the internet is who you are

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    Jan 23, 2013 7:59 PM GMT
    ...according to a nooz story that I was just reading.

    "Over the next 10 years, people will increasingly shape their view of themselves and their position in the world using their interactions on Facebook, online games, and other social media, rather than traditional identity-shaping features, such as religion, job, ethnicity, and age, according to a report released by the Government Office for Science's Foresight program of the United Kingdom."

    It is called "The Future of Identity." Although I have not had time yet to read the report, it is an interesting concept. Albeit, it is not exactly a new idea. We are making our own tribes.

    A couple of related, if trivial odd experiences recently seemed to be related to this in some way. Maybe to illustrate how ephemeral and vulnerable these sorts of "identities" might be.

    1. I was going to delete my "facebook" account the other day (we could bitch about that all day, but that's a different thread). Then I realized that there are a number of organizations and even businesses with which I need to occasionally interact that have no identity outside of facebook. If you want to talk to them, you must have a facebook account. It would be trivial for them to have their own regular web sites, but they choose to restrict their web presence to the facebook ecosystem. I find this very strange.

    2. For better or for worse, "" rebooted their web presence yesterday. This included eliminating their system of "chat rooms." Not earthshaking, but I realized that there are a few "acquaintances" of several years standing with whom I'll probably never chat again. It's as if "the village" was just destroyed in a tsunami, with no advance warning. Odd that we put ourselves in that position.

    How invested are you in your web tribes? What would happen if one of them was simply "turned off" tomorrow?
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    Jan 23, 2013 9:35 PM GMT
    Before putting the internet on automatic payments, I'd frequently let it get turned off purposely for a few days at a time.

    RJ is the only social media site I'm active on anymore (still have a modelmayhem account, but never use it). I prefer outdoor activities. RJ is just an evening hangout when I'm tired from being outside all day.
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    Jan 23, 2013 10:21 PM GMT
    So, their gonna invent Christianity based videogames? Maybe invent a halodeck? But wait, I have control over how I define myself, by the choices I make.
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    Jan 24, 2013 1:37 AM GMT
    Well, it's not quite about wasting time on the internet. It's about using social media to develop and define an identity. (Again, I have not yet read through the whole topic report. I've got about six others to read and two to write today icon_razz.gif )

    1. Fifty or a hundred years ago, you might have been born a Roman Catholic Coal Miner. Simply because of when and where you were born. You would spend your life doing A, B, and C, and you would think X, Y, and Z, because that is what Roman Catholic coal miners do and think. If you tried to branch out and do your own thing or have your own thoughts, the rest of the community would steer you back into the fold. The government can assume that everyone in your town does A,B, and C and thinks X, Y, and Z.

    2. Now, for example, you might browse the internet and happen upon, oh, I don't know, let us say "a group of athletic homosexual men." Or whatever. If this seems like an interesting group that you might want to be a part of, you might hang out there and learn what sorts of activities that athletic homosexual men take part in, and the sorts of things that they think about. You might start doing and thinking some of those things.

    The hypothesis is (I think) that through interacting with this group on the internet, even though you might work in a coal mine and go to mass, working out and doing things with gay guys might become more important to you than that. You might be more likely to vote and shop the way the internet group does, than the way other people in your town or your job do.
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    Jan 24, 2013 5:33 AM GMT
    ^ reminds me of choosing your friends instead of having to be forced with people around you. It seems like a more natural way to self-actualize.

    It's an interesting concept. There are definitely people who I've played games with who consider themselves gods because of the number of hours they've played a game, or how much currency they've gained. It makes what they have to say more important, and it puts them above regular social laws like Don't Be Mean To Others. The same sort of happens here with people with several thousand posts to noobs (and any forum).

    But on the other hand, online, other traits of a person's personality shine where they wouldn't in the real world. A quiet person would get to speak their mind with equal volume to the loud if it's online. People get tested in online in different ways to in person, and the results are a legitimate reflection of a part of their identity.

    Lots of traits get hidden via the Internet's ability to only show what you want to show. People can be 90% fake in their online persona, and will delude themselves if they adapt this as their identity.