In Christopher Burr & Luciano Floridi (eds.), Ethics of Digital Well-being: A Multidisciplinary Approach. Springer (forthcoming)

Authors
Charlie Harry Smith
Oxford University
Abstract
Goffman’s (1959) dramaturgical identity theory requires modification when theorising about presentations of self on social media. This chapter contributes to these efforts, refining a conception of digital identities by differentiating them from ‘corporatised identities’. Armed with this new distinction, I ultimately argue that social media platforms’ production of corporatised identities undermines their users’ autonomy and digital well-being. This follows from the disentanglement of several commonly conflated concepts. Firstly, I distinguish two kinds of presentation of self that I collectively refer to as ‘expressions of digital identity’. These digital performances (boyd 2007) and digital artefacts (Hogan 2010) are distinct, but often confused. Secondly, I contend this confusion results in the subsequent conflation of corporatised identities – poor approximations of actual digital identities, inferred and extrapolated by algorithms from individuals’ expressions of digital identity – with digital identities proper. Finally, and to demonstrate the normative implications of these clarifications, I utilise MacKenzie’s (2014, 2019) interpretation of relational autonomy to propose that designing social media sites around the production of corporatised identities, at the expense of encouraging genuine performances of digital identities, has undermined multiple dimensions of this vital liberal value. In particular, the pluralistic range of authentic preferences that should structure flourishing human lives are being flattened and replaced by commercial, consumerist preferences. For these reasons, amongst others, I contend that digital identities should once again come to drive individuals’ actions on social media sites. Only upon doing so can individuals’ autonomy, and control over their digital identities, be rendered compatible with social media.
Keywords Identity  Goffman  Relational Autonomy  Performance  Digital Artifact  Social Media
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy the book Find it on Amazon.com
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

To Think About Deliberative Democracy.Tatyana Vasileva Petkova - 2017 - Open Journal for Studies in Philosophy 1 (1):15-26.
Towards a Science of Emerging Media.Barry Smith - 2015 - In J. E. Katz & J. Floyd (eds.), Philosophy of Emerging Media: Understanding, Appreciation and Application. Oxford University Press. pp. 29-48.
Critical Theory of Digital Media.Ian Angus - 2017 - Foundations of Science 22 (2):443-446.
Digital Vigilantism as Weaponisation of Visibility.Daniel Trottier - 2017 - Philosophy and Technology 30 (1):55-72.
On Critical Theories and Digital Media. [REVIEW]Jonathan Gray - 2015 - Krisis: Journal for Contemporary Philosophy 2015 (1).

Analytics

Added to PP index
2019-12-01

Total views
276 ( #32,730 of 2,439,376 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
42 ( #17,466 of 2,439,376 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes