Seeking Your True Self in the Virtual World

1394 WordsAug 24, 20086 Pages
The question of identity has always been a central theme for many, in particular the youth. Today, as we enter a new age of Internet technology, the quest for defining oneself has shifted online. While many, especially the younger generation, embrace the liberation that digital communities offer, others are apprehensive of the dangers that lurk in the virtual world. The anxiety is not entirely unjustified. Nevertheless, the truth is the benefits that accompany online communities far outweigh its drawbacks. According to Daniel Chandler, author of “Identities under Construction”, and Danah Boyd, an American researcher known for her works on social network sites, online tools such as personal home page and MySpace are efficacious instruments…show more content…
The misrepresentation and manipulation of one’s identity is an ongoing concern for many. Chandler cites that some critics are alarmed by the excessive manipulation of public identities. In support, Boyd bought up the issue of staged imagery not truly representative of one’s behaviors. Despite the fact that the vast majority of online users tend to portray a polished self representation by ridding the undesirable aspects, there are some others that are utterly unpretentious. They frequently include details in their Web pages that are not glamorizing, but are what they felt necessary to paint a more genuine picture of themselves. There are still some who constructed online identities not for the pursuit of self-definition, but for others to come to terms with a side of themselves that they have difficulty disclosing face to face. Chandler presents two examples in which two gay personal home page authors use their website to inform others about their homosexuality. One of them, Rob, mentioned that people can consider his side of the story before reacting (Chandler, 2004). Staying Connected One reason why so many people are fascinated with online communities is the ability to socialize not only with immediate circle of friends, but with a much broader secondary network of peers and people with a shared interest. In addition, tools such as MySpace provide them the capacity to be constantly connected to their

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