As an avatar you have created an identity to represent yourself each day. This avatar is somebody you have made that speaks for you, acts for you, interacts for you and responds as you. A dimension to your identity that will outlive your flesh and blood online forever if you want it to. Ever known somebody who died and still been able to access their blogs and Facebook page? That part of them doesn't go away. When you understand that a lot of your day is spent on that social network, it tends to become how you recognise people. Confusing when there is no real human behind the profile.
- Perfect Memory
Every moment you have ever shared is documented and filed and recalled in a second with social media. Pictures, comments, allusions, jokes private and public; it's all there on Facebook and Twitter and all your other extensions of online identity. You and nobody else will ever truly forget anything and if they do, they can get it back with the click of a button.
- Never Age
If you never want your friends to see you age, you never have to. You don't even have to watch yourself get older. You can choose any image you want, whenever you want to represent you. You can even be somebody or something else entirely. Just upload what you find appealing. You can add and take from your profile as you want to so if you want to be twenty-two, red haired and slim forever you can. Just edit it into your identity as an online avatar.
- Manipulate Time and Space
Digital media ignores time and space obstacles. It gaps the holes of limitations that previously, we would never have been able to instantaneously like we can do now through social media communication. We can talk to anyone, wherever they are in the world and even form friendships and bonds where they don't even remotely exist in 'reality.'
- Become Invisible
What's the first thing you would do if you had the power to be invisible? Watch people without them knowing perhaps while you are in the nude? Well, social media is nothing if not a giant voyeuristic tool. You can find out what people are doing, where they are going or have gone, what they are looking at and sharing; all without even letting them know you are watching them.
- Predict the Future
There are ways to predict the future too with social media. Looking at what is trending that week on social networks such as Twitter and then seeing how the pattern of trending works will tell you what most people will be occupying their sharing time with in the future. You can track and analyze what transfers from news into a social network trend. Similarly you can start your own trends through sharing. The collective mind of social media is something malleable that you can manipulate with content.
- Change the World
When you consider how social media has given everyone a platform to speak on and a worldwide audience to hear it, you can consider yourself a powerful entity in events. Politics and the economy are greatly affected by social online campaigns. This year in Egypt, a dictatorship was overthrown by the public that was largely helped along through social media. An international soapbox that allows your voice to be sent and be received.
- Hide Your Weakness
Superman couldn't stand kryptonite and vampires turn to ash under the sun. On social media, you never have the chance of revealing what your innermost weakness is, what hurts your feelings or even how you really feel. You are protected by a digital cable that will only transfer emoticons and exclamation marks when you want it to and never let on that there are tears or fears behind the screen.
So, after realising that man has very cleverly engineered a way to live forever, how is one supposed to feel? Superior? Powerful? Part of the bigger picture? Or strangely unnerved that the concept of socialising online could lead to a way of being remembered forever? A marvellous and troubling thought that the future will ask of you the more and more we allow social media to transcend our identities.