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Idea of Multiple Selves in Social Media Platforms (Essay Sample)

The essay was about how social media platforms reveals multiple selves of individuals source..
Name: Professor: Course: Date: Idea of Multiple Selves in Social Media Platforms The phenomenon of multiple or split selves in social media platforms has generated debate on the existence of multiple personalities within a person (Boyd 11). Sherry Turkle acknowledges that the advent of technology has brought with it several means of communication and one of them is the freedom to invent multiple selves within the sphere of social media by influencing the way we think (Turkle 5). She suggests in her article ‘How Computers change the way we think’ that the thinking mechanism of people is broadened by the application of technology in communication (Turkle 1). This argument emanates from the fact that traditional mechanisms of communication were stringent in their flexibility to accommodate varying selves within a person, while computers in their application enhance flexibility in different forms of communication (Boyd 17). Contemporary analysts believe that this modernists approach advanced by Turkle assumes the intentions of individuals to inhabit varying identities when they use social media. In the estimation of some analysts, the intentions to use multiple identities in social media can vary from the desire for anonymity, the nature of the content a person seeks to expose, and illicit and illegal extortionist practices that might lead to prosecution of the social media user when identified (Ganda 5). For example, people who find it difficult to socialize with others in the society find social media as a platform that allows them to do so without the fear of stereotype and judgment based on their religion, beliefs, and political ideologies (Gasser 63). In communities where race is rampant and people from particular races find it impossible to assemble with other members of the community, social media provides them with the opportunity to do so by changing their identity and enjoy the freedoms that they have been denied in their communities (Gasser 78). This is also true to those individuals that are lynched socially because of their relationship status, either homosexuals or lesbians, and they are allowed to express their views in an environment where people do not know their identities and therefore free to socialize. The identities propagated through social media by different individuals are unique in their context because there is the inability to exercise the same in the physical environment (Gasser 81). Identities are physically expressed traits that do not remain hidden within a person, hence the concept of multiple selves in individuals do not hold true when critically analyzed (Durante 601). The view that people have dormant traits that display multiple selves when exposed to social media platforms does not hold true to all individuals. This questions the applicability of this narrative because if human beings have multiple selves, then all social media users must exhibit similar tendencies of displaying multiple selves (Rettberg 124). In the absence of this practice, it is impossible to deduce that the practice of multiple identities in social media is a result of a phenomenon of multiple identities in human beings. There is a medical argument of such traits, and multiple articles on research conducted on the same have led to a conclusion that the condition is Dissociative Identity Disorder (Rettberg 133). In the criminal process as well, the existence of multiple selves is attributed to a mental disorder (Buckingham 13). The argument therefore is that it is impossible for people to have within themselves multiple identities and be able to go through life without compromising missteps (Zhao et al. 3). Even though Turkle’s analysis bears significance in trying to generate debate and focus on the ability of people to freely adopt certain identity frameworks within social media and do so seamlessly, the resultant view that it is because of existence of multiple selves in all individuals stretch the applicability of rational ideology. The balance between what is rationally applicable in discerning a phenomenon and subsequent characterization of a phenomenon denotes the crucial application of substantive knowledge on independent variables of the phenomenon (Herring and Sanja 4). In this case, the knowledge that it is not feasible to inhabit multiple personalities without the possibility of having disoriented relationships in the society renders the thought of multiple selves in individuals as void (Buckingham 47). However, the understanding that there is the existence of Dissociative Identity Disorder that can manifest itself in people when they are enjoying the space of social media is a reasonable argument that can pass the test of rationalism (Buckingham 51). In conclusion, Turkle’s assertion of multiple selves in social media usage brings into fore a debate on the intentions of people to practice application of different users in communication within social media. The argument fronted by Turkle must therefore pass various tests, ...
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