The Likes & Swipes of Social Media Personas


 Meet Steve, on the left. He’s a 43-year-old chain smoker with a passion for collecting vintage car parts. Rhys, in the middle, is an 18-year-old high school DJ who hopes to record his own music someday. Renee, on the right, is an entry-level public relations worker who hopes that her long hours of work will pay off with a promotion. 

I’d like to raise several points from this (fake) case study. I grabbed these images off the internet myself and typed some random, stereotypical crap about them. If you saw these images or their subsequent accounts alone  on a social media site, you’d never guess that;

(a) they’re the same person (on the other side of the screen)

(b) that person is a 19-year-old female communications student who created fake profiles to demonstrate the ease of faking internet personas.

An online persona is a user-created identity which one performs on social media. This is something we (in particular, gen x and y) do intentionally. We effectively put on a performance to those who follow our social media constructs. When you add a pinch of personae with half a cup of the digital revolution, you end up with a magnitude of instagram models and micro famous vloggers earning six-figure salaries.

There’s all sorts of criticisms of people talking themselves up via their online personas and painting themselves as different to how they really are. This can be a problem when it comes to cat-fishing, stalking and online predators, however it happens on a large scale without criminal intent (think photo-shopped profile pictures, teens making themselves older etc.). Although the internet is thus seen as a tool for fake facets, it isn’t actually the fuel which started the fire. Do any of you act the same around your colleagues and your family? Your friends and your grandparents? Do you act the same in a night club as you would in church? No (I sincerely hope). Personas have existed for yonks, waaaay before the internet started.

Despite that, I do wish to pose the question of the impact of personas on the internet. I believe they have set the digital revolution alight and will continue to play a massive role in the prominence of the internet in our lives. Do you agree?



persona meme
Original Image






Images: 1 2 3

6 thoughts on “The Likes & Swipes of Social Media Personas

  1. You sucked me right in at the start. This was quite an enjoyable read might I say. I definitely do agree with you, to go even further, i believe fake facets are more or less needed these days (yet I am using my real name right now, genius I know). Just for our own safety I guess, It is surprisingly easy to track someone down if you keep the same sort of persona wherever you travel online. But hey, there are so many people online, what are the chances.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi,
    I think you have done a great job not only explaining but going further and demonstrating online personas. I was also hooked from the start of your post! Great definition of online personas. You make an interesting point about how personas have existed long before the internet. I agree to an extent, however the difference with online personas compared with the ones that you mentioned (acting the same in a nightclub and a church etc.) is that online you can hide your identity (just as you demonstrated in the beginning of your post) whereas around your colleagues/family, you cannot really hide completely. Great use of examples and meme in support of your argument!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What I really liked the most about this post was the case study you had at the start. Although it was fake, it really draws in the readers like me and allows you to try and give your point through examples. I like how you addressed the worries of the evolution of the internet and the harm that is carried with it.
    I also thought the meme was really smartly done and how it points out the need of an online present in this day and age to fit in to today’s society. Great job!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey Claire! The case study that you used at the beginning worked really well with this week’s theme, even if it was made up just for the post. It really added to the idea that people are not always what them seem to be online. I liked how you decided to link the idea of cat-fishing to the way that people choose to act in real life as well as online, it really makes you think deeper about the whole idea. The meme at the end was very clever and made me laugh more than it should’ve. Good work!

    Liked by 1 person

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