As we live in the times of globalization and ubiquitous presence of the digital technologies and social media platforms, people tend to use the networks not only as the tools of communication and rapid information-sharing that triggers the establishment of the social bonds but also as the means that facilitate the personal self-reflection and self-expression. As social media expands, it becomes a new reality, shaping the phenomenon that pertains to the cultural and social domains (Berthon, Pitt, Plangger, & Shapiro, 2012, pp.263-265).
Regarding the online identity of my own, I can assume that it can be characterized by the particular features as the strive to self-representation, as with the help of the visual artwork and posts that are shared by me on Twitter I contribute to the creation of my own image and shape way my personality is envisioned by other people. I can express myself in various forms as I can follow different people and this activity is visible the users of Twitter, and therefore these tendencies affect the representation of my online identity in the digital space. Judging from the occupations and main interests of the people I follow, it is possible to understand the areas of my expertise, identify my aspirations and desires, as well as establish the particular interests and hobbies that bring me satisfaction. To exemplify this statement, I can analyze that the predominant majority of the people I follow on Twitter are concerned with the marketing and communications field, some of them being creative content producers, digital media lecturers, entrepreneurs, feminist academics, and cultural theorists. All of these areas of expertise are in the direct correlation with my interests, as I tend to demonstrate active participation in the studies of marketing and digital media.
The shared posts also define the nature of my online identity, as it is possible to understand my preferences and likes judging from the core issues reflected in the posted content that is also accompanied by my own commentaries and reflections on the respective topics. For example, if someone scrolls my Twitter account, this person would understand that I am interested in international politics as well, as a lot of my reposts are dedicated to the policies enforced by Donald Trump and his commentaries on such pressing issues as globalization. Also, a big share of my reposts is focused on the technological innovations and the digital media security as it can be seen from the repost on the issue of fake news that appear on Facebook.
The cultural issues comprise the particular milestone of my interests as well, as a vast number of my reposts are related to such topics as global cultural homogenization and its connection to cultural heterogenization, cultural imperialism, and the differences between old and new media. The issue of globalization is in the main focus of my reposts that are concerned with the cultural domain.
Regarding the visual self-representation, for every online user it is utterly indispensable to share the images that will facilitate the stronger bonds between the audience of the blog or social media platform and the owner of the page. As Chua & Chang (2016, p.194) note, the context of beauty is a key force of the emerging narrations of the self-presentation and peer comparison on social media. As a result of this particular relationship, Internet users are likely to have a strong desire to eliminate the existing gap between their self-beliefs and the perceived peer standards of beauty by posting images of themselves that are widely referred to as selfies. The extensive posting of selfies can be a sign of the particular misperception of one’s own image, and these images can be used as a tool for boosting one’s confidence. When it comes to my own profile, I can state that the amount of the posted content that refers to the visual self-representation is not big, as my Twitter contains only a couple of posts that contain my personal images. Therefore, it is possible to claim that I use my Twitter account as the means of information-sharing and the expression of my inner self, not concentrating on the external traits and characteristics. However, some of my personal pictures can also give my followers a hint on my inner features, as the one that is attached below that reveals that I love experiments and visual effects that facilitate the multiplicity of my own image as it is perceived by the followers, stepping back from conventionality.
The biggest share of my Twitter posts is dedicated to such games as Sims and Pokemon Go. This fact can refer to my strive to transcend the boundaries of the usual existence and the aspiration to explore the alternative reality. Also, it can be interpreted as the proof of my creativity and the desire to enforce my managerial skills and to explore the concept of the organizational leadership.
Therefore, my Twitter account reveals that people can express themselves in various forms. The concept of the online identity epitomizes the essence of the multidimensionality of self-representation. By utilizing such means as intertextuality, putting allusions, and incorporating multi-referencing, my Twitter profile is the real integration of my preferences and aspirations, reflecting the major areas of my interest be demonstrating cultural and social phenomena that are the points of my concern. Goneos-Malka, Grobler, & Strasheim (2013, pp.130-135) speak about such features as “fragmentation, de-differentiation, hyper-reality, chronology, pastiche, anti-foundationalism, and pluralism” that contribute to the postmodernist views on the social media platforms. All of these features are reflected on my Twitter account, as it is rather fragmented, containing the images and posts that create the sense of hyper-reality, at the same time demonstrating the pluralism of my interests and the particular anti-foundationalism as it contains some articles that reflect on the controversial issues pertaining to social, cultural, and political domains.
Taking everything into consideration, my Twitter account is not only the means of sharing the most valuable moments of my day-to-day life with my friends and followers but also a tool of self-representation via the multiple sides of my online identity in this particular online setting. The overall construction of my online identity can be characterized from many perspectives, as its constituent parts are the people I follow, the nature of reposted content, and the information that is contained in the posts that were created by me personally, whether they reveal the visual representation of myself, or reflect my hobbies, interests, or affections, as the love for games and pets. With the help of my Twitter account, I will be able to establish social bonds with the communities and activists I am interested in. The individual narratives and intertextuality that allow putting references to the other users of this social media network or making allusions to certain phenomena can make me visible in the digital space and facilitate my interconnectivity with other people. The multiplicity of my self-representation ensures the broader area which can be a consolidating ground for my own online identity and the ones of others.
My broader ALC203-related online activity:
I have eventually felt fascinated about Media Studies since I was in Deakin College, regarding to unit ALC105. The journey that media shapes our thoughts about globalisation, media surveillance, convergence, trans-media, cultural conglomeration and so forth on my Twitter with hashtags. Moving on into the next level, as second year student of Deakin University, from the unit ALC203, I learn the ability to use my own social media accounts to build up my online identity through blogs such as About.me, Linkedin , and WordPress. The best part is learning how to use creative commons correctly due to copy rights (something I never know in the past), understand privacy versus freedom , the differences between online and offline personalities and what happens to your social media accounts if you die.
Berthon, P.R., Pitt, L.F., Plangger, K. and Shapiro, D., 2012. Marketing meets Web 2.0, social media, and creative consumers: Implications for international marketing strategy. Business horizons, 55(3), pp.261-271.
Chua, T.H.H. and Chang, L., 2016. Follow me and like my beautiful selfies: Singapore teenage girls’ engagement in self-presentation and peer comparison on social media. Computers in Human Behavior, 55, pp.190-197.
Goneos-Malka, A., Grobler, A., & Strasheim, A., 2013. Suggesting new communication tactics using digital media to optimise postmodern traits in marketing. Communication, 39(1), pp. 122-143.
Venngage. (2017). Infograph. Venngage. Retrieved from: https://infograph.venngage.com/p/238633/hubspot-lead-gen. Accessed 18 March 2017.