We embark on a journey to personality: What does identity mean? How do we move from analogue to digital identity? On the way there, we illuminate historical concepts of identity until we arrive at the topic of digital identity and blockchain – and can ask ourselves: Who and how will we be? Today: Identity 3.0: The ego in the digital mirror.
After great historical leaps, we suddenly find ourselves in the near past and almost in the present. After we have clarified that identity is no longer seen as something identical, but rather as something fragmented, the search for traces of this intangible construct continues. So let us venture into the infinite vastness of the net and search there for the shreds of identity.
Particularly with regard to the decentralization explained in Part 2, the Internet offers many possibilities for Bitcoin evolution fragmentation. Not only between the different online identities, but also between the online and offline identities. But one after the other.
The Bitcoin evolution stage
For a better understanding of the Bitcoin evolution, a (admittedly very simplified) assumption from psychology is explained here. In the middle of the 20th century, the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan developed an explanatory approach to the emergence of human consciousness, which he called the mirror stage.
He assumed that toddlers, who see themselves for the first time in the mirror, develop an awareness of their existence. They recognize themselves in the mirror and identify themselves with it – the self-image develops. Meanwhile, according to Lacan, a split develops: the (inner) ego separates from the “non-ego”, i.e. the image it has of itself. The image that the child develops from itself “slips” to the outside and is in the realm of the imaginary. According to Lacan, the toddler experiences great joy in this first identification with himself and forms the basic framework of what is later called (self-)consciousness.
The Internet as a mirror
If one takes this assumption of the mirror stage with all its controversy and (necessary) simplification as a basis, it can be found in the depths of the World Wide Web in all conceivable variations. The profiles we create there do not only serve as mirrors. Furthermore, this mirror can (almost) be shaped and updated at will – you can change it according to your wishes, no matter how much it is connected to the reality you live in.
Duckface: Very important for self-image
Let us remember the social roles from Part 2: We behave differently depending on the context. Whether in the vicinity of our family, with friends or at work – in every environment we play a different theater.
In the end, it’s the same on the net. The majority of people probably still use Facebook to inform their generously defined circle of friends about their opinions, holiday photos or the latest separation without being asked. For fast news one uses Snapchat, WhatsApp or Telegram, for the visual “claim” one provides on Instagram. If one wants to push its ICO effectively, one presents oneself as seriously as possible on LinkedIn, while one looks on Tinder for the love of its life.
You design your respective profile as appropriate as possible to the respective context – without (necessarily) paying attention to whether everything is real. You design your digital self-image. At will.