Anonymous Cowards, Avatars, and the Zeitgeist: Personal Identity in Flux

UX Mat­ters just pub­lished Anony­mous Cow­ards, Avatars, and the Zeit­geist: Per­sonal Iden­tity in Flux.  This is the lat­est install­ment of my col­umn on ubiq­ui­tous com­put­ing and user expe­ri­ence, and it takes on the ques­tion of how per­sonal iden­tity is chang­ing is a result of the rise of dig­i­tal tools, ser­vices, and mea­sure­ments for iden­tity.   Iden­tity is a fun­da­men­tal aspect of expe­ri­ence, so it’s crit­i­cal that we under­stand what is hap­pen­ing to this uni­ver­sal ele­ment.  ‘Anony­mous Cow­ards’ is the first of two parts, focused on under­stand­ing how dig­i­tal iden­ti­ties work, and are dif­fer­ent from what we know.  Here’s an excerpt:

Dri­ven by dra­matic shifts in tech­nol­ogy, eco­nom­ics, and media, noth­ing less than a trans­for­ma­tion in the makeup and behav­ior of our per­sonal iden­tity is at hand—what it is, where it comes from, how it works, who con­trols it, how peo­ple and orga­ni­za­tions use and value it. As a direct result of this trans­for­ma­tion, the expe­ri­ence peo­ple have of per­sonal identity—both their own and the iden­ti­ties of others—is chang­ing rapidly. As design­ers of the blended dig­i­tal, social, and mate­r­ial expe­ri­ences of every­ware, we must under­stand the chang­ing nature of per­sonal iden­tity. And now that human­ity itself is within the design hori­zon, it is espe­cially impor­tant for design to under­stand the shift­ing expe­ri­ence of dig­i­tal identity.

The sec­ond part will look at the impli­ca­tions of these changes for our expe­ri­ence of iden­tity.  As I put together my pre­dic­tions for what iden­tity will be like in 10 years, I wel­come input — what do you think?

No related posts.

Category: The Media Environment
Tags: , , , , , 2 comments »

2 Responses to “Anonymous Cowards, Avatars, and the Zeitgeist: Personal Identity in Flux”

  1. Howard Liptzin

    I really appre­ci­ated this arti­cle, Joe… and have been wait­ing for (and search­ing in vain for) Part II.

    Have I missed it? Or is it still in the works?

    Thanks,

  2. admin

    Howard — many thanks for the good word — it helps moti­vate a hard work­ing writer :)

    Part II of Anony­mous Cow­ards is ten­ta­tively planned as the next install­ment of the Every­ware col­umn, due out later in Q2.

    You’re doing iden­tity / avatar work: What grabbed you from Part 1? What should the follow-up cover?


Leave a Reply



*

Back to top