This is a topic anyone involved in today’s tech can relate to. Spanning the time from when Instagram first launched, it has been interesting to see how people get involved. Different people sign up and integrate their personalities into their online life in various ways. Some just post memes and ecards, while some mostly post selfies. Aesthetics have become a major theme of online presence. Many people have become “famous” and accrued hundreds of thousands and sometimes millions of followers. As described in the text: “In networked environments that blend private and public boundaries, like SNS’s, personal photographs can traverse a multiplicity of audiences, to which these photographic narratives are of variable coherence and relevance” (Papacharissi 256). For example, people may get involved in SNS’s to share their personal workouts they may use to train others(a professional aspect of one’s life) to their friends and family(a personal aspect of their life). In this case they would be accumulating professional and personal followers. By way of SNS’s, people will see the ‘liked’ posts and more and more followers will accumulate. Going forward the process multiplies upon itself making it possible for one individual to gain clout without much effort.
To carry the theme forward we can reference this quote: “online environments offer individuals an increased ability to control their self-presentation, and therefore greater opportunities to engage in misrepresentation” (Heino 419). In the case of personal fitness training, people post pictures and videos of themselves exercising. This may be a personal hobby that may be shared only with people that have similar characteristics. Some people manipulate a Facebook profile to be what they really want to be.
On Facebook, anyone can start a profile or fan page and make it whatever they want. Someone that does this may be representing himself or herself as a person they actually want to be. Serving a purpose such as this would be great for someone that needs a way to express him or herself that is not face-to-face. Misrepresentation is something that people should be aware of. In this example, it may not be too big of an issue. The idea behind a fitness Facebook or Instagram page is to inspire and motivate, and perhaps some people really shouldn’t be themselves when trying to do these things. The trouble for these people is speaking to people if/when they meet face-to-face. Can people that are misrepresenting themselves online present themselves in person? They may look the same as they do in their pictures and videos, but can they do the same exercises and are they who they’ve made themselves out to be? Regardless, this is an aspect of the Internet that exists and one must use common sense as well as do their due diligence when working within the binds of the web.
Oh no, is someone else misrepresenting online?