My smartphone is the first and last thing I look at everyday.—
Focus Group Participant
Ultimately, it is not our own thoughts that we wish to express and see online, it’s how others perceive us that we wish to see.
Goffman’s concept of face-work, as we know it, are the ways in which one presents their self to others in face-to-face interactions while engaging in a repetitious evaluation of the situation and the views of all participants. The face is the social attributes and values one portrays and wishes the other to perceive.How does this work today? With modern technology and social media the individual is able to face-work in multiple arenas simultaneously thus creating many faces that do not necessarily have to be synonymous with each other. Are these faces others to the self? Do we believe our own face-work to be genuine? Individuals are documenting their lives on Facebook profiles but with fragments of their realities hoping that those on the other side of the screen believe their face is genuine and that it represents the totality of their being and who they are. Just like facework offline, I would argue, it is one in the same and we have as many self images as there are people but multiplied by how many online profiles we create. I believe Cooley once said, “we have as many selves as there are people”. As a continuation of this concept into this century; online we have as many selves as there are social networking profiles and people to view them. We create multiple faces online with the potential of having thousands and even millions of people evaluating these faces thus the online world creates far more selves than the offline world could ever create and yet they are very much interconnected, often crossing paths with conflicting faces.
Genesis 1:32, 1:33, & 1:34
And then God said, Let Humankind bring forth a being after its kind.
And Humankind created artificial intelligence in their own image, in the image of Humankind they created it; tool and friend they created it.
And Humankind saw everything that they had made, and, behold, it was very good.
…or was it?
PHANTOM TECHNOLOGY SYNDROME
The more mobile technology becomes integrated into an individual’s life the more it becomes a part of their self and their mind’s map of their body. As a result of this process hyper-connected users can experience a phantom technology syndrome in which they receive normal cues associated with a device such as physical, visual, and auditory sensations that did not happen except for in their mind thus being a hallucination.