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Digital Association And Performativity Essay

978 words - 4 pages

Everyone has ability to show what they believe describes them without the inconvenience of a 3 hour conversation; this is all thanks to social media and the online world. People are constantly using digitally mediated environments, or DMEs, which are websites such as, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, to broadcast an identity that reflects their ideal selves. In Gary Hamlin’s article he focuses on the benefits of identity construction and self-presentation on the web. First, he explains how though web and social media platforms an “individual has power over her own identity. People are able to authenticate their self-image though pictures, posts and videos, but at the same time they can hide undesirable aspects of their lives, something that is more easily done digitally than physically. The most significant benefit Hamlin points out is that web users have “the ability to construct identity by non-traditional means.”; or more specifically, have access to digital association. Digital association can seem very beneficial to an online consumer, but it does have many drawbacks.
Digital association allows one to correlate themselves with symbols and brands. According to Hamlin, it “allows virtual consumers to engage in self-presentation though the digital display of brands, products, or services that they identify with”. When someone associates a brand with their name on the web it allows them to form groups with others because of a common interest. This is where group pages and forums come in handy online. The beauty about digital association is that the people do not have to own the brands they associate themselves with. Hamlin goes on to say that, their “freedom to associate their digital selves with things they might not be able to afford in real life”, blurring the line of what is digital and real. This gives people an option to broaden their interests outside brands they might be financially constrained to. Through digital association consumers can “present their ideal values more clearly”. Values such as family, friends, and personal interests outside of brands. Digital association creates an endless amount of connections allows everyone to see an individual’s ideal-self.
Personally, I benefit from digital association though the use of Facebook. This past Christmas my great-grandfather passed away. In honor of his memory my relatives created a Facebook page where his friends and family can share the memory of his life. Many distant friends, who have not been seen in decades, have unearthed lost pictures of him and his page has now become a comprised photo album for everyone to cherish. I use this page, like so many others, to show my values. Liking this page associates myself with him, so everyone can see how important he was to me, and with this they can infer how family oriented I am. Individual people are not the only ones who associate themselves with him using this page, many groups do as well. My great-grandfather, Saul...

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