I found the Managing Impressions Online article very interesting, especially since my generation has grown up with this whole concept of having on online identity. We grew up with the evolution of social media sites, and the introduction of online dating sites. I remember how I used to communicate and present myself on MySpace, and how different it is from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. I find it very interesting that because the Internet gives us free expression and some form of anonymity, we are able to present ourselves in a different light than in the real world. The author sums up this idea by saying that online personas, “…convey an impression to others which it is in his interests to convey’’. Since we have control over our online identities, we are able to manipulate them in a way that shows the aspects of ourselves we want other people to say, and silence the things we don’t want others to see. As a result, many people tend to have two different identities: a real world identity and an online identity.
This seems to be more apparent with teenagers and adolescents, because they are much more concerned with their social status and social power more so than adults are. I remember when I first got onto MySpace and Facebook, I tried to represent myself as something better than I was. I posted pictures that put me in a good light; that I lived a cool and exciting life. I posted status’s that were meant to make me look smart, sophisticated, funny, etc. I outlined only the positive things about me in my About Me’s, and so forth. I imagine that most people do the same thing in High School. My brother is around that age now and I know that he does the same thing.
It’s crazy how interconnected we all are to the Internet and to social media, that we can actually meet people online. I’ve met many people through Facebook that I had never met previously in the real world. It has become so integrated and engrained in our daily lives that that is not really stigmatized anymore. I used to think that meeting people online, either via social media sites or dating sites/apps was weird, but after seeing just how many people do it, I’ve began to realize that virtually everyone has tried or experimented with online dating/interacting at some point in time. it is what our society has evolved into. Dating sites/apps essentially use gamification of real life interactions between people. They make it fun and interactive for the user. It’s exciting. People don’t always use dating sites or apps to actually meet people, but because it is fun, or helps improve their self-esteem.