Can Social Media and Democratization of Photography Affect Identity?

By Eveline Boudreau.

Published by The International Journal of New Media, Technology and the Arts

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: April 4, 2016 $US5.00

With the accelerating technologies of the digital era many of us are exuberantly immersing ourselves into the social media. As we embrace numerous networking sites, presenting our own version of ourselves to friends, family, and the world, the social media are transforming our notion of who we are. Our actual identity is becoming an identity that we create of ourselves. I examine that idea in my performance art project” If the Photo is Good…” in which I interacted with tourists at four famous Canadian photogenic locations. Discussing the digital photos they were taking and what they planned to do with them was my starting point in looking at how the democratization of photography, combined with the Internet and the social media, are transforming our sense of identity. A brief review of relevant literature shows how the Internet and social media, extended by digital communities and game playing, can lead to a place where the virtual is more real than reality. In this evolving computer age we need to be aware of negative consequences such as commercial exploitation and unwanted surveillance from central authorities. Nevertheless, I believe that the Internet and the social media can evolve for the long term benefit of humanity, as long as its design can be democratically guided and controlled.

Keywords: Performance Art, Art, Digital Technology, Photography, Visual Art, Digital Age, Identity, Internet, Social Media

The International Journal of New Media, Technology and the Arts, Volume 11, Issue 2, June, 2016, pp.1-9. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: April 4, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 482.332KB)).

Eveline Boudreau

Practicing Artist, Canadian Artists Representation/Front des artistes canadiens, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada