This journey is about self-expression, publicizing yourself. It has been a difficult journey for me. I realized the difficulty of self-expression and acquiring a different voice online when you have you can be identified by the reader. If I retained anonymous, the journey could be less stress. I truly admire those who can achieve
I truly appreciate those who can achieve self-promotion and self-expression in the digital, mentioned in van Dijck’s article. Using Facebook and LinkedIn as examples, van Dijck suggests the function of social media for connectivity and narrating a persona, be it professional or playful implies the existence of an online identity, which could be different from the private self and the ‘true’ self. In the blogging process, I experienced difficulty in self-promotion and self-expression. I think the reason is, I let myself out on the internet without being anonymous.
It is tricky. On one hand, you want people to know your name so that you are recognized for your work. On the other hand, you fear how people see the ‘you’ you portrayed. Originally, I intended to blog about my personal journey in Vancouver, letting the readers know the pieces of my adventures. However, I found that it is difficult to share my personal life online. I am not comfortable enough to share my personal life with my imagined readers, who in some sense, are really strangers (back to week one)! What if they use my photos and use my identity for a scam? (My roomate became a victim of a scam which involves stealing identity recently.)When people misuse the social media, that is when problems emerge. This is why online scam, fake news, fake identity emerge. Where is trust? When people only think about their self-interest? I can hardly engage with a stranger, unlike James Hamblin. While I can see the strangers on the street, the hidden viewers are more alienate to me
I am not ready to open up myself without anonymity and engage with ‘strangers’. This is why I have been struggling to post posts about my personal life throughout the semester. I, with my picture in my right-hand column, can be recognized and judged based on my posts. I have no room to hide! What if they use my photos and use my identity for a scam? (My housemate became a victim of a scam which involves stealing of identity recently.) Therefore, Suler’s view on the fact that anonymity and invisibility encourage users to express themselves is real. I could feel less stressed if I had hidden my name. My readers can focus on the content, but not on me. They can hence give a fair review of my work while I can distance from the threats of exposing too much.
This is also why I have shifted to write more about film, which seems more objective and informative than personal. I love film and I know people love films. The director of the film takes up a role similar to a blogger– being a storyteller through pictures and sound. This blog is a platform for me to tell my story. It doesn’t have to be me, but only part of the ‘true’ self shines. I can sense the agency of a writer, to narrate in your own style, as long as they are ‘true’ to yourself.
My imagined readers are now those who have seen the same film as me and are looking for casual discussion on the film. I infused my emotion and watching experience in the reviews and in doing so, I let my readers sense my personality, let them know that I am an emotional and real human being. This is a middle ground –to expose myself to a comfortable extent.
This is just a beginning I would like to continue blogging. Yet, I definitely have to tune my writing direction and find a balance between personal and impersonal, private and public. Writing on the film is what I feel like I can continue to develop and I enjoy sharing films I like and gain insights from them. I should consider including more images and videos on my blog. In addition, I have to create more content.
Suler, John. 2004. “The Online Disinhibition Effect.” Available from: Cyberpsychology & behavior 7.3 (2004): 321-326. http://truecenterpublishing.com/psycyber/disinhibit.html
van Dijck, José. 2013. ‘You have one identity’: performing the self on Facebook and LinkedIn.” Media, Culture, & Society