Today & Thursday we are screening the film “Catfish,” which explores the fluid nature of identity on the internet and in social media. This is the same film the MTV show is based on. In the next few classes, we will be exploring several social issues that have risen in prominence due to our new digital world.
Recently, the story of Notre Dame football star Manti Te’o and the hoax surrounding his dead/non-existent online girlfriend.
The discussion in the media, and in our culture (at large) is interesting when considering the issues surrounding identity on the internet. Some people say the man who posed as Te’o’s girlfriend had, indeed, a real emotional relationship with the football player. Some wonder how Te’o could be so naive. Some wondered how the media was going to handle correcting such a publicly reported falsity. (all these articles are sourced from Deadspin, the blog that broke the story. Feel free to read up on other links from other sources as well.)
What do you think about identity on the internet? Do you have an experience with pretending to be someone your not, or finding out someone wasn’t who you thought they were? Do you think identity is important on the internet, who or why not? What are the benefits of using the internet to explore identity? Discuss in the comments below.