Saturday, 24 March 2012

America On-line.

Today there are many different digital identities available to Americans; from Twitter, to Facebook, to MySpace, as well as various blogs and forums. As well as being a way for people to show who they are, these forms of digital media also allows for millions of people to communicate and stay in contact with one another, which is a part of the human identity. It is a quick way to transmit and receive information; this is particularly made event by the fact that news outlets have twitter and Facebook accounts so people can “follow” or “friend” them in order to keep up with the latest happening.

Digital identities such as Facebook and Twitter tell us that in the future, identity will be important in America because so many people are a part of it, and when you first set up your accounts you’re asked to provide some detail about yourself. As well as this, after you’ve created your accounts, there are way to add your interests and to follow certain people and activities that you’re interested in. It also shows that identity will become more important because it allows people to belong to a wider community of people and allows people to reach others they would not necessarily have the means of reaching.

However, digital identities also show that the future of identity in America will not necessarily be important because people can manufacture who they want to be, and in some cases it doesn’t particularly matter who you are, just as long as you have an account on a website like Facebook or Twitter.

These digital identities also raise the question as to whether everyone is the same online. On the one hand, people are not the same online as they are in real life. This difference in persona sometimes leads to things such as cyber-bullying whereby people have the courage to say things to others online which they would not say face-to-face. This is similar to an online phrase, trolling, which is when online personas leave often nasty and vicious messages meant to hurt, humiliate and in some cases kill people. Therefore it can be argued that Facebook and Twitter allow people to reinvent themselves online as bullies.

However on the other hand people do use digital identities in order to create new positive identities for themselves. A prominent example of this is YouTube, which allows people to express themselves to a wider audience; in some cases these people become internationally famous. For example Justin Bieber, Tiffany Alvord and other young people. It’s easier to create new identities on outlets such as Twitter, which promotes anonymity, making it more discreet and impersonal, unlike outlets like Facebook where you upload pictures and openly like certain things. An anonymous person tweeted: "Facebook is where you lie to your friends. Twitter it where you're honest with complete strangers", and I think this epitomizes the differences between the various digital identities.

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