Twitter and Facebook
For me when I think of digital identities i immediatly think of Twitter and Facebook. A user of both of these sites myself i understand the power and the appeal that both of these sites have not just for the youth of today but for people of all ages from all across the world. Social newtworking sites have been on the rise in popularity and growth within the last 5 years, with Twitter and Facebook becoming the dominant two within the industry.
Both Twitter and facebook are extremly popular however different. Facebook being more of a social networking site based on the emphasis of 'The Profile'. A page dedicated to you and your life displaying information, pictures ands comments and posts between friends. However Twitter places its emphasis on the 'Status Update'. Twitter is inevitably a site dedicated to your account being based upon a series of updates indicating where you are, what your doing or whatever you want to share. Both of these sites therefore open up the privacy gates but only if you allow them too. Whether you chose to let people know what you are doing and where you are etc is your perogative, however the so called 'addictive' nature of both these websites intices people into documenting their lives online and in return being able to look into other peoples lives aswell.
Both of these sites began in America and came over to the United Kingdom and eventually spred across the world. Twitter being the newest of the two im looking at primarity started out as a site heavily reliant on celebrity input. Twitter is used alot by the celebrities today as a way of letting others who are interested, read their 'Tweets', see what theyare up to and look at current pictures they are putting up. Now though the site has expanded in popularity and non celebrities are using it in the same manour, tweeting and posting their thoughts and where abouts to those who 'Follow' them.
Both Facebook and Twitter have become a great cultural influence within America, with what seems like everyone today being part of the sites and buying into the addictive nature of what they offer. While these social networking sites can be seen to be a positive thing for America as they connect people from all different areas, promote a social environment and allow personal self expression they can can be seen to be giving a false idea of what it means to be 'social.'
The growing concern for some Americans is that these social networking sites are taking people away from acctual live, interactive social invironments and replacing them with a computor screen. In this 'Digital Age' the rise of the Smart Phones, Ipads, Tablets etc are promoting themselves on the basis that anywhere you go you can be 'Connected.' A heavy reliance being on apps that connect you to Facebook and Twitter. As well as this the rise of video calling for example in the new Iphone 4s and 'Skype' are promoting the same ideas that you dont nessesaritly need acctual live contact to be 'Social.'
On top of this issues such as cyber bullying and identity theft surround Twitter and Facebook. With hacking being an issue due to people either hacking into an account of creating a fake account and posing as that person. This therefore takes away in a sense the innocence of these socail newtworking sites and gives them the back hand of being a threat. This therefore is a downside to not being livly social, profiles and accounts are great in one sense but without face to face time are we ever really sure who were looking at or who were talking to on sites such as Twitter and Facebook?