Have you ever thought about how you act in different situations? William Shakespeare once said, “All the world is a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” Nowadays people live in a ‘multi persona society’ where we have different identities in different situations. The word ‘persona’ is originally referred to a theatrical mask that actors used in ancient Greece, and today it means a public image of personality that a person presents in psychology. As people usually had many different sides of themselves, the multi persona always exists in our lives, but now it is getting digitalized and more multi-faceted on social media.
|▲ Multiple Personalities / Photo: medium.com|
Social Networking Service (SNS) is one of the great spaces where many people reveal their multi personalities or tendencies. According to the report released by Global Web Index in 2019, more than 98 percent of internet users use SNS, and each person has an average of 7.6 SNS accounts. When someone uses multiple devices, extra accounts are naturally needed. Even if users have main accounts, the number of sub-accounts for personal interests such as exercising, food, pet, and study is also needed. With professional accounts to upload things for just one topic such as study note’s verification, favorite celebrities, or scribbling collections such as cat photos, one person generally maintains multiple accounts created by separately classifying interests and hobbies.
The main reasons for the appearance of the multi persona trend are that people are given more diverse roles, and social media has developed than before. As a society becomes increasingly complicated and the social roles demanded by individuals are diversified, people have diverse and divided identities and create a variety of relationships on social media. Each SNS channel has its unique characteristics and is developing in their respective positions by focusing on different strengths. Facebook provides video and long text-oriented services, and Instagram provides photo centric services. Twitter maintains its unique characteristics compared to other social media with the image that it can spit out short messages. The existence of these various channels could be the cause of the formation of various personas for each channel.
|▲ A variety of Masks / Photo: GettyImages|
The multi-persona trend affects individuals’ consumption behavior. Consumers are multifaceted, and their tastes and preferences are changing depending on the context in which they are. In the fashion industry, collaboration products with unique styles and functionality are being released that allow them to stand out in line with the multi persona consumption trend. However, as many people are creating only good scenes to show in a digital space, so-called ‘digital mythomania’ is the bad side of multi personas. Since people think that they ‘in real life’ and they ‘in a digital space’ are different persons, they act differently. As a result, it could lead to over-exploitation, crime, and two-sided consumption of hate speech on the internet space. In fact, young usually have more than one Instagram account, expressing conflicting lifestyles and identities in each account. One is a ‘real’ Instagram (Rinsta) and the other one is a ‘fake’ Instagram (Finsta). ‘Rinsta’ is used to expose a sophisticated and idealistic self, and ‘Finsta’ is used to show a true and natural appearance.
People who do not use proper personas for each situation can feel the difficulties of social life. The excessive multi-personality that makes them another person in different situations can also become the reason of losing their true self. That is why it is always important not to care too much on multi personas and overindulge in dealing with them. The multiple personas will become more common in the future than it is today. Therefore, it is important not to forget focusing on yourself in real life than your online personas. We should take time to figure out who we really are, among the many personalities we portray.
By Em Milana, Cub-reporter / Park Min-ji, Editor-in-Chief
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