The amendment of what it means to be me

Digital media has changed the self concept of what it means to be “me”. But, what exactly is “me”?

Social psychology works on understanding how we socialize with other on an individual level. We often define ourselves in relation to others. We have multiple ways of perceiving ourselves — multiple selves.

Social identity theory proposes that there are three mental processes when we evaluate others. First, we socially categorize ourselves. Second, we try to identify ourselves socially, which depends on the social context. Lastly, we compare ourselves socially and attempt to identify ourselves.

Carl Rogers’ view of the self focuses on self image and esteem. When these two interact with each other, the concept of ideal self comes into existence.

An illustration of Carl Rogers, a psychologist with a humanistic approach to psychology.

Johari’s windows of self focuses on a matrix that talks about selfs in terms of knowledge. This includes things that are known to ourselves and things that are known to others. There are four kinds of selves: open, blind, hidden, unknown.

Situational self awareness can be looked at in terms of public or private self. When you’re at dinner, you look around and attempt to see how you need to act. What’s interesting today with technology is that you can be your public self while you’re also able to be your private self.

When you’re playing a game, you merge your identity with the game’s character. Whatever you’re playing you identify with, because you are forced to be the video game’s character. There is an interesting conversation occurring about whether video gamers are trying to escape reality or fit into their ideal self here.

People don’t organize information like a library does — hierarchical, logical. Humans don’t do this because e structure our information with association.

Our digital being, or what it means to be “me” online can be represented in various forms. Avatar, a Hindu term that means the human form of a deity. These avatars are our digital representations of ourselves in the digital world. The Proteus effect examines how we should look at these avatars, avatars as dopplegangers (directly you), surrogates (serve as surrogate of me), alter-egos. Proteus is when we are chameleons via our avatars.