We may argue that this is the same today, and in some respects it is, but with the rapid standardization of browsers, the decline of homepages, the progress of mobile networking, and success of a few number of social networking platforms there can be no doubt that over the last decade our network has significantly changed our interactions and therefore personal identities.
Instead, today in the electric age as foretold by Marshall Mc Luhan, we mostly get lost in one another’s information because “electrically contracted, the globe is no more than a village” in which we are “eager to have things and people declare their beings totally.” But it is clear that this “declaration of being” may be less about a deep faith in the “ultimate harmony of all being,” and something closer to narcissism, voyeurism, and/or the most blatant example of the commoditization of one’s own identity.
No longer content to be members of specialized forums and bulletin boards, users opted instead for global citizenship featuring profile environments –the WWW’s version of a passport, or ID.
It is accepted practice that we are to monitor our daily digital interactions as if our life depended on it, and indeed, often it does.
We are full-time public relations agents representing ourselves.
I remember a time when the Internet of the ‘90s was filled with various spaces of sociality, catering to specialized categories and celebrities, likes and dislikes, somewhat chaotic and inundated with an overuse of graphics and early animation –it was a space to get lost in.
Users created and maintained identities with meaningful usernames and chat handles, or pseudonyms.