Comment on Thoughts 1/16 (Prompt 1) by Howard Rheingold

This is Michelle, right? If you click around (or search for the solution) you can change the name attached to your posts from “Admin” to your name (I did that myself, last week).

You are exploring a big issue. Go with your exploration in the awareness that we’re going to take this up when we spend a week reading, then a week talking about “Identity and Presentation of Self.” I could suggest a lot — look in the recommended readings for that session — but an ancient master’s thesis (2001!) is still a good place to start: FACETED ID/ENTITY: Managing representation in a digital world by danah boyd. I mentioned “context collapse” in class — one force that social media has enabled and which strongly influences some of our social presentation. This idea of curated self-representation you raise is as deep as it is relevant. We’ll talk about the work of Erving Goffman, which precedes the Internet, and many social scientists have been approaching these questions from different angles. I’m interested in your reflections, Michelle, because obviously this is something that you’ve been thinking about.