Turkle and Multiple Identities

Hi guys, sorry I wasn’t in class Tuesday. Several Thesis late nighters and some flu-like symptoms landed me in bed Tuesday with a fever. Hope class went well. I actually really enjoyed this week’s reading because it tapped into an idea that I’ve always been curious about. Is it possible that we all have multiple personalities and the dominant one changes depending on the situation? I feel like I act differently around my American friends and my International friends because I connect to both groups in different ways. At my core, I’m still Caro, but there are certain tweaks I find myself making without really thinking about it. For example, my International friends are so sensitive to certain comments and aren’t always politically correct, but my American friends get really upset when anyone makes any sort of “not ok” comment. In the international setting, I don’t flinch at all when they are made, but in the American setting, I definitely notice them more. Do you guys ever feel like different aspects of your personality come out with different groups? Do you think you have one dominant one or do they change by the situation?

In addition, I also liked the idea of cyborgs as extensions of humans. I personally feel that we are a long way from engineering robot brains that can feel and react just like humans do because we still don’t have a full understanding of the brain and how all the neurons to create certain responses. Do you think that it’s enough that machines can make models of organs and preform surgery in which only the smallest of instruments can do the trick? Or do you agree with me that there’s still a long ways before cyborgs are a true extension of mankind?

Finally, I really liked the idea that the virtual worlds can serve as spaces for transformation in the real world. I also posted this question on the wiki, but do you think that social media can transform people just like virtual worlds do (for example YouTube stars on their first video and then now)?Video

I really think that YouTube can change people because they constantly get feedback and see themselves, so they are reinforced to make changes to better themselves over time. Do you agree with me or do you think that something else is at play?

4 thoughts on “Turkle and Multiple Identities

  1. I would definitely agree with you, I do believe that we have different personalities and that one of them comes through more than others based on the situation and environment that we are in. I believe similar to how Caro feels as though she is different with her American and international friends, I think people of color feel a very similar reality. I am black and was raised in a predominately white environment, but whenever I played basketball I was always in a predominately black environment. So, the mannerisms and way that I spoke to my friends from where I was growing up was completely different from the way that I behaved around the friends I made while playing basketball.

    I would definitely say, that I believe that I have one personality that only my closest friends might see, but the various groups that I find myself associating with will see the personality that I think they will feel most comfortable with.

    I don’t think that its enough that machines can perform surgeries for them to be called extensions of humans. However, I do not think that the idea of cyborgs becoming extensions of humans is as far away as we realize. We were talking in class about how machines are being programmed to walk and to determine if their next step will cause them to fall over. I think progress like that definitely is closing the machine as an extension of man gap.

    I think that social media can definitely transform people. In your YouTube example, I think that people present the view of themselves that people find more entertaining even if thats not who they really are.

  2. I would agree with you that I find myself acting slightly different amongst different groups. It seems that I haven’t changed as a person, but that certain personality traits come out stronger depending on your environment. For example, I’m a fairly laid-back, chill kind of guy, but when I’m around certain friends, I become very rowdy and reckless. I’ve always wondered why that is… Is it our subconscious at work or does it have to do with us consciously making certain decisions for the feeling of acceptance or understanding social cues?

    For now, I’d still agree that cyborgs are extensions of humans because we are physically constructing these machines and using our intelligence to think about planning, etc. I don’t believe Cyborgs would be considered a separate entity unless it was a self-learning machine, but even then, those machines are inexistent without human presence.

    I agree with your last point about YouTube too, as any feedback leads one to become more self-aware and more likely to notice a fault.

    In regards to the representation of the “self” as multiple beings, I think the movie about Hishima’s life is a great example of one man’s four different personalities, or four different realiies/perceptions of life.


  3. As far as acting different around a group of people goes, I’d say that among my real life friends and family, I’m pretty much always the same person. But I’ve been using twitter since high school and I’ve definitely developed a different “voice” on twitter than the one I have in real life interactions. I also have twitter friends, who I may be acquaintances with in real life but mostly we communicate through twitter. On twitter, I tend to put out only certain aspects of my life – ones that I likely wouldn’t share with most of my friends or family. For this reason (and the senior spring job search), I recently made my twitter private. Twitter is the only social media in which I have that “alter-ego.” for Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat, I usually keep things PG/say what I would in real life because these social medias seem more public to me. Also, on Twitter, there’s this culture (like the ones the author describes in MUDs – though I don’t necessarily create a whole different person) of exaggeration for humorous effect, and I definitely play into that.

    For your second point, I just gotta come out and say that I hate cyborgs and hope they never develop any more than they already have – it’s already scary to read about Cog! Robot/cyborg technology increases every year by leaps and bounds, but I’m sure total independent thought is very far away – if it will ever even be possible (hopefully not).

    Speaking to your last point, I know someone who experienced such a transformation in real life. My aunt and uncle met on Second Life, a MUD that literally creates a second life, where you can work to get money, build a house, and meet people. My aunt met my uncle and they started talking outside the game, fell in love, and got married. She transformed her real life because of a similar transformation for her character in the game.

  4. While I do agree that we behave differently in front of different people I do not think it’s because we have multiple personalities. There is definitely one unifying personality but it possesses multiple traits or facets that are played up depending on the situation. I can make the example that I am much more polite and timid in front of strangers than I am close friends but this isn’t because I have a separate personality. It’s because it’s in my personality to treat strangers differently from friends. If I act differently when interacting with certain groups, it’s because I might play up a certain trait (I talk about art with my artsy friends and videogames with my nerdy friends).
    Although they are rather primitive I do believe that cyborgs already exist. Hearing aids and pacemakers are great examples of machines built into the human body to improve performance. All of the futuristic half man half machine sci-fi stuff you see in pop culture may seem far-fetched but we are well on our way there. Cyborgs are an extension of humans because they help us achieve our goals/meet our needs just like any other tool. The only thing that makes these machines different is that they’re implanted into our body.
    Social media definitely changes people. Just in general I believe it makes people more aware/cognizant of what they’re doing. This isn’t just applicable to YouTube but my own life as well. Before I post something on social media I am always hesitant as I have to think, “what would my friends think if they saw this?”

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