A theory of unified online identity

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How are we to conceive of ourselves as selves on the Internet? Is there anything unique or special about the way in which we relate to ourselves in cyberspace?

one has online identity because one’s use of the computer-mediated technology forces one to self dentify to other Internet users and, reflexively, to oneself

while the Internet does not change our conception of self in any it can affect, expand, and alter the way in which we view ourselves

unified online identity is presented as an explanation of how cyberspace affects our notion of identity

Turkle : we see ourselves differently as we catch sight of our images in the mirror of the machine.the self as fragmented and non-autonomous( multiplicity of identities that can radically differ from each other and perhaps more importantly, differ from one’s RL self).the value our cyber identities have for increased self-knowledge ( the potential for new experiences brought about from multiple online identities, in which our RL self is largely invisible)// the Internet is suggestive of a decentered theory of self which ought to make us reconsider our very notion of our identities// no unity of the self // The Internet provides Turkle with the tools and means for explicating postmodern theory and an account of the decentered self.//

culture of calculation -- culture of simulation pcs transparent,macs opaque, linux()macintosh mystique, computer “a collection of on/off switches, of bits and bytes, of traveling electrons,” however, the Macintosh strove to make these “irrelevant” to the user

Aaron Slevin = Turkle on the mind and the self

Imagine that you enter a virtual world and encounter yourself example.constructing one identity, a feat not easily replicated outside of cyberspace.the one can be many and the many can be one

homepages reflect something from their creators (realise sth new)

one can acquire new kinds of self-knowledge or engage in new forms of self- deception. personal homepage design>>who am i>>who am i really and what image of myself do i want to present


Traditionally, Turkle claims, our notions of identity were forged by our communities and culture,id is how selves identify with their characteristics.

MUDs= anonymity, invisibility, and multiplicity (identity is not a unitary notion)

TUrkle,online identity has value because it can increase one’s self-knowledge using these special characteristics

online id for turkle- decentered for Grover-unified

much of the literature surrounding online identity is psychological, anthropological or sociological. That is to say, this literature does not examine the deeper philosophical issues, such as how we even come to have identities in the first place

++Beyond anonymity, or future directions for internet identity research,”, Hellen Kennedy, provides a brief but accurate survey concerning the literature of online identity, Identity and Information Technology, Steve Matthews,Matthews acknowledges the importance of the normativity for online identity, if IT affects the way others see me, especially in virtue of the ways it alters various modes of social communication, then it will come to affect the way I see myself (Mathews, IIT 144)

Turkle claims that in the early twentieth century one’s role in the community was fixed by social roles and norms and it was hard to deviate from it. These roles provided the context within which one’s conception of oneself could develop. Today many id have extended beyond the constraints imposed by traditional roles in the community

Turkle, experience identity as a set of roles that can be mixed and matched, whose diverse demands need to be negotiated. In this way the Internet is a social laboratory that can be used to experiment with constructions and reconstructions of one’s self

MUds personae which express new or different aspects of oneself

Turkle believes online identities imply difference, multiplicity, heterogeneity, and fragmentation. She claims that tension exists in our cyber-experiences that can not be resolved through an understanding of the Latin root for the word identity, idem, which means ‘the same’

How do the various aspects of oneself communicate with each other?

TUrkle, on the Internet you are the summation of your combined identities

She relates this with postmodernismmmm

Kathleen Wallace describes anonymity as a form of inaccessibility to others to whom one is related or with whom one shares a social environment, even if only or primarily in virtue of the effects of one’s actions.

Lovink anonimity

feeling of anonymity

Multiplicity in cyberspace refers to the fact that one can create and recreate any number of concurrent identities

anonymity enables multiplicity

Turkle addresses this problem of “how we [can] be multiple and coherent at the same time” by appealing to Daniel Dennett’s multiple drafts of consciousness theory and his notion of a flexible self.+Giddens

The flexible self resides somewhere between the unitary notion of the self (exemplified by traditional social roles) and a fragmented self (exemplified by multiple personality disorder).

For Turkle, the flexible self is characterized by open channels of communication between one’s various aspects of self

+Donna Haraway ,a “split and contradictory self” is a “knowing self