Me, Myself and I and I and I.

ALC203 Portfolio Part 1

In a generation where it’s plausible that we judge someone in an instant and ‘swipe left or right’ as to whether we like what we see or not it’s crucial that we are selling our best selves.  Our online profiles have become a point of judgement before we even met a person face to face. We create a representation of a person in our heads of what that person might be like just by viewing what content they post or share and how they carry themselves online. People begin to fall under stereotypes or labels based solely on their online activity, we may be impressed by the professionalism of their work and profile or disheartened by the vanity of serial ‘selfie’ poster.

I’ve always seen myself as lurker with regards to my online identity. For those that aren’t aware of the term, a ‘lurker’ is a member of an online community who doesn’t actively participate. I see myself constantly absorbing the ever growing smorgasbord of online content, however rarely do I see myself interacting with like-minded peers who are engaging with the very content that I endlessly consume.

Unfortunately for me our online persona(s) are becoming a much larger part of our physical identities. With people unable to go an hour without checking social media and even some making an extortionate living off of their online personas. As most are completing their transcendence I’ve begun to feel as if I’m falling behind. As I am beginning to play catch up I am aware more than ever of the shifts in personality we take when presenting ourselves on different platforms. I believe it’s possible to categorise these personas into three groups: Personal (Social), Professional and Creative.
I’ve created the below infographic to demonstrate what platforms we may use to express or ‘sell’ each of these personas.

Photo 4-04-2016 2 16 29 pm
‘Brand Me’ Created using SimpleMind+

This is a clear representation of some possible platforms that we might use to build the brand that is ‘us’. I have or continue to use these platforms. Given my current situation and surroundings, over the upcoming months I intend to continue building my creative and professional online presence in an attempt to ‘build a brand’ that would interest potential employers once I finish my degree. How I present myself on these platforms will ultimately reflect the way I chose to portray myself, what I want people to think of myself, not necessarily who I am.

‘Performance of the self was a conscious act of the individual and required careful staging to maintain the self’ (Marshall, 2010)

Click here for a Prezi presentation on the steps I will be taking to build the brand that is ‘me’

Although I see myself as fairly transparent, as ‘online culture[s] encourage “transparency” and open sharing of personal details online,’ (Liebler, R, & Chaney, K 2014) their are aspects of myself that I would chose to hide from employers. Such as my Facebook, Reddit and Steam accounts as they portray the more casual side of me. Contrasted with my more professional accounts, such as About.me, LinkedIn and my wordpress blog. Twitter forms a melting pot for all three of these personas. It’s an environment where it is suitable to showcase my Professional, Creative and Personal (Social) sides.

Although discussing a life role playing game that intends to increase a user’s productivity, this reflects the professional side of my twitter account. I am interacting with professionals regarding a related topic, as this was a comment I replied with.

This tweet is me promoting a movie review I posted on my ‘whiskylewis‘ blog, the same blog that this is posted on. It highlights creative aspect of my online personas.

Here I’m tweeting a political opinion, although for some politics would fall under the category of Professional but given the course I’m studying and my interests this tweet is more like a rant and therefore would be deemed Personal.

As previously mentioned I tend to ‘lurk’, rarely am I contributing to any one online community. My most recent Instagram post was from July last year. I use Instagram as a means of sourcing inspiration as I follow a lot of my favourite designers and illustrators on the platform. This is a community that I intend on becoming more active in, as last year I only uploaded a couple of my photographs and one illustration. This year, nothing. Instagram is a great platform to have linked to other Professional accounts as it can showcase snapshots of the work I am and can produce.

View this post on Instagram

Tokyo from 350m up

A post shared by Lewis Price (@lewisprice21) on

The account in which I would most actively be contributing is my pinterest account, in which I create boards for my own use and projects. Just by ‘pinning’ a collection of images I’ve began to build a persona on the site. There is no about me section or text at all apart from the titles of my boards and caption of the works I ‘pin’, but that is enough to piece together an identity.  It shows what I’m interested in, what style and works interest me and what I could possibly be working on.

So far this style of online interactivity has worked for me, as I have been able to engage in the content I chose and source material for assignments or design projects. I’ve managed to go about this with minimal engagement with others and to date this has proven successful, but as I dwell on it it seems that I have previously missed opportunities. In my last field of study I missed out on the enrichment of sharing my work and vocally sourcing material with peers where I would/could have been offered new insight, critic or methods of approach that I could have greatly benefited from.

(Word count excluding citations and captions, 915)

My Broader Online Activity and Engagement

This unit has driven me to consider my online identity and how I am presenting myself to a target audience. Since attending my first class I’ve began to construct an online portfolio, showcasing some of my design work from personal projects and previous courses. Although nowhere near complete it’s beginning to highlight my career and serves as a showcase for employers. I’ve also created an About.me and LinkIn for the same reason.
I’ve engaged in polls and questions which unfortunately leave no online footprint.
I’ve used my twitter account to advertise my blog and share content with other ALC203 students as well as ask questions.

Feature Image – ‘split personality’ by mathijs van spankeren,
https://www.flickr.com/photos/thijsvanspankeren/12578036904/.
Licensed CC BY 2.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0.

References

Deresiewicz, W. (2011). The Entrepreneurial Generation. [online] Nytimes.com.
Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/13/opinion/sunday/the-entrepreneurial-generation.html?_r=0 [Accessed 12 Apr. 2016].

Poletti, A, & Rak, J (eds) (2014), Wisconsin Studies in Autobiography : Identity Technologies : Constructing the Self Online, University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, US. [11 April 2016].

Kleppinger, C, & Cain, J (2015), ‘Personal Digital Branding as a Professional Asset in the Digital Age’, American Journal Of Pharmaceutical Education, 79, 6, pp. 1-4 4p, CINAHL Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 14 April 2016.

Jan M. A. de Vries, (2010), Impact of Self-Descriptions and Photographs on Mediated Dating Interest, Marriage & Family Review
Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01494929.2010.543038 [Accessed 12 Apr. 2016].

Liebler, R, & Chaney, K 2014, ‘Here We Are Now, Entertain Us: Defining the Line Between Personal and Professional Context on Social Media’, Pace Law Review, vol. 35, no. 1, pp. 398-545.

Marshall, PD 2010, ‘The promotion and presentation of the self: celebrity as marker of presentational media’, Celebrity Studies, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 35-48

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