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Identity on the Web

Are we really who we portray ourselves to be on the internet?  How can we tell if the person that we claim to be on the internet are really ourselves? 

In class we have tried to determine if there is a such thing as a true self.  The idea of identity on the internet is a very complicated subject that many people have different opinions on.  Personally, I think that there is a slight part of a person's identity that can be displayed on a webpage/site.  Again, I say SLIGHT!!!  It is much easier for someone to falsely represent themselves as something they are not on the internet.  Face-to-face interaction makes lying more difficult.  In addition to that, you can only put so much about yourself into words.  "Homepages obviously offer readers none of the fleeting and situated particularity of face-to-face interactions, such as facial expressions, vocal cues, body language, etc.." (Chandler 4)  Unless someone comes face-to-face and has real interaction with you, they will never know who you truly are.

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On-Line Journaling

Does on-line journaling act as a stress reliever or catharsis?  What do we get out of logging on to on-line diary sites and reading another's personal information?  Why do we open ourselves up to the entire world?

On-line journaling has become quite the rage in recent times.  It first grew out of homepages and now one can create an on-line journal that is void of a homepage.  In class we discussed the pros and cons of on-line journaling.  Some people feel that it is a way of putting your feelings into words when dealing with a difficult situation if you usually have a hard time communicating.  "Many online diarist cite the desire to force themselves to become better communicators as a major reason for putting their diary online." (Firth 3)  Maybe we discuss our problems with the world in hopes that someone, somewhere can read it and have a change in their life.  Some people do on-line journaling because it's "cool".  They can get their points of view on a broad number of subjects out to a large mass of people in a small amount of time.  Talk about being efficient!  (Maybe McDonaldization is working...see suggested reading)  I used to think that on-line journaling was a waste of time.  After listening to my fellow classmates in CMST 3900, I am now kind of interested in it.  I can't say that I will start my own on-line journal, but I do think it's cool and I hope the trend doesn't end.

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Ecstasy of Communication

What is ecstasy of communication?  Who determines what should be public and/or private on the internet?  Why do we strip ourselves bare to be revealed to the world on the internet? 

Ecstasy of communication happens when the media exploits a person's life and strips them to their private souls to be displayed in a public setting.  With the new age of the internet, the ecstasy of communication is becoming more prevalent.  It is so easy to find pictures of autopsies and other private information about one's self and/or family.  I think that the ecstasy of communication greatly influences your identity on the web because some people are willing to strip themselves bare to complete strangers.  Not only do people put their "true" selves out there, but sometimes there is a "created" self that would otherwise be private that is made public.

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