The Internet has changed the way we live and communicate with one another. Social media is appreciated because it possesses the ability to connect people even if they may be millions of miles away. We are so attracted to the idea of social media because here we have the ability to control our individual identities and interactions. I use social media sites for the purpose of connecting and staying in touch with my friends and relatives. Online communication is popular because it is appreciated for the “silence of connection”. In the article “Cyberspace and Identity” Sherry Turkle argues that we are comforted by having the ability to communicate with so many people and that to with such ease. We have the opportunity to communicate with one another at a distance we can control, which is why social is media is so attractive to us. This is something I really like about social media sites. I am able to connect to people when I choose while still being in the comfort of my own home. In the TED Blog Sherry Turkle refers to this as the “Goldilocks effect”. She refers to this as having the desire to be with each of but at the same time apart.
Whether or not one tries to change themselves in an online environment, one can never be completely different than their true selves. Online members have the ability to modify their personal persona; however can we really modify our true selves without adding some of our actual personalities? With our increasing dependence on technology it seems that having an identity in the cyber world is becoming a growing phenomenon. With this comes the challenge of balancing our public persona and our private persona in relation to its privacy implications. Consenting members of the online community we have the ability to choose how much we want to divulge. Sherry Turkle in a New York Times article writes that “Texting and e-mail and posting let us present the self we want to be. This means we can edit.” This is one of the main reasons I feel the online membership is so active. With these technologies we have the ability to control our persona. The keyword here is control, being in control is characterized with power which is a personal need that each human being desires. The fact that we posses this control, we feel important and the personal desire to be in control is in part fulfilled.
As of right now I use Facebook, Instragram, Email, and Pinterest. Facebook is obviously the most well-known and popular social media website. Although there are many surveillance and security issues associated with social media network I have still chosen to use it. I have become more aware of online privacy over the last couple of years thanks to the government who has made efforts to educate citizens about the dangerous of the cyber world. I do knowledge the issues and concerns involved with online participation and for that reason I am much more cautious about interacting online. The reason I feel comfortable using Facebook is because I have the ability to balance and control my public persona. I can choose to share what I want therefore have the ability to choose what private information I want to make public. Facebook has different features available that make it easier to balance the public, private and personal information. Only my cover photo, name and education is made visible to the public. And only my friends on Facebook can view my photos, status updates and posts. When I need to contact someone privately I usually send them an inbox message which only they are able to view. Because Facebook offers its users the ability to control public, private and personal information, makes it such a popular networking site.
Turkle, S. (1999). Cyberspace and identity. Contemporary Sociology. 28(6). 643-648. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org.proxy.library.brocku.ca/stable/pdfplus/2655534.pdf?acceptTC=true
Turkle, S. (2012). Places we don’t want to go. TED. Retrieved from http://blog.ted.com/2012/03/01/places-we-dont-want-to-go-sherry-turkle-at-ted2012/
Cyberspace and Identity Sherry Turkle Contemporary Sociology Vol. 28, No. 6 (Nov., 1999), pp. 643-648