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Essay Plan: Analysis of the relationship between mobile media and the social construction of identity by Social Media Sites via Mobile Telephony Devices
In recent years, the advent of Smartphone and other mobile media has experienced tremendous popularity in our society (Smith, 2014) starting from minute personal websites to big mass communication networks that enable users to find and give virtually all information about them. Smartphones have not only become computer savvy but have also become unimaginably user friendly and have spread all over the world. With the rising popularity of social media sites, we also see the increase of the time spent by users online at the point of having internet access on mobile phones even away from computers (Pew Research Internet Project, 2013). With the time spent online increasing, so offline interaction also reduces and so much socialization occurs on phone screens and computers (Pew Research Internet Project, 2013). This essay will look at the influence of mobile media on identity formation and understanding self via the usage and interaction of social networking sites like Instagram, Tumblr and Facebook.
One consequence of the increasing online relations is that the personalized identity configuration and self-understanding affected to greater percentage by the popularity on some aspects of the life of the user that they would be glad to share. The rationale of this essay will be to display how time spent and use of mobile social sites make users to shape their identity and their self-understanding grounded on the feedback posted online.
This research essay will try to answer two questions:
(i) Does a postâ€™s popularity online make a user to practice the features of that post in their offline identity?
(ii) How does time spent online make users to adopt their offline identity and self-understanding?
By examining social network sites like Instagram, Tumblr and Facebook that have their apps on mobile phones and allows people to have followers and friends as well as receive feedback on posts in regards to personal posts, the research essay will seek to find the link between offline and online identity creation.
The topic of the term paper will widely cover how mobile devices such as Smartphone and wearable deeply connect with our identity. However, I have narrowed this topic to do Analysis of the Relationship between Mobile Media and the Social Construction of Identity by Social Media Sites. Some of the social media sites accessible through Smartphone mobile media include Whatsapp, Twoo,2go, Instagram, Tembulr, and Facebook. In the first section of the paper, I will examine Tembulr, Instagram and Facebook as some of the popular social sites that are accessible to many through the contemporary mobile media as well as the user validation identities and gratifications. This essay plan will first give backgrounds of the aforementioned mobile phone social sites, then Goffmanâ€™s dramaturgical analysis of self and lastly examine the manner Goffmanâ€™s research impacts on current research in relations to the construction of identities online. Whereas there have been research on Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr are new and have not yet discussed within the confines of identity creation and understanding of oneself.
Social Sites that Affect Identity
In this section of the paper, we will discuss some of the social mobile networks that are accessible on mobile media like the Smartphone. Some of the common social media sites that affect identity of people online include
Background of Social Sites
In this section of the paper, we will seek to find more about the background of the social media sites that are available in Smartphone.
This is a blog site (Tumblr, 2014), that permits subscribers to convey their self while looking for individuals to create online communities. The site permits text posts that allows users to express themselves at will, share any pictures of their choice, chats, quotes, post audio and video files of any nature. The nature of the site allows users to comment on posts, follow and be followed by other users hence they can create online communities. Temblr also allows users to share points of view on certain matters and even integrate shared opinion.
Instagram refers to an application that allows photo-sharing (Instagram, 2014) with the world based on what is important to them. Most of the images range from small events like what the user is eating, listening, or reading to events graced by users like get together, concerts and parties. The significant feature on Instagram is that it is a part of the user and seen as a part of their active life. It gives people an option of commenting and liking pictures and comments. I propose that the sites that are accessible through mobile phones are virtual areas for interpersonal relations and act as place for self-development. The term paper will potentially help to understand how site users on these individual sites make understanding and identity offline grounded on internationalization and validation of ideas based on popularity of their posts.
This research will focus on a research gap already identified in light to the relationship between user created identities and social network sites. The research comes at a time when there is an increase of use of mobile-based social network sites and the sharp increase of users. Facebook has 874 million mobile telephony users, 1.19 million monthly users and 728 million daily users as per October (2013). Tumblr has 216.3 million visitors every month, with 109 million users by May 2013 (Digital Marketing Ramblings, 2014). By September 2013, Instagram had 150 million users (Digital Marketing Ramblings, 2014).
The Impact of Goffmanâ€™ Dramaturgical Analysis on Construction of Identities
The theoretical alignment of this subject will be on Goffmanâ€™s (1959) theory. The primary reason for the theory is that it will help us understand both the message presenter and the receiver in communication interactions. The articles to be used to write the planned paper will be broken down into segments discussing their relations to Goffmanâ€™s study and contribution to research. I regards to The Presentation of Self in daily life Goffmanâ€™s highlights that it is important to have face-to-face interaction among social site users. For example, an African should not present him or herself as a white man on Facebook profile picture. This is because when one meets them in online platform it could affect the online trust.
This section of the paper will also discuss the place of Goffmanâ€™s work in person-to-person interactions and its importance in understanding online interactions. A social site user can post pictures, comments, videos, and comments that would portray him or her in a way that only she deems desirable. When other users interact with them on their posts, they understand them on an online perspective. Nevertheless, when the same social site user reacts with the people who know him or her personally he gets a new identity, as he becomes his true self. For example, people have the tendency of lying about their marital and educational backgrounds. To the people who interact with him on Facebook he is married but those who know him offline he may be married or unmarried based on the truth in real life.
The Effect of Social Sites on Identity
In this part of the paper, I will discuss some of the effects of social sites that are available on mobile phone devices. These effects are:
(i) Impression Management
(ii) Private vs. Public Communication
(iii) Social Substitute
(iv) Social Networking acts as a testing Ground.
In light of the need for one to represent self during interactions, Enli & Thumin (2012) pays attention to the distinction between formation self and self-representation visa vie socializing with other people (Enli & Thumim, 2012:98). Enli & Thumin argue that there exist choices pertaining to that which matters to present online and the physical presentation (Enli & Thumim, 2012: 91/92). Enli and Thumin also postulates that establishes a hybrid ground that affects the traditional offline and online socialization and private and public spheres.
Private vs. Public Communication
In discussion of private vs. public, I will analyze both broadcasting on Facebook and public communication that alters the dimension of who is consuming content and who is producing content online (Thumim & Enli, 2012: 100). Another segment of self-representation originates from the hierarchies creation and groups that receive the posted on their posts. I will also analyze the popularity of users in regards to the popularity of posts on Facebook pages. To attain this status, users have to craft self-representation in a bid to engage and apply a representational strategy to achieve status (Enli & Thumin, 2012:98).
In light of Facebook being a social substitute, we will discuss that within the Tosun (2012) article I order to support the theory that more socialization occurs online. By establishing an online identity that assists in the creation of friendship with other users, the social site user engages in a selective process of forming identities. When these relations grow from the online to offline spheres, the participant assumes his online identity and adopts the identity that is more acceptable and understandable by his or her counterpart (Tosun, 2010). For example on facebook there are people who pose as professionals in certain field like Engineering, medicine or even accounts while in real life they do not hold such positions and could even be illiterate.
I will also use the Skues, Williams & Wise 2012 to explain the idea of social media sites provided on mobile media and their effect on personal traits. They argue that the personality of the user alters the information to withhold from or presented to others. The study will review found out that the users personality changes their perceptions management of impression, their ability to connect with other users and postulates that lonely users compensate their inadequacies in offline relationships (Skues et al, 2012: 2418). For instance on Tembulr, users can update their status as humble, kind and all the sweet nothings while offline they are the complete opposite of the online identity.
Social Networking as a testing Ground
Davis (2012) argument is that social media sites that are accessible through our phones offer a means through which users can express themselves and enable balancing many users on the site and their respective followers. An example of such a site is Facebook that help people express themselves and work o issues that they are struggling with and they are unable to solve offline due to lack of confidence (Davis, 2012:639). According to Davis, some users may forget what they want to be online which may result to the damage of the userâ€™s self-esteem and unauthentic feeling. For example, there are people who cannot make face-to-face communications especially with respect to public speaking. This people often resolve to Whatsapp as a platform for communication. Davis conclusion is that social networking permits multiple personalities and offers outlet for individual issues hence creating a testing ground for real life practice, the test being an individual testing how social network users would react to his actions online then moving on to try the same thing online.
This part will be last segment of the planned essay and will sum up the whole idea of mobile media and their place in creating other identities. Here the writer will give a way forward for the subject matter.
Title: Essay Plan: Analysis of the relationship between mobile media and the social construction of identity by Social Media Sites
A. Introductory statement
B. Thesis statement:
C. Research Question
A. Topic Selection ):
1. Social Sites that Affect Identity
2. Backgrounds of Social Sites
III. The Impact of Goffmanâ€™ Dramaturgical Analysis on Construction of Identities
A. : Explanation of Goffmanâ€™s theory
1. Place of Goffmanâ€™s theory in social media communication
2. Goffmanâ€™s theory in person-to-person communication
IV. The Effect of Social Sites on Identity:
1. Impression Management
2. Private vs. Public Communication
3. Social Substitute
4. Social Networking as a testing Ground
Davis, K. (2012). Tensions of identity in a networked era: Young peopleâ€™s perspectives on the risks and rewards of online self-expression. New Media & Society, 14(4), 634-651.
Digital Market Ramblings. (2014). How Many People Use 416 Of the Top Social Media, Apps And Tools? Expanded Ramblings. Retrieved February 2014 (http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/resourceâ€”howâ€”manyâ€”peopleâ€”useâ€”theâ€”topâ€”socialâ€”media/#.U3xe61hdXUN)
Enli, G. S., & Thumim, N. (2012). Socializing and self-representation online: exploring Facebook. Observatorio (OBS*), 6(1).
Goffman, E. (1959). The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. Harmondsworth (Penguin) 1959.
Skues, J. L., Williams, B., & Wise, L. (2012). The effects of personality traits, self-esteem, loneliness, and narcissism on Facebook use among university students. Computers in Human Behavior, 28(6), 2414-2419.
Smith, C. (2014). How many people use 415 of the top social media apps and tools (March 2014).
Tosun, L. P., & Lajunen, T. (2010). Does Internet use reflect your personality? Relationship between Eysenckâ€™s personality dimensions and Internet use. Computers in Human Behavior, 26(2), 162-167.
Pew Research Internet Project (2013). Frequency of Social Media Use. Washington, DC: Pew Research Center. Received January 2014 (http://www.pewinternet.org/2013/12/30/frequencyâ€”ofâ€”socialâ€”mediaâ€”use/).
Tumblr 2014. Tumblr At A Glance. New York City. Retrieved May 2014.
Instagram 2014.FAQ. Retrieved May 2014. (http://instagram.com/about/faq/)