Identity has no one definition; the ways we form our identities are unique, therefore so are each one of us.
A person’s identity is defined by several self concepts such as physical, psychological, and social attributes which are influenced by digital culture.
Digital culture allows us to develop interpersonal identities which can be broken down into three elements:
Identification: where we create an association for ourselves into different social groups
Categorization: where we label ourselves and others into distinct identifiable categories
Comparison: where we compare ourselves and groups with other people and groups
Social influences such as peer pressure or socialization change an individual’s self perception and therefore change their identity. As was the case with Jessica:
Today’s digital culture however also allows for the fragmentation of identities as is common in creation of avatars in online social networking sites.
Online activities allow a user to create multiple identities with which they can express parts of themselves, or even create idealized identities, that they cannot show or experience in the real world.
Examples of this are the cases of Sara and Jessica in the Frontline report where Sara is able to bond with others over the common goal of thinness in her battle with anorexia, whereas Jessica creates an ideal image of Autumn Edows which transforms her from her current social reject position to a Goth model and artist.
Part 3 – Self Expression, Trying on New Identities http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/video/flv/generic.html?s=frol02p4e&continuous=1
Western society is now also characterized by the constant exposure to media and surveillance. Due to this fact, it is no surprise that a new mental ailment has also arisen called the “Truman Syndrome” .
People have become so immersed in today’s pop culture that a new delusion has appeared in which people think that they lives are secretly being portrayed on a reality TV show.
It has become increasingly difficult to separate reality from make believe. As a result, this way of thinking has become ingrained into our definitions of ourselves; as was the case with the “Truman Syndrome”.
As we become more and more exposed to today’s digital culture, our definitions of ourselves will undoubtedly change and conform to what society has prescribed for us to be.
This digital nature however allows these cultural identities to be spread faster, and further than ever before, challenging old identities and creating new ones…