Social creature by nature, humans have been, since the dawn of tongue, perfecting the forms of communication. Through these new developments we have also as a result formed new identities; from the polite well presented telephone speaking voice to the online presence as a whole.
Human kind has and always will continue to develop the next best thing especially if it involves adapting something that already love to a shinier, faster, more elegant version. This is exactly what we’ve done with our identities online.
Our online presence is no longer a hobby or past time. It is now alive, growing and changing as we do. It needs to be fed daily, petted, washed and pampered, and most importantly its social life.
Through the analysis of Arto in “Understanding Social Networking”, Larsen is able to convey the way in which identity is built, although discussed in a more positive light than I would have liked, Larsen still identifies that youngsters have the ability to ’find’ their identity no only through them selves but also with others. This viewpoint is not something I completely agree with however. Larsen describes the process of manipulating an online identity though positive feedback to be … positive. It would be if we lived in a perfect world, however this site has turned what could be a positive identity construction zone into a fake, directed show. The users of this site are the perfect example of a utopian dystopian online world. Fueling the fire of attainable perfection, molding youngsters into sheep, with little opinion focused solely on being the ‘nicest’ person.
The internet allows users to have a new identity. Through these identities we can change who we are, face little consequence or backlash. The internet in some forms can offer an outlet for individuals struggling to find an identity or even help with those who cannot cope with one they don’t seem to fit.
The progression of the avatar has allowed users to connect with people like themselves around the world without as many barriers as we once had.
The study by Koda, Ishida , Rehm and Andre’ “Avatar culture: cross-culture evaluations of avatar facial expressions” found that there are cultural differences in interpreting avatar expressions. This suggests that even the online identities we create are still highly influenced by our surroundings, so much so that a distinct difference can be seen between Japanese avatars and those of Western origin.
Andre’, E. Ishida, T. Koda, T, Rehm M. 2009 “Avatar culture: cross-culture evaluations of avatar facial expressions” Springer-Verlag London Limited,!st July
Larsen, M. 2008 “Understanding Social Networking” Aalborg University, Denmark.