Digital Mobilisation and Identity after Smart Turn

Digital Mobilisation and Identity after Smart Turn

Katalin Fehér (Taylor's University, Malaysia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6166-0.ch004
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Abstract

Users have digital and digitally mobilised footprints. The online data sets are defined and identified within their different networks. These result in data sets and interactive markers via personal media such as digital/mobile/smart devices. The compass-devices support to manage everyday life and to define digitally mobilised identities in online networking society, culture, and business. This chapter studies the digitally mobilised identitiy in a multitasking context, digital trends that shape personal/organizational mobile identity, and emerging technologies, services, and cases that support these changes and challenges.
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Digital Mobilisation And Identity

Users have offline and online identities. They have gender, nationality, generation, and they are living in a culture. They have a qualification, job/profession, and hobbies and they have family members, friends and enemies. They are under social control because of all these parameters and due to other identity factors. They live under a wider social control via platforms of online publicity. They are also consumers of digital devices and digital contents. Consumer-driven online identity produces user-generated content and interactive communication design. Users are living through online networks: networks of devices and platforms, links, data and contents, networks with other digital identities. Offline life is represented online via digital screens. Users’ self-expressions are not identical with that of the offline way. However, they are akin to it. Feelings, stories, projects could be the same but the online environment and linked digital networks − that is, the online framework − provide alternative routes. The choices and tools are determined by the media. Interoperability and a strict separation among closed systems, semi-public scenes and publicity deploy mass media and the rites of interpersonal communication. However, mobile devices provide an opportunity for communication real time and on the move in these networks and layers of publicity.

Users have digital and digitally mobilised footprints and these online data sets are defined via personal or social /community or corporate/organizational identities within their different networks. The result consists of so-called data sets which generate digital identification in online systems and networks, and can respond to one another using digital tools and platforms to create or traffic contents. Users define their identities and their social networks in/on/via/for new media and surveillance technology networking between the two poles of “me”/consciousness/selfbrand on the one hand, and, on the other hand, that of other users, namely, other personae, social communities, instant communities (Castells et al., 2007, pp. 244-249), governments or companies. Actually the media are “us”, “you”, “me” and “them” together trapped within fragmented and temporal networks. Our online and interactive markers and their lack depict our appearance, our self-representation operated and processed by communities and by official or other sites.

Users need devices for each of these activities. The mobile devices, mainly smart phones, are personal media (Aaltonen, Huuskonen & Lehikoinen, 2005), however, provide a compass for users. A compass we need so as to manage everyday life: for example, to navigate in space, to find people or to select and order a service. Smart devices are compasses to reach different programs, applications and software for every sphere of life. Users furnish them with applications and services, and label them with covers and other material markers. The mobile device belongs to Me 2.0 (Schawbel, 2009), who is living online to come out on the net and represent “offline Me 1.0” for any bet, or, otherwise, Me 1.0 gets lost for online data traffic.

Personal digital identities define digital corporate/organisation communication nodes and vice versa. Online communication trends and tools are repositioning personal identities related to corporate identity via algorithm-based networks and platforms. These identities are not centralised but connected: the focus is the network (Håkansson, 2002). These networks exist without centres. Their substance is constituted by points and lines where users and data/contents/platforms/programs/devices/virtual harbours are the points and the strong or weak connectivity and data traffic are the lines. Digital identities reach some mainly constant networks like personal relationships offline and online and they have a possibility to join temporary and/or local networks real or virtual. They can share all these via some networks online. How can users organise the points and lines after mobilisation? The device and the platforms and other tools provide access to the networks. Perception becomes mobile-virtual where “we are the message” (McConnell & Huba, 2006) in our networks and in our wireless connections. The “wireless communication networks are diffusing around the world faster than any other communication technology to date” (Castells et al., 2007, p. 1) and the intensive dynamic they put users through compels users to change their communication tools and habits.

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