Transformation of Identities in the Mediated Landscape of the Network Society

Ali Simsek 1 *, Eylem Simsek 2

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Abstract

Emerging communication technologies have changed both individuals and societies dramatically. With the diffusion of digital technologies in daily life, all users have been forced to create new identities for themselves. Thus, everybody had an additional self in virtual worlds. The users started to communicate with others through their self-made identities proving that technology started to shape our lives. Sometimes this new identity has reflected the real self of individuals while some other times it has been created with no actual reference to the realities of its holders in the physical world. However, one thing is clear: Most users of virtual environments have developed multiple identities and these identities have inherently transformed who they really are. Considering that the contemporary society is an increasingly network society, human beings try to accommodate their social needs through interaction with companions in the mediated environments whom they often don’t know at all. Technology plays a mediating role in this sense among people who are temporary companions but actual strangers to each other. Moreover, people think that if they can accommodate their social needs through the net characters, whether they are real or not, then they ask themselves: “Can we escape from humans who demand intimacy and find risk-free virtual buddies?” The search in this regard has even prolonged to sensitive robots as social partners. This paper discusses how this inner transformation of identity has occurred and what the future holds for communication in the mediated landscape of the network society.

Keywords

Virtual identity; Network society; Digital technologies; Mediated landscape; Social media; Computer mediated communication

License

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Article Type: Research Article

Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp. 136-153

Published Online: 15 Oct 2014

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Article Downloads: 99

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