Constructing Online Identity

From Cyborg Anthropology
Jump to: navigation, search


Identity in general, actively constructing how people see you via putting together a profile – you can put together a false identity through this.

How do we communicate when we don’t have nonverbal communication and tone of voice?

How do we come together in groups? Group blogs and forums (moderated and otherwise) specifically. How can individuals disrupt this group? Trolling specifically, and how the option on anonymity affects how we communicate.

Being valid or legitimate online, accountability, being “real.” How looking for similar qualities or shared past experiences (locations, people, etc) creates new Locality, sometimes reconstructs previous geographically based social networks. Seeking out our Tribe.

Human Subjects Committee not allowing for a lot of research online

Intent behind each profile, keeping social groups apart from each other as a form of filtering/fracturing identity. But there are also people who simply filter all the time and present the same across all profiles and spaces

When you know who your audience tends to be, you cater to them.

Using tech to connect real life people rather than relying on “friends diving” or FaceBook suggestions – salmonbots and organic chat client

Real life consequences – using online social networks to locate people who have done things in offline space, and then taking offline repercussions

How do we communicate differently online versus face to face?

Media preferences requested directly after political and religious affiliations, how we communicate in these contexts

Listing interests affecting how we communicate, seeping into face to face interactions; positive feelings about a listed thing versus listing things you feel negatively about

People cultivating a cult of personality about themselves, these becoming more than that individual can handle


00-:20 quick intro

00:20 to 1:04 six identities when two people are communicating: each person as they see themselves, as the other person sees them, and as they really are

1:04 when filling out an online profile it’s how you see yourself, not the other two

1:35 on presenting someone you’re not

2:25 how this plays into gender, presenting as you see yourself

2:26 everybody’s queer on the internet, not necessarily transgender

3:37 putting energy into becoming a persona. Grant Morrison talked about writing King Mob as someone he wanted to become, and by putting so much energy into it did so

4:27 not always a clean slate, because you have a structure imposed upon you by the social network, when they ask for what, etc. conforms to a certain architecture

5:04 why do people want to create identities online? Socialization, escape from Real World, etc. Good and bad reasons for creating these identities

5:55 Getting emotion across via online mediums; the way people “talk” showing how legitimate they are

6:51 Real World versus online communication, how you change the way you talk depending on medium, who you communicate best with depending on how similar their communication styles are across mediums. Graphic designers and typographers as communicating well online through grammar, punctuation, bold, etc

8:11 punctuation

8:37 common language, relating to people due to programs they use, visuals; this also builds on your identity

9:21 visuals outside language determining how you express your format; target audience determining which identity you put forward; what happens when people look at you across networks? What if you’re not the same across from them?

10:24 forums you use dictating how you communicate; group blogs versus individual blogs. What about group identity?

11:23 Group personality; no individual gets to dictate what happens but many people contributing to one personality, the personality changes at first and then stabilizes as they figure out what that personality is. Different aspects of one personality through many contributing to the personality.

12:50 difference between group blog and group-moderated forums?

12:58 forum would allow for a new comer to create a disruption due to malintent or just naivety; changing the group and becoming a part of the personality or just destroying it or gets kicked out; group blog is more of a membership where anyone can read, but only the personality can post – much more stable

14:26 expostulation versus “hey new stuff”, getting closer to a collective

15:22 disruption through accidentally stepping on toes or bringing something new to the table which can be cool, or just for the sake of disruption

15:46 trolling and anonymous identities affecting how we interact; we’re assholes when we can be faceless; responding differently to the same comment from someone they know versus someone anonymous versus someone you can check out via profiles and such

17:03 “punch in the face factor”; consequences; no punishment, just change your IP address and create a new profile; getting an ego based on not being checked, people who don’t know the difference

18:39 link to actualities

19:14 wedding crashing, if you don’t know anyone you get to make up your identity in real life; making up an identity that’s “better”, what can you get away with; all you have is a history online. How valid are they?

20:22 you can always check someone’s web presence

20:35 don’t want agreement with ideals, just want someone who is tangible; someone who is real

21:05 forums that require a previous web presence for joining

21:24 debate instead of arguing

21:45 authenticity, but also proximity to the speaker. How close are you to the person speaking? Who is this person? Do they know who I know, because that gives them more legitimacy.

22:24 some place to connect, something in relation

23:01 knowing someone they know makes you real; something to grab onto, point of commonality; base level to build on

23:32 checking of validity based on what people are referencing: do they know the specifics or just pulling shit out the ass?

24:15 the idea of locality not necessarily being geographic any more; where you come from determining how you relate to people, what and how you talk

25:02 global system we’re still just looking for people who are “hanging out next door”; want the tribe, the little group of people

25:34 door fixing, cristobat joins us

26:48 video on social networking; HSC approval; scraping social networks for info

27:26 HSC and the Internet

27:45 art project! E-mail networks; reconstructing meat space online

28:28 popularity contest happening past high school due to online social networks

28:42 competition in colleges/meat space encouraging individuality versus collective form

30:08 law school, enforced curve, not playing nice, no collaborative learning; how that translates with those individuals onto their social networks: it’s about making connections with those at your level or higher for future favor calling

30:45 profile to filter people, but bots never listen; lost train of thought

31:33 what are you using the social networks for? Connecting to friends or PR? Using it for my benefit or social benefit?

32:36 the people that use it for different purposes section off from each other; presenting different aspects of personality; not just for PR, what/why people are interested in you

33:35 who is reading your entries? Do I fragment my personality for readership? How does this relate to meeting people in real life?

34:39 people creating several different identities across mediums in order to have interactions with others for reasons of deception or reasons of filtering for who is reading (family knows about one account, kink friends about another, etc)

35:44 cross over between those accounts, people saying “take me as I am”

36:12 not necessarily about fracturing identity but about filtering just like you would anyway

36:32 what about work?

36:52 showcasing different aspects of personality in different forums seems to be the general trend. What about someone like Libby, who presents the same and clearly links between her points across different sites? Do people treat her differently based on what forum she’s in despite being the same in each?

37:27 main post is to everybody: boss, mother, stalker, ex boyfriend, etc; goofiness and flirting comes out in comments, tailored to the individual; accessible because on so many different networks, also using real name, place, visuals, etc; also censors offline and in general rather than creating a different profile/persona to express that aspect of personality; honest and positive, don’t use friends filters

40:11 going back to the 6 people, you keep two of your three huddled in a corner malnourished so you’re just working on one identity

40:46 not even intentionally creating a personality sometimes, realizing who is out there and building based on what you think they want to hear

41:25 when you know your readership and the people that tend toward that social network, it shapes how you interact with them (also because of how it is structured). What about people with their own home page? How do people present there

42:24 more professional, you have one thing you’re promoting

42:57 actual geography plays into what social network you use; MySpace in New Orleans, Seattle is FaceBook

43:29 if we could do the work the social networking sites do for us, we would

43:42 salmon bot connecting two actual (confused) people; neat idea but most of the time people get pissed off because they think the person they’ve just been connected to is the bot

46:25 organic chat client, connecting people actively instead of counting on friends-diving; different from FaceBook suggesting friends based on if you know the same people (reconstructing “real life” networks)

48:01 finding people for real life incidents online and then taking real life action

49:59 people taking real life action based on how people treat them online

50:44 anonymity is not something new, you’ve been able to send anonymous letters [afterthought: but you haven’t had an audience for you anonymity before, with anonymous letters. It’s almost a sport now]

50:59 people act differently when you’re face to face versus if they’re behind a computer

51:50 you get more ego from people online because you’re not having a conversation necessarily, you’re just posting and postulating; people have to read everything you’ve written before it’s their turn, and then you can ignore them

52:36 chat rooms versus forum posting

53:03 meeting someone in real life allows you to know more about them in a short time versus reading all of their posted information, profiles, etc and talking with them online and still not having an idea of who they really are; because we don’t have the real life connect we present a lot of informational tidbits to try to have that personality constructed

53:52 you can interject in real life conversation, get an impression of people based on speaking style, body language, etc

54:36 sarcasm not coming across online

55:05 media preferences asked about after religious views

55:28 next to our political and religious views goes our movie and music preferences, to a lot of people the latter are more important

56:02 politics and religion almost are media entertainment due to how they are presented; you affiliate with things because they’re entertaining and convenient instead of due to conviction

56:30 how people relate on politics versus how they relate on movies

57:00 use cultural context to make sure people are authentic

57:16 politics and religion as taboo in a lot of online space; people are unwilling to change political opinions so you have to find something else to talk about, like media preferences

58:07 seeing what people relate to via their listed media preferences

58:29 discussion points through media

58:54 have something to relate on so you can have discussion about where you disagree

59:04 whereas with politics you just have these guys and those guys and that’s it

59:17 people know media preferences are subjective

59:44 how is asking for media interests affecting conversation? LJ just asks for general interests, ease of adding other people’s interests to yours,

1:00:30 giving you a paintbrush, but when you list general ideas it’s too abstract to have a conversation about, have to be more specific to instigate discussion; mass media listing encourages people to be more specific; need a common thread to start any conversation

1:03:46 you’re asked what you do like, not what you don’t like; you’re told a lot about people by what they don’t say

1:04:38 supposed to connect over what’s positive and then as you get to know people you can bitch with them; it’s easier to agree with people than to stand up against them

1:05:29 the identity put out there is only one side

1:05:48 “you put your ones before your zeros”

1:05:58 people interacting in person as if they’re reading off a social networking site; people who are socially awkward using it as guidance

1:09:27 people listing off interests, but I want to know what you care about; name dropping a certain number of products and places and such; want interaction, not listing stuff

1:12:30 example of the person just listing interests being very methodical in how they interacted, being for blogging

1:13:23 human bot

1:13:43 insecurities dictating how you interact

1:15:25 people cultivating a cult of personality about themselves; our constructs become more than we can handle or keep up with, especially difficult if you’re not being completely honest, not self-sustaining

1:17:36 encouraging people to think about themselves, figuring out who they are, how they want to portray themselves; being honest about themselves because they want the relationships that come out of the interactions to be real

1:18:23 wrapping up (place was actually close to closing so we didn’t start back up)

See Also

H+ Elbow