-GLOBAL SOCIAL MEDIA & PERSONA-

-UOW- BCM111-Post 3- “Discuss one social media platform and the way you use it to present a sense of self (whether that is a self that is curated and selective – a persona – or one that is more authentic).

Persona is defined as “the mask, role, or character which society expects individuals to present” (Buchanan 2010). One important thing to remember, as Buchanan eludes to is, that the notion of “persona is the fact the subject is always conscious of the fact that ‘they’ are never quite ‘that’, they are never quite what they appear to be” (Buchanan 2010, p.365).

Social media is a double edge sword in many ways, designed to help express your yourself, views and identity not to mention connect people with both information and image sharing capabilities. However, overtime it has become a massive marketing tool, used to market products, and monitored to see what people are buying as well as a career launching platform. Thus, remembering Buchanan’s definition of, and putting into question, the idea of persona, and can you remain authentic and have a persona?

James Messe presents the idea while discussing funeral selfies, but still is applicable, that as part of creating this identity or persona online you categories your life, whether it be selfies -photographic self-portraits-, or images from an event or your location; done through the use of hashtags, a way to directly connect to an audience who would search the particular hashtags you use e.g. music, comics, kitten etc. (James Meese et al., 2015). Another use of the hashtag is to get noticed by brands or celebrity, think of models tagging their cloths brands, or how an artist tags the brand of the materials they use. This recognition either by the brand or celebrity could be beneficial to push the person into the public sphere, but what does this mean for the persona presented and can you remain authentic.

Duffett presents the problematic nature of persona and authenticity, it is also potentially and puts forward the notion that fans are “more than consumers because they have especially strong emotional attachments to their objects and they use them to create relationships with both their heroes and with each other (Duffett, 2013). Meaning that with the aid of a celebrity your hashtag, or if a celebrity uses this platform to sell a product, the person who uses would instantly have a greater platform, but it leaves the question of- does the celebrity or the person posting using the hashtag really care of is this a persona to make them more appealing to the public, presenting a better public image or to gain press opportunities?

References:

1. James Meese et al., (2015) – Selfies at Funerals: Mourning and Presencing on Social Media Platforms (International Journal of Communication, vol. 9, pp. 1818-1831)

2. Buchanan, I, 2010. Oxford Dictionary of Critical Theory. 1st Edition. New York, United States. Oxford University Press.

3. Duffett, M (2013) Understanding Fandom: An Introduction to the Study of Media Fan Culture. Ist Edition. London, Bloomsbury Publishing.

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