The Self Online


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Lecture for #salfordpsych students considering the self online and their selves online. The importance of professionalism in digital times.

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  • This lecture is about how the rapid growth of online social networks and digital technologies impact upon the self. The lecture is divided into two parts – the first part explores how new media impacts upon the self and considers notions of the self in modern times. How is self and identity changing? What role does being online play? This leads into part two which is related to ourselves online as students of Psychology – who are we? What identity are we constructing for ourselves online? How can we use new media to our advantage by constructing professional online presences, building valuable networks for our future careers, and opening doors to new opportunities such as work experience, placements, and so on. About the lecture: Have you ever Googled yourself? If you have, perhaps the search returned an old Bebo or Myspace profile. Or perhaps you found your name and address on a database from the census. If you haven’t, give it a go before the lecture. Our self or identity online is more important than ever. We need to be aware of the information we disclose about ourselves online, who can access it, and how we present ourselves to others. According to recent research, if you have applied for a job or work experience recently, there’s a 65% chance your potential employer searched for you on Google and social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. If they did, would they like what they found?This lecture has three main aims:1) To explore what is happening to our identities as we put more of ourselves ‘out there’ online from a psychological viewpoint; 2) To identify the potential opportunities social media platforms offer to construct a professional identity online, increase our employability, find work experience and create new opportunities and collaborations to further our careers in Psychology.3) To raise awareness around online privacy and disclosure. 
  • Part 1: The Self OnlineTraditionally, psychology has identified and understood the self as an important part of our experience and understanding of the world. However ‘the self’ as we know it has not always held the same meanings as it does now in the 21st century. ‘Identity’ has become a focus for social psychological research in relation to the self, but Taylor (1989) argued that the idea of an identity was unthinkable in the 16th century. We just didn’t think of ourselves in that way as having an individual, unique ‘identity’ (in non-western cultures, people may also not think of themselves in this way too). Of course, people did identify themselves in one way shape or form (e.g. as part of a tribe or clan, religion) but not in the ways that people understand self and identity today. What identity and the self mean to us and for us is culturally and historically specific (Burr, 2003 – social constructionism) – what it means depends on the time and place.
  • The Self as inside you. The Self is contained within your body, and also the way you look to others e.g. tattoo above is projecting that person’s self/identity. This is opposed to “space” which is located outside of the body. When people say they understand the self like this they are reproducing the Cartesian conception where “self” is seem as thinking matter, and space is considered as an essential part of the external world. Space is therefore outside of the self. For more information see Hermans (2004) Introduction: The Dialogical Self in a Global and Digital Age
  • However, discursive psychologists and those that look at language as action-orientated see the self and identity as being out there in space too. Not just within the body. See people as constructing themselves in their everyday conversations with others. With the growth of digital technologies and with millions of people going online and creating profiles on facebook, twitter, linkedin, putting content on youtube, they are now constructing themselves in “space” much more than they would or could have in previous times gone by (traditional societies). Since the birth of social networking sites, do you think the self has become more complex? Given that we are constructing ourselves online with pictures/status updates/conversations/interactions? One aspect of this new digital world we are inhabiting is that it has changed and is changing rapidly….next slide.
  • For example, if the concept of identity as we know it today has been evolving post 16th century, then the rise of social networking sites since 1997 can be described as a drop in the ocean in human development and in terms of the history of communication. Figure 1 shows that social networking sites have been around for 15 years, and its not really until 2005/2006 that things really started to take off with widespread uptake of these networks. In 2012, estimated 845 million active users on Facebook. Having a facebook profile has become common place – if you don’t have one, you’re in the minority? At a disadvantage? Side issue, but related is how quickly the web has grown. Within 20 years there are over a trillion sites – need information, go straight to Google. How important the web is becoming for knowledge, information, study and so on. Figure 1 from Boyd, D., & Elison, N. (2007) Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship, J of Computer-Mediated Communication, 13(1), p. 210–230
  • So given the relatively short history of the internet and of social networking sites in comparison to how long identity and self as we know it have been evolving, can be argued we are currently in a period of adaptation. Some research into how SNS impact upon identity and self-presentation (how we present ourselves online), and between the on- and the off-line worlds. Yet to be seen what the greatest impact of this move to the self online will be. We are currently in a period of uncertainty about using social networks, blurring the boundaries between the professional and the personal identities we may hold. With anything relatively new, there are potential opportunities and challenges to work through. But are we in a constant period of adaptation?
  • On the one hand, are we talking about just another form of communication – Yes… For example – cave drawings to draw something, writing/storytelling Egyptian hieroglyphs to Facebook timeline of your biography (from birth to death?). Consuming information media through newspapers, moved onto consuming information/news through smart phones, the internet and social media networks.
  • On the other hand no…When before has the self been so out there, outside of the body (internal) and out into space (external)? Also, at the same time, identity has been argued as much more fluid and ever changing, a dynamic proces. Identity as dialogical and multivoiced (Hermans, 2004)However, not necessarily new, as evidence of dialogical selves found in more traditional societies too (pre industrial, modernised, technologised). Some social theorists such as Anthony Giddens (1991) proposed that we have greater agency (control/choice) over how to construct our selves in modern times…next slide.
  • We might not necessarily have choice, but still want to construct ourselves as choosing, deciding, in control of our own lives.
  • As the world has become more globalised, connected through infrastructure (e.g. internet, energy, water, resources, transport), more mobile (e.g. migration – of the 6.9million people in the world, 214 million were international migrants in 2010: UN, 2011), world is increasingly multi-cultural (e.g. exposed to so many different cultural influences). Giddens (1991) argued that we have more choice about how to construct ourselves. For example, take “place” as part of identity. Giddens (1991) argues that in ‘traditional’ societies, life was more localised and our identities were more connected and even determined by place (location). Today, he argues that the individual needs to decide or choose “What to do? How to act? Who to be?” (p. 70). He also argues that today we are more reflexive, basically that we consider who we are (our self, our identity) a lot more. We think about it lots!
  • If we have the choice to construct ourselves – can we construct ourselves in any which way we want? (No because bound by structure/society which limits who we can be). Would you chose to construct yourself like this? Or like this? (Students will probably say the second photo, although the point to stress is the intended audience, who are you constructing yourself for???? Friends/family or employers?)
  • Analyse these tweets discursively:What is motivating these people to write this – what is the purpose of their utterance? Who is it for? How does it tap into ideologies around what a student is? What do they want from putting this out there in the virtual space? (answer constructing themselves as ‘disgruntled’ student, audience possibly fellow students, this could even be in real time in the lecture).
  • How do these tweets differ from the last two examples?
  • Two high profile cases of students making racist remarks on twitter about footballers. One of which got a 56 day prison sentence.
  • Two University students who created a Nazi-drinking game, created a Facebook group. University that the students attended started investigation, high profile case.
  • Tweets that may seem innocent, but result in serious consequences. Period of adaptation – people are using social media and tech but unaware of their responsibilities, how accountable they are for what they say, can not say whatever you want online.
  • University of Salford Student Disciplinary Procedure which includes behaviour on social networking sites to emphasise the importance of using social media responsibly, safely, and respectfully.Be a good digital citizen!
  • Searching potential employees social media profiles increasingly more common. Encourage self-reflection – have you applied for a job recently or a work experience placement? What would they find about you? Could it impact on you getting an interview?
  • Use of social media is a hot topic in clinical psychology field right now as BPS come to grips with rapid changes to professionalism presented by increasing importance of social media. Do clinical psychologists and trainees have a right to use Facebook, Twitter? Also to consider is how SNS impact upon the client-therapist relationship. Debate do not use Social Media at all!! V use social media carefully and respectfully.
  • We follow the BPS ethical guidelines in our research, so in future, we may also follow the DCP guidance on use of social media (would be considered best practice), also importance of digital identity for aspiring clinical psychologists, might as well start following their guidance early if you see your future as a psychologist?However, issues are not specific to clinical psychology alone, relevant to everyone.
  • Public and private life used to be more separate. Online world provides opportunity for private and professional selves to merge. Example Facebook friends from school, new ones from university, different aspects of who you are all coming together in one space online. Papacharisssi suggests that online social networks are where we go now to construct and work out our identities. If you Facebook profile was hacked or “fraped” how would you feel? If Facebook shut down tomorrow how would you feel? Annoyed at lost pictures, not got people’s telephone numbers? We present our self to the world online (not everyone but the majority) – what does the future hold? E.g. “digital natives” children who are not even born yet have a digital presence (e.g. scan pictures uploaded to Facebook). Motivations for constructing identity and self online is networks – we are nothing alone! Goffman (1959) talks about the performing self – we have different roles for different imagined audiences (like acting in a play or film). E.g. walk onto campus take up the role of student. Performing for some audience all the time. Social networking sites have blurred things again as our networks continue to grow with multiple audiences as we move through life and experience different things (e.g. go on a gap year, gain gap year friends, add these to your network of friends) (e.g. get a graduate job, add friends to school friends) Talked about friends a lot up to now, as this is often where people start on their social networking journeys – on facebook connecting to people that they know. Network is more important than that – the importance of having a diverse network….
  • Everyone needs a network – need people to collaborate, to achieve, to do things with, to experience new things etc We are social animals. Getting on in career often about not what you know, but WHO! Who you know so important. You need a network of people that can help you get on in Psychology. Think of examples of how you’ve got a job – anyone recommended you?
  • If Laura knows Kim and Jade, then Kim and Jade are likely to know each other too (strong ties)If Laura needs a job, she can ask Kim and JadeGreater chance Laura will get new information from weak tiesAndy, a weak tie, knows lots of information Laura doesn’t knowThe greater social distance between Laura and Andy, the more new information is available to LauraLaura is more likely to get a new job via Andy
  • So weak ties are good. Interesting as at university students tend to form small groups of close friends (strong ties) and stick with who they know. Everybody on this course may not have some new information to offer you now, but in the future when they head out into the world of work, who knows how they might be able to help you, act as bridges??? Get connected with each other, but also with others that can help you! Social media offers plentiful opportunity to connect with others that you might be able to work with share information with in the future.
  • Video is of The Mad Violinist, most notable about this video is that the first minute contains racist tweets/interactions from others which he has included to emphasis that the “ugly people make him look better”. – turning the negative into a positive! Social media does not have to be ugly, look how great youtube is for the mad violinist…
  • Constructing yourself professionally online becoming more and more important – get ahead and sort out your social media profile so that when you come to apply for work experience places this summer (might be doing this already), your online presence is not only appropriate and spot on but helping you secure that work.
  • Applying for work is changing – most of you will head to Google to search for jobs, opportunities. Don’t look in the paper anymore. Do you think employers do the same thing? They need to fill a post, lets go online and search for suitable people? Head-hunting! If you have an online profile, more chance of this happening. What is happening is recruitment is changing – CV as dead but not dying, being reborn online as a linked in account (talk about later).
  • The Self as dynamic and fluid – you are innovating yourself at the moment with your new role as psychology undergraduate/aspiring clinical psychologist/Take this opportunity – make it count and construct a professional identity online to get on in Psychology! Never too early to start thinking about your career, never too early to start working out which direction you are going in and using online networks to help you along.
  • Other similar products in the marketplaceJC
  • Other similar products in the marketplaceJC
  • Twitter/LinkedIn/GooglePlus – professional Facebook – where you’ve often started, personal/familyBlogging (not covering much today but blogging about your experiences aims ambitions can help you develop writing skills, exposure to conversation/interaction with others, make sense of what you are learning, self-reflect). All sorts of new media that you can be creative with
  • Google yourself – what do you findTry name (Jenna Condie), common name try your name & location (Jenna Condie Salford).
  • 9 ways students can boost their careers - It’s Not the Same2. Power in Connections3. It Can Help You Find a Job4. Learning Is Still Good for You5. You Can’t Hide Behind the Curtain6. It’s Not Just About You7. Strut Your Stuff8. You Will Get the Once-over9. What You Do Now Will Pay Off Later
  • Lots and lots of Psychologists tweeting the most up to date relevant information and opportunities in Psychology not only in UK but across the world. Connect with people, offers you the opportunity to interact with them, ask them questions, can’t get hold of someones paper, Twitter means you can ask anyone anything as barriers are down (unlike Facebook).
  • Examples to emphasisewhats being shared on twitter.
  • Stories about how people have used twitter for their careers
  • Step by step guide book for those new to twitter.
  • Guide book for Academic/Researchers but still useful and relevant as students are essentially academics!
  • Linkedin – Heard of it? Yes/No? First social network to go public and float on the stock market. 150 million plus (less than Facebook but worth more because this is business!) Increasingly important to day-to-day business workings.
  • Go onto my linkedin profile and have a look – what does this say about me? How might it benefit me? How could I improve my profile? Students are increasingly using this network to find work experience and opportunities, develop portfolio, build a valuable network – amazed at who you might find. Go on linkedin and s
  • How you could use network?Groups – Psychology students network! Search for jobs - volunteer
  • Already using Facebook to network which is great (providing you remember what your responsibilities are about what can be said online, and that administrators of groups are aware of their responsibilities too in terms of moderation). Need to go beyond strong ties, need some weak ties too! Twitter and LinkedIn – whole new world of opportunity!!!!
  • Direct access to CEO/recruitment etc – find out about them before you ring them. Take the short cut linkedin offers!
  • Networking exampleTahiraMajothi is a careers advisor at UoS. Benefits of connecting with Tahira – knowledgeable on job seeking, career development, events, shares opportunities, she knows people! Benefits for Tahira connecting with you – gets a better understanding of student need, gets to know students and suggest them for any opportunities, what might you be doing in 10 years time? Might be you who has the opportunities for psych students then! Important point here is that networking is reciprocal – don’t use people!
  • Reciprocal – bring something to the table – what do you have to offer? Need to work this out and get going on this to start quality projects that will give you something extra when you get to applying for graduate jobs. You need to think outside the box and develop that invaluable network.
  • One last thing – need an email signature to create professional image of yourself.
  • Aim of lecture to consider the self online, and our selves online. Not going away so might as well use social media to its full potential for our careers and personal development too.
  • The Self Online

    1. 1. The Self Online#salfordpsychJenna CondieUniversity of Salford 1
    2. 2.,_by_Leonardo_da_Vinci,_from_C2RMF_retouched.jpg 2 unthinkable in the an identity was (Taylor, 1989) 16th century The idea of
    3. 3. Where is The Self? “When you ask people to localize their self, they will point to their body and tell you that it is somewhere inside.” (Hermans, 2004, p. 298) 3Image Creative Commons Licence
    4. 4. The Self in the Digital Age 4
    5. 5. TheVery ShortHistory of SocialNetworking SitesIn 1991, there was onlyone web page. Today,there are over a trillion(Barabási, 2011). 5
    6. 6. constantWe are in a period of adaptation < Challenges Opportunities 6
    7. 7. Just another form of communication? Yes… 7Images Creative Commons Licence Peter80 Podknox Roebot zoetnet jennacondie
    8. 8. & No… Dialogical Fluid Constructing ourselves out there in spaceMultivoiced Agency 8
    9. 9. Constructing identities“The choosing, deciding, shapinghuman being who aspires to be Image Creative Commons Licence AhmadHammoudthe author of his or her own life,the creator of an individualidentity” as “the centralcharacter of our time”(Beck & Beck-Gernsheim, 2001, p 22–23) 9
    10. 10. Postmodern identities Globalisation Connected Mobility Migration MulticulturalWe have more choice, we are more reflexive(Giddens, 1991) 10 Image Creative Commons Licence DonkeyHotey
    11. 11. Choice This? Or This? 11Images Creative Commons Licence JamieHogue CECAR - Climate and Ecosystems Change Adaptation R
    12. 12. This? 12
    13. 13. Or this? 13
    14. 14. What you say matters 14
    15. 15. What you do matters 15
    16. 16. Different interpretationsTweet: “Free this week, for quick gossip/prepbefore I go and destroy America” = Deported from the US when landedTweet: "Crap! Robin Hood airport is closed. Youvegot a week and a bit to get your shit togetherotherwise Im blowing the airport sky high!!” = Arrested, trial, fined £3600 16
    17. 17. UoS Student Disciplinary Procedure2. Misconduct“ii) that it otherwise damages the University or itsreputation, whether this takes place on campus or offcampus.”“In particular, the following are indicative examples of whatshall constitute misconduct, whether occurring on Universitypremises or elsewhere including in the virtual environmentof social networking or other websites”“iv)violent, indecent, disorderly, threatening, intimidating, defamatory, derogatory, or otherwise inappropriate behaviourofor 2011/2012 Excerpts from Page 2 of Student Disciplinary Procedure , University Salford 17”
    18. 18. 65% Of employers will look at potential employee’s online presence prior to interview Images Creative Commons Licence Gideon Burton How would they interpret you? How do others in your networks interpret you? How are you constructing yourself online?Bailey et al., (2011) 18
    19. 19. Are you an aspiring clinical psychologist? McKenzie & Fawns (2011) • Avoid posting information on SNS due to the potential risk to their perceived professionalism. Coiffait, Bartlett, Condie, & Houghton (forthcoming) • Should not be deprived of the benefits offered by social media and suggest ways to manage online presence to enjoy the benefits and minimise issues that may affect professional roles 19In Clinical Psychology Forum – Publication of the BPS Division of Clinical Psychology
    20. 20. Watch out for:DCP Guidance on the Use of Social Media for Clinical Psychologists DCP website: 20
    21. 21. Take Control of your Digital Identity Use your research skills and research privacy settings of the networks you are on. Keep checking!Link: 21privacy-guide/
    22. 22. The Networked Self (Papacharissi, 2011) Image Creative Commons Licence Eric Fischer• Self-identity in public and private life merge online• Online social networks are where we negotiate identity and self presentation.• Performing self (Goffman, 1959) – who are your imagined audiences?• Social networking sites as a stage for interaction, linking us with multiple audiences.Link: 22Identity,%20Community%20and%20Culture%20on%20Social%20Network%20Sites%20%5B2011%5D.pdf
    23. 23. It’s not what you know, but who!“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family: Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.” Jane Howard 23
    24. 24. The strength of weak ties - Mark Granovetter (1973) Andy Laura Kim Jade 24
    25. 25. The strength of weak ties - Mark Granovetter (1973) • Weak ties work as bridges between social groups • People who are bridges may appear socially isolated (floaters?) • Yet having weak ties with two or more groups = very early access to new information 25
    26. 26. 5 min Break Image Creative Commons Licence Tim . SimpsonLink: 26
    27. 27. Part 2 of today’s lecture:Constructing a Professional Self Onlineto get on in Psychology Image Creative Commons Licence DonkeyHotey 27
    28. 28. The CV as dying but not deadFrom paper To webpageImage Creative Commons Licence bmakrinik 28
    29. 29. Innovative Self• New roles = opportunity to innovate yourself• You recently acquired a new role as a…• Construct your professional online self to: – Create & find opportunities e.g. work experience – Build an invaluable network – Gain confidence and self-reflect – Develop your area of expertise – Demonstrate your understanding of Psychology – Share, collaborate and innovate! 29
    30. 30. Positioning Professionalthe platforms Private Public Personal 30
    31. 31. ProfessionalPrivate Public Personal 31
    32. 32. Your social media “Shop Windows” ? ? ? ? ?? ?? ?? ? 32
    33. 33. Are you Googleable? Check! ? 33 Image Creative Commons Licence Gideon Burton
    34. 34. 9 ways students can use social media to boost their careers 1. It’s Not the Same 2. Power in Connections 3. It Can Help You Find a Job 4. Learning Is Still Good for You 5. You Can’t Hide Behind the Curtain 6. It’s Not Just About You 7. Strut Your Stuff 8. You Will Get the Once-over 9. What You Do Now Will Pay Off Later 34Link:
    35. 35. Twitter = opportunities 35Link:
    36. 36. Information &Opportunities… 36
    37. 37. Twitter Stories Knowledge Opportunities Sharing Enterprise Careers Information Ideas Learning Events Support Networking People power Collaboration 37Link:
    38. 38. Twitter Step by StepLink: 38
    39. 39. LSE guide to Twitter: Academics/ Researchers but still useful 39Link:
    40. 40. The professional network!You’ll probably be on this network in the future….so why wait? 40
    41. 41. 41
    42. 42. Groups Something for Summer? 42
    43. 43. NetworkingMany of you are already networking online with each otherImportant to expand your networks for new opportunities 43
    44. 44. Social Media – A way in!“The economy doesnt look so bad if you skip the job ads and speak directly to the CEO”. Nicole Gravagna, a Molecular Biologist on LinkedIn DIRECT! 44
    45. 45. Networking Example Who is Tahira Majothi? Benefits of connecting with Tahira?Benefits for Tahira connecting with you? 45
    46. 46. Reciprocal Relationships “…successful networking and developing professional relationships should be reciprocal – it’s all about give and take. You need to be offering up something too whether it’s suggesting an event that might be of interest to someone, or bringing a potential collaboration to life. The more people you are developing successful relationships with, the more good quality work you have to do” (REDS, 2011, p. 2)Link: 46
    47. 47. Not to forget: Email Signature! Fictional person! I made this up! 47
    48. 48. The Self Online#salfordpsychJenna CondieUniversity of Salford 48