E. Mitchell Church and Ravi Thambusamy’s study on personal information deception (PID) suggest that people can proactively depict oneself in a way differing from reality on online social networks (OSN). They discovered that one of the causes for this other persona some social media users create is because of interpersonal competition, and the desire to be seen as a “winner” and not a “loser”.
We talked about whether or not OSNs would be considered a “reality” if everyone is deceiving each other by leaving out details of their life that would portray them as a “loser”. So, is social media real or not? Aaron’s post mentioned that on social media we are all crafting a version of ourselves in order to be liked and validated, much like how we change ourselves in real life. We also mentioned in class that we change according to different discourses – we talk in a certain way to our friends, another way to our grandparents, and so on. In all situations we try to validate ourselves as a person and conform to what is around us, which, like Aaron’s post mentioned, is expressed in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. So why is social media any different?
Of course, it can become very unhealthy to try to look like the Kardashians and dislike yourself when you cannot achieve your desired look. But I believe that if you look at your profile as a craft or creation, there can be power in it. I have seen people use their social media platform as a way to promote positivity to others, build confidence in themselves, and just share their love for certain subjects. Like we say in class, it all depends. We change in every discourse and try to be liked no matter what, so if we shift that tendency towards the positive end, it may be empowering to post a selfie every now and then.