HSS8121 – Research Proposal – The Blurry Middle

The concept of self has been heavily influenced by consumer technology over the past decade or so. I have been interested in this blurry middle between the person we perceive ourself to be online and the person we are in the real and the undefined space between our multiple selves for while due to my continued personal investigation into alter ego and the common stereotype and assumption that comes with a character.

However, increasingly it has become the unquestioned norm to assume a version of yourself that exists solely online through means of social media/gamer profiles etc. Leading to a disconnection from reality in terms of the awareness of ourselves and the¬†awareness and empathy of others. We seem to be living in times of ¬†‘online disinhibition’ meaning the lack of restraint one feels when communicating online in comparison to communicating face-to-face, the Internet acting as a mask that makes it harder to perceive other users as people with feelings due to a lack of facial interaction.

The spectrum of human emotion has been simplified down to a set of emojis as a way of expressing ourselves, hashtags, memes and other internet devices are what is raising awareness and keeping us informed about what is going on in the world.

The proposed project hopes to take a critical look at the concepts of digital identity and personas and the culture of urgent self-expression on social media and comment threads, cynicisms in the public conscious. polarized opinion and disillusionment with media.

 

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