The fast-paced evolution and progress of the internet and the development of the technology to ease the access to it has transformed the current society. Yet for better or for worse?
What I always found fascinating is the possibility to absolutely reinvent yourself on the web. The anonymity, although somewhat limited, which the internet offers, allows a person to be at least two different people at the same time, say, calm and reserved in real life, and charming and humorous online. Yet which self is the true self? Did we actually manage to shift our lives online, turning back to reality just to complete the tasks which we must do?
According to Baym (2013), most people feel that they can express their true self better on the web. This gets you thinking: why are we so afraid to be ourselves in reality within our small social circle, yet we can be our truest selves when engaging with a wide multinational network of complete strangers. Is it the aforementioned anonymity? And yet, can the online persona of ours be considered a real self, if it’s merely a simulation?
As of now, approx. 2.13 billion people are on social media (Statista, 2016). These numbers are not too surprising having in mind the ubiquity of the internet and the fast development of means of access to it. And, apparently, the comfort we find in expressing ourselves, making connections and taking part in this multinational phenomenon which is the web.
What do you think? Which self is the true self?