YouTube link: https://youtu.be/lXp33rav940
In the above YouTube video, I have simply recorded myself wearing three different masks and creating a specific ‘sign’ with my hands- the thumbs up represents Facebook, the heart represents Tumblr and the hashtag represents Twitter.
This is my way of representing the variety of ‘personas’ an individual can create on a wide spread of social media platforms; and how different each persona is when compared to each other and compared to the true identity of the individual. When we go online, we have created a ‘persona’ for ourselves- and that persona can be whatever we want it to be, if nobody knows the true ‘us’ we’ll tend to act differently to the real ‘us’ so people can accept the persona we have created. Whether it be through filtered photos on Instagram or carefully thought out tweets on Twitter, our true personality will not fully be shown when on the internet.
A persona is the centre of all posts, tweets, comments and photos- everyone sees who the persona is and what the persona does, not the person behind it all.
Along with this, the creation of a persona is easy while the maintenance of one is very delicate. An example of this is the ‘racist tweet’ incident with Justine Sacco and the Twitter trend ‘#hasJustinelandedyet’. Justine made a tweet before getting onto a plane heading to Cape Town, Africa and the tweet reads as follows:
‘Going to Africa.
Hope I don’t get AIDS! Just kidding.
It’s no big surprise there was an uproar from the Twitter community, sparking the hashtag trend that lasted until Justine finally arrived in Africa eleven hours later. Any persona Justine had previously was instantaneously overlooked because of this one comment and she received many negative commenting and targeting from the public- this even resulted in her losing her job.
The persona is the most vital part behind all online presences- some personas on Twitter are not even human, or nicknamed ‘Twitterbots’, but people still follow what they say and do because it is ‘interesting’, ‘amusing’ or simply just a ‘part of a trend’.
We’re never truly ourselves on the internet.
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