Author: yasser720

What kinds or methods or technologies of communication define our time and how are these messages similar to or different from those of previous eras?

In early January 2016, Smart Insights released great digital statistics worldwide (Chaffey, 2016), which revealed that social media especially leaded by Facebook have become the symbol of our time. For example, the diagram in the report showed that worldwide active users of Facebook has reached 1,590 million till 2016. People prone to communicate through social media instead of following traditional ways of transmitting messages, such as letters and face-to-face talk, which were apparently time consuming. And messages delivered through this new type of medium has been largely different from those we received from previous eras.

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Thanks to the advancement of technologies and the introduction of internet to our daily life, our life styles have been greatly altered from the way our old generation followed in previous eras. The most obvious changes can be identified in our transportation and communication. Apparently, the internet has saved great time for communicators while comparing with the traditional way of communication. For instance, sending an email through internet could save people from wasting up to one month to send a letter to a receiver living in another city. However email just changed people’s communication methods, which affects mostly on people’s communication frequency due to the slow transmission of messages. While the great changes can be seen from mass communication. With the use of internet and social media, the message receiving audience has been potentially expanded, and there are increased interaction between message communicators and audiences. It is totally different from our previous communication, where messages were transmitted in a unidirectional way with less or no interaction. Real example can be taken from Bob Cooney’s (Wynne, 2013) contributing work to art promotion, from which he experienced the benefits brought by technologies and social media. Due to technologies and social media, they saved great time and efforts to follow the very traditional way to hand make the posters for a wide variety of causes. Meanwhile, nowadays, social media has been vastly used in business, for example, most companies started to take advantage of blogs and posts to promote their new products and services. As suggested by Safko (2010), social media has become the bible for business strategies for success. It is believed social media is defining our time now.

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In addition to its great impacts on business, social media has changed the way of our personal communication. Indicated by Hanna, Rohm and Crittenden (2011), people from every corner of the world can be connected, which reveals the power of social media ecosystem. Examples can be seen from the magic power created by Facebook, with the introduction of Facebook, people created their own virtual community, where people become friends without considering the background of communicators. Besides, other social media, such as Instagram, WeChat, and LinkedIn have enabled people to communicate in more diverse ways. Take communication in Instagram as a typical example, messages transmitted are not limited to words anymore, photos, pictures and videos could be shared among users. And with the integration of LinkedIn, job hunting has been greatly different from traditional ways. And job information were shared in a more effective way.

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Basing on the above argument, it is believed that social medial, with its great impact to our current communication, has become a symbol defining our time. And with the use of social media, messages are transmitted in a brand new way which is greatly different from those we used in previous eras.

 

Reference:

Chaffey, D 2016, Global social media research summary 2016, Smart Insights, viewed viewed 30 Aug. 2016, <http://www.smartinsights.com/social-media-marketing/social-media-strategy/new-global-social-media-research/>

Hanna, R., Rohm, A. and Crittenden, V.L., 2011. We’re all connected: The power of the social media ecosystem. Business horizons, 54(3), pp.265-273.

 

Safko, L., 2010. The social media bible: tactics, tools, and strategies for business success. John Wiley & Sons.

 

Wynne, E 2013, Mass communication before social media: celebrating the hand-made poster, ABC News, viewed 30 Aug. 2016, <http://www.abc.net.au/local/videos/2013/08/06/3819549.htm&gt;

 

 

Is identity a performance (see quote from Irving Goffman above) and if so do we have a ‘real’ identity or is it just made up of these performances?

From yesterday, after I saw this question, I developed great interest in it, as it is a pretty challengeable question. I decided to start it by asking friends around me the same questions: “how do you think of me? And how do you tell my identity?” to identify my own answers. For most of them, those were tough questions. But at last the most questions I received are: I am an honest, funny and nice person, they mostly tell from my wearing, my talking and my other behaviour such as sharing food with friends and so forth. This reminded me a claim made by Goffman (1978): “to the degree that the individual maintains a show before others that he himself does not believe, he can come to experience a special kind of alienation from self and a special kind of wariness of others”. Each day, we confront various situations where we need made decision of conduct related behaviour. Apparently, one of the greatest way to tell our identities is through my performance, since it reflects what we believe inside.

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I would prone to follow Duellette’s (2014) opinion that our personal identities are mostly performance, but not only limited to performance. Our daily dressing, showing, sharing and other behaviour make up our personal presence that helps others to understand us, and also assists ourselves to recognize ourselves. For instance, we normally heard someone talk about one of his/her friends as “No, he will never do that.” Such claim was established on strong trust and perception. And this perception is obtained from one’s belief in another person’s personality. While those awareness of other’s personality was built through accumulated observation of their performance when coming to make decision towards the same situation. For instance, if a person has strong personality of being honest while dealing with every issue, then he/she will build his identity among others as a trustful person. However, the reason I believe the identity is not only limited to performance is because, most of time, we have our awareness, such as belief, which when it is hard to express through performance, it is still part of our identities. But only not revealing though performance doesn’t mean we don’t have this traits in our identity.

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I believe, our identity could be made up by our performance, while those performance are enacted by our internal beliefs. For instance when we believe it is the right thing to keep our words or promises, it will reflect on our performance, such as taking responsibility and assume obligation to carry out what we had promised. Identity actually is our characteristic, which was reflected from our daily performance. Performance is concrete and is what we can see, while characteristic is abstract, which is hard to describe, and is mostly described by our performance as a supporting evidence. For instance, when we say someone is honest, we would normally add supporting evidence, such as he always tells the truth. Therefore, I believe our identities are made up by performance but not limited to. We still need to pay attention to our internal beliefs.

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Reference:

 

Duellette, J., 2014, Personal Identity Is (Mostly) Performance, The Atlantic, viewed 20 July 2016, <http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/01/personal-identity-is-mostly-performance/283043/>

Goffman, E., 1978. The presentation of self in everyday life (p. 56). Harmondsworth.