Krystal South’s blog Identify Yourself was an interesting read. She covers a wide range of topics concerning the Internet, but the part I found most interesting was her description of the creation of our “internet selves.” She describes how the Internet is not only a part of our human identities, but also allows us to make new identities that live in the space online.
When I read her description of internet selves, I began to think about how our current generation spends an enormous amount of time creating virtual selves via social media. “We feel phantom vibrations in our pockets or as we drift off to sleep at night. We hear an alert and we all check our devices to see who got the message. The sounds are ubiquitous and we allow them to interrupt our most private moments. We are always connected, always listening, always watching for the next piece of feedback that brings us back into the loop of our virtual selves.” This quote perfectly describes how our generation is constantly tuned in to social media. But by being attached to our phones and computers we are linking ourselves with our internet selves. We depend on this constant connection with the internet to control how our internet selves interact with everyone else. Our human and internet selves are very distinct but also linked. It is almost as if our internet and real selves are in competition: our internet selves invade our real selves with constant notifications and updates, but our real life commitments keep us from our internet selves.
In a way, our internet selves have a life of their own. South writes, “we project our Internet presence outward, with no specific relationship to the activity we are physically engaged in.” As we go about our days, our internet selves continue to interact with the rest of the internet and are available for anyone else online to see. In a sense, there is no longer a separation between our real lives and life online, they are both alive and constantly interacting with each other.