MSVU Social Media Course Blog

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back to the symbols…

Like Stéphanie, I too felt compelled to think about identities after our last class discussion and Barrette’s poem. What began as innocent pondering lead me all the way to…Symbolic Interactionism and the idea of the ‘self.’

As I’m sure you’re all so thrilled to reminisce… Meade argues that the “self consists of two parts, the I and the me. The I is the impulsive tendency of the individual and the me is the incorporated other, with an organized set of attitudes and definitions, understandings and expectations that are common to the group to which the individual belongs.”

The theory basically points out that the me is different at work than at school or at home, because we have different demands, expectations and comforts depending on where we are. What supposedly grounds all of our mes is the I.

Is social media just allowing people to create another me, another place with different rules, expectations and comfort zones OR is the web allowing people to create a new I altogether?

Over and out.



May 22, 2009 - Posted by | Comment on Course Material |

1 Comment »

  1. Hey Bailey,

    I really like how you related this back to communications theory. This is truly a deep question!
    I think that while social media allows us to have different online identities and further develop our many mes, it is the “looking glass self” that actively shapes our world and perception of self. From what I gather from the theory, the I controls the looking glass self and is obsessed with what others think and say about them, which in turn becomes part of their own self perception. So I guess what I’m trying to say is that we can only have one I. Having a different personality online is one of our many mes, but could also give us a distorted sense of self that impacts the I. If the self consumed I is for example pretending to be someone online he/she is not and is internalizing the feedback received from peers and allowing it to shape his/her perception of self then the I becomes schizophrenic in a way, unable to distinguish when it is appropriate to be that particular me- the online me. Suddenly, the online world or group and its ascribed attitudes, expectation, understanding, et cetera bleed into the I and distort the self.

    Confusing!? Hope not. Just a thought.

    Comment by hollyfleming | May 24, 2009 | Reply

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