – we have so many ways of directly communicating with each other. We can reply to tweets, we can retweet, we can share Facebook posts and directly reply to statuses, we can even directly message each other!
What we do create, the parts of our persona we create, are not just characterised but details we fill in. Our personas are characterised by what we like, share, tweet, follow. And they are all internetworked (or mostly). Now we can connect our Twitter, to our Facebook, to our Instagram, etc.
Even online we have different personas too, we have a Mediated one (used to comment on news articles, or when someone has a baby and it’s relatively formal), a public one (think your Facebook posts and Instagram photos), and a performative one (one that shows how great we are, what we are like towards our bosses and coaches for example). Altogether, we have a collective profile that is all of these combined.
So I guess on one side of the coin it’s kinda scary, that we are portrayed as whatever we like online – if you don’t believe this watch Catfish please. But then, really, when I think about it, all parts of our lives we have different personas. I mean like so what that online there’s just another one? If it isn’t hurting anyone, and it’s just how we wish we were, who really cares? Please, let me know in the comments below!
P.S. To finish off, here’s a vid to show just how different our personas online can be…