Who am I? Virtual space as a laboratory for the construction of self
In our era of internet and social networking, individual identity is pushed
further and further into obscurity. One of the culprits is digital image cultivation,
which allows us to present ourselves to the world just the way we would
like be seen, and makes it easy to smooth over the idiosyncrasies and flaws
we possess as human beings. It's all about the image, while the identity
behind it subtly changes. The individual turns into a farce.
Psychology defines identity as an integral unity experienced by an indivdual,
the basic self-image of who we are, who we believe to be. It contains the
entirety of our being, our deepest core values and our mission in life.
So while identity is a product of what we want and wish for, image is a
representation of how we wish to be perceived outwardly.
What does this mean for us as we become part of digital networks?
Are we really turning into mockeries of ourselves as soon as we hold multiple
digital identities? Are we losing parts of our personality in the process?
What is the upside of moving through cyberspace as split personalities, and
does the definition of identity even retain its validity in this space?
What we need is to answer these questions.