Question: Developing Cyber Identities
Click the ‘scenario’ button below to review the topic and then answer the following question :
Identify how Kristina and Samantha formed cyber identities in the digital world and what social structures were impacted.
Scenario : Digital World
The lives of the Brown family are entirely dependent on technology. In their lives, it can be seen how we can evaluate society’s structural adaption to digital growth, analyze how identities are developed in the digital world, evaluate social theories impacting the digital world, evaluate changes in society’s organizations through additional theories, evaluate the evolution of language within online environments and through digital technology, and analyze the development of deviance in the digital world.
Ross and Kristina met on a dating website. Ross is from Florida, and Kristina is from Connecticut. They met on average once a month in person and used video calls almost every day for six months before getting married. Most of their friends also had profiles on dating websites and found their spouses in the same way. Online dating apps have brought about a revolution in how we choose our partners.
Together, Ross and Kristina have two kids – Samantha, who is twelve years old, and eight-year-old Nate. The Brown Family exemplifies how the digital world has become part of almost every aspect of society. Increasingly, all members of the family are connected with technology.
Ross works from home and wakes up to the phone alarm, and quickly looks through his Google calendar to see the different meetings he has throughout the day.
Kristina wakes up and grabs her phone to ask what the weather is going to be like. The answer will help her decide if she will go to work or work from home. Her workplace has made changes to how the business will run, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. A few of the departments have completely gone remote. Going remote has saved the company on office space as well.
Kristina decides to work from home. However, she must also oversee the kids who are attending school online. The kids use e-books and use online technology for tests and assignments. Often, she has to help Nate and Samantha with their homework assignments as well. For lunch, she usually orders on Grubhub or UberEats for food to be delivered. She often thinks that the food industry has essentially turned into an online business, putting the livelihoods of a significant number of food industry workers, primarily waiters and waitresses, at risk of losing jobs.
Ross and Kristina’s family typifies an increasingly digital economy, rapidly creating groups of digital haves and have nots. The Brown family is able to keep pace with the digital economy as opposed to being on the other side of the digital divide.
Since the onset of Covid-19, Ross and Kristina have been purchasing nearly everything online. Every store they buy a product from, be it grocery, food, garments, beddings, to mattresses, all give a discount for signing up for their reward programs. Kristina enjoys receiving these discounts. Her usernames and passwords have become her new cyber identity in the digital world. Cyber identity can be in the form of user names and passwords or even just a phone number. In fact, Kristina and others reliant on this digital world have cyber identities that bring a new set of realities and consequences.
When Kristina’s computer broke, she had difficulty remembering all the usernames and passwords for the various websites. Fortunately, by using each site’s login assistance function and with some help from customer care when needed, she was able to retrieve her usernames and passwords. She did so by authenticating her identity using a set of identifying features such as her date of birth, social security number, and other personal details. The digital world has created and confined the identity of Kristina and users like her into a complex digital persona that serves as her cyber identity and fingerprint.
Ross, Kristina, Samantha, and Nate all have Facebook accounts. Samantha and Kristina have Instagram accounts as well. This helps them stay connected with family out of state and friends that they do not see every day.
Samantha, who likes to be popular, has been regularly posting on Tik-Tok. She keeps adding to her Tik-Tok content to remain popular, and in the process, appears to have moved away from her past identity. The real Samantha has been overtaken by identity she worked upon based on followers’ interests and expectations. Samantha’s followers are from all over the world. Samantha and Nate have been texting each other using internet slang and abbreviations that Ross or Kristina cannot understand. However, Kristina has started using emojis in her emails and texting to be trendier with digital communication.
Samantha’s friend, Alex, has been following a celebrity using a fake ID and writes demeaning comments using slang on her Instagram page as he does not like her. Alex has access to celebrities and the ability to comment only because of digital anonymity. He would have never been able to do this in person.
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