Some Thoughts on Identity

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Running behind on practically everything these days, so forgive the length (or lack thereof) of this post. It was inspired by something @JustStormy posted on Twitter and Facebook in response to something that had happened to @micala. What @JustStormy said was this:

What would you do if you deleted part of yourself accidentally and could not recover it?

You see, on Sunday, @micala had tried to delete one of her "extra" Twitter accounts, but instead, mistakenly deleted the @micala account. This was her main account--the one with all the followers, the one with nearly 17,000 tweets, and the one with which she engaged a lot of her social network. And now it was gone. All the history, the followers, the ones she followed. Just gone. 

In response, I think @JustStormy's question is a good one. As we put more of our lives online, is it not somewhat like deleting part of your identity--part of the self--if some of that disappears? To me, one of the things that social media does is amplify--your network, your friends, your voice, your very presence. Those of us highly involved in social media have gotten used to this new noise level. In fact, I think this amplification is one of the reasons folks who are not involved often find it somewhat confusing, if not a bit strident at first. When we are used to the amplification, and then it is suddenly silent even in a part of our network, it's jarring. Much as what might happen if you walked out of a rock concert into relative silence. 

And the question remains: what does this all mean for our identity? Our sense of self?

1 Comment

What would I do? I'd probably be shocked at first and then amazed by the freedom from the attachment that I had to the 'self.' As long as you can remember that it's a transient 'self' I think the online aspects of our lives are okay. When you define yourself by a digital life (and trust me, I've been there) is when it become problematic.

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