Cyberspace and Identity

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Cyberspace and Identity

In her article, Cyberspace and Identity, Sherry Turkle implies that the various personas that we put up through the internet have helped people express different parts of their personalities. While it is healthy to express these "multiple selves," it is also important that these selves recognize each other in order to form unity.

Cyberspace has greatly impacted our identities. The anonymity of the internet has made it simple for us to create any identity of our choosing. Multi-User Domains have allowed people to create and use different names depending where they are in the "virtual communities." Computers allow users to flip back and forth between programs (called windows). These windows have shaped they way we "cycle" our way through the internet. There are also psychological effects in regards to cyberspace. Adolescents can no longer do what those who lived 30 years go can do. Experimentation has become risky so they can no longer experiment in order to find themselves. Therefore, they turn to virtual communities to fulfill the development of identity in which Erik Erikson called "psychological moratorium." The internet has allowed users to be more comfortable with their real-life persona. Case is a 34-year-old man who describes himself with a Jimmy Stewart personality. But hidden beneath the real life exterior is what he calls a "Katharine Hepburn type." These personalities are aware of one another and they make him up as a whole person. He has been able to cycle his Jimmy Stewart side and Katharine Hepburn side effectively due to the use of the internet. Turkle describes her experiences with cyberspace as well. She was introduced to the concept of multiplicity in the 60s and 70s. When she joined the online community she realized that the "multiple and decentered" theories proved to be true. Turkle used several characters and matched them to different languages. She recognized that each created persona was...
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