I left two annotations asking ask students questions related to the concept of “industry,” social media celebrities, and self-presentations online in the four-dimensional world. The two annotations are steps in a process for them to construct a theoretical framework of self and performance in the digital age.
What I annotated 1:
I asked the question:
How do you understand the “industry” here? What’s your thought on the promotion and presentation of self by social media celebrities? Do you agree that the authenticity of self must diminish if one enters this “industry” in four dimensions?
I aim to encourage students to find a connection between their own lives and the reading, so I choose social media celebrities as a perspective to examine the mysterious mix of cyberspace and the real world in which we are all living. Scott’s idea of the fourth dimension concerns our sense of ourselves that has been twisted in the blurring of boundaries between our social and private lives. I asked the question to encourage students to consider the idea of “industry” and “celebrity capital in the digital era.”
I further explore the idea of “self” in my following annotation:
I asked the question and provided them with an additional resource:
Check out this book, a very good one about how we present ourselves and our activities to others in social interactions. Goffman, Erving. The Representation of Self in Everyday Life. Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh Social Sciences Research Centre, 1956. You could also watch this video, a short introduction to this book. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Z0XS-QLDWM
In the four-dimensional world, do we still have a back/front stage difference, as discussed by Goffman? Where is the stage, and how is communication managed in a digital age? For example, can an online narrative of a person disappear or die? What does “death” mean in the four-dimensional world? Consider examples like “Get Ready with Me” and “Room Tour” YouTube videos.
I introduced a book written by Erving Goffman and gave students a link to a YouTube video summarizing this book. Goffman’s book is a great one analyzing a theatrical model of everyday self-performance. I would like to help students construct a theoretical framework of the stage, self, performance, social interactions, and digital age by connecting Scott’s book and Goffman’s book, but I also realized that this book might be too long to digest as supplementary material. So I listed a YouTube link here to a short introduction video. To help students connect their own lives and the abstract content they are readings, I raised the examples of “Get Ready with Me” and “Room Tour” YouTube videos.