Exploring Identity Creation Through Instagram

Exploring identity creation through Instagram

Introduction

The definition of the word Instagram is derived from two key aspects: 1) ‘Insta’ comes from instant camera, a type of vintage camera that self-develops its film. 2) ‘gram’ is a shortened version of ‘telegram’, (Collins Dictionary, n.d.) which means a message sent via electricity or radio and is printed on before it gets posted to a home or office. (Instagram.com) From the combined meanings, Instagram is then launched on June 6, 2010 primarily as mobile application that allows users to snap a photo, apply filters to the photo taken and upload it on the mobile software (Instagram.com). Users “disseminate” their message in a form of images, instead of printing it. The pictures on Instagram
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According to Heddernan (2013), Instagram changes how we behave, as projected by the site’s generic trademarks: “selfies” shot in bathroom mirrors, feet, lattes and skies. A research question can be outlined from that statement: By sharing their lives in a form of images for the public scrutiny, will that change their self-representations? How does Instagram play a part in affecting their self-esteem? This literature review will then provide explanation through which existing bodies of research concerning the regulation of users’ identities on social networking sites may amalgamate to produce a theoretical framework for the study on users’ fluctuating self-esteem through Instagram. In order to argue that Instagram affects users’ self-confidence, it explores four central discussions in regards to the research: image rhetoric, identity creation, self-esteem, and conveying identity. This essay will unpack Instagram as a sociologically affective tool through discussion on its selling features before focusing on theories surrounding the impact brought onto its users. Distortion of identities, representations through the showcase of edited personal photos will be discussed. Writer extracts postmodern theories …show more content…
This sheds a great light on the modes of identity formation that varies on its own existing spaces, e.g. online and offline identity. Sherry Turkle (1995) supports that people experience identity in modern age as a set of roles that can be mixed and matched. She adds that in postmodern times, multiple identities are not regarded at the margins of things. Postmodernism also views consumption as a passive act, when every product is mass-produced and rehashed a thousand times before, the new frontier is mass customization. Alvin Toffler (1980) argues that the decline of consumers in post-industrial age is replaced by prosumers, people who produce their own goods and services. Social media is a great example of how users are a producer and consumer altogether. Axel Bruns (2008) asserts that in networked, IT-oriented economy, participants are not passive but active consumers with some of them focusing more for personal use in ways which are innately constructive and productive of social networks and communal content. They are called as produsers engaged in the act of produsage (Kotler, 1980). Hence, online users work together to achieve better products and service through the exchange of information from one another. The power is in the hands of the

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