Self and the Relationship with the Screen: Interrogating the Fictive and Banal in Self Production

Self and the Relationship with the Screen: Interrogating the Fictive and Banal in Self Production

Yasmin Ibrahim (Queen Mary, University of London, UK)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 9
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1862-4.ch001


The self is performed through the banal of the everyday on social media. The banality of the everyday constitutes an integral part of our communication on digital platforms. Taking this as part of our performative lives in the digital economy, the paper looks at ways in which we co-produce the self through the banality of the everyday as well as a wider imagination and engagement with the world. These wider engagements are termed as ‘fictive' not because they are unreal but through a conceptual notion of how the self is performed and imagined through wider world events in digital platforms and screen cultures where convergence of technologies allow us to be constantly consumed through the screen as we live out our daily lives. The narration of our lives through the banal and the fictive constantly co-produces the self through a situated domesticity of the everyday and equally through the eventful. In the process it reveals our ongoing relationship with the screen as an orifice for the production of self and the construction of a social reality beyond our immediate domesticity.
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The notions of identity and the performative are tightly entwined in our digital lives. Our daily interactions and engagements online contribute to identity creation. The banal and the perfunctory as they migrate to online spaces of communication, everyday life becomes performed online and these mediated rituals of communicating the mundane and ritualistic can be therapeutic while enabling the self to be consumed by others. Both the ways in which we perceive ourselves through our daily rituals and the ways in which others consume us are important to the notion of presence in digital culture. The communication of the daily rituals also inscribes a sense of space demarcating certain spaces with a sense of familiarity and resonance online. As such the self is constantly produced and renewed through the everyday. The diarisation of our lives and equally the exhibitionistic qualities along with the performative means the self is produced and consumed contemperously in online spaces as we go about our daily routines in our physical environments. Beyond the routine and perfunctory of the everyday, self-production online entails interaction with a wider world. These wider worlds of conversations, political events, popular imagination and fantasy equally conjoin with the everyday. The self is then co-produced through the banal and the fictive as we conceive them in our everyday imagination.

This paper explores the notion of self-production online through the categories of the banal representing the everyday and the notion of entwining the self with the wider world events which I term as the ‘fictive’. The fictive of the wider world is an important part of inserting the self into a social reality beyond personal lived experiences and the routines of the everyday life, where the political and aesthetic self emerges and interacts with a world imagined, experienced and performed through digital platforms and experienced through the screen.

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