Being Beyond the Reality Principle Through Production and Consumption of the Self in the Digital Realm. A Bit about the Digital Created Self in the Shared Personal Life Online. Being Distantly Social and Distantly Present

  •  Yana D. Nikolova    


Taking posting of personal events in pictures and text on Facebook as examples, the article discusses some mechanisms of production of the Self in a new form. Using the process of creating a constructed identity on a social media platform, the paper combines Jacques Lacan, Carl Rogers and Karen Horney in explaining psycho-socially how and why people create an imaginative version of themselves online. The Selves are produced in the digital according to specific needs and drives of their owners. The Other(s) (their audience) that consumes it, bring values and sense of worth by consuming it.  The main claim the article makes is that as a result of the communication between the Self and its audience (the Other (s) in the digital), personal values about self-worth change. As a result, self-identification with the consuming audience leads to self-actualizing and glorifying. This sets up the process of creating an Ideal Image based on chosen and hidden content. By doing this, the Ego, led by the Ideal, uses the views from the Imaginary that applies in the digital (the Symbolic order) to reproduce and keep personal narrative of identity going. Hence, an Ideal image is produced. Once produced, it starts to be consumed by the Others from distance that creates the illusion of fulfilment, even constructed in parts. This digital version of the Self experiences a life beyond the reality principle.  The last few years Facebook has become an area of creating digital Selves that are produced in particles, reproduced (with added pieces) and consumed by a chosen audience.

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