The widespread use of internet enabled devices among contemporary US adults has given rise to a series of questions about issues of identity, privacy and group behaviors. The increasing use of algorithmic systems in social media and the attendant privacy concerns among users may also contribute to increased levels of strategic management of identity among users. In order to contribute to this discussion, this project examines perceptions and practices of privacy and self-representation in digital spaces among college age adults 18-24. This project utilizes semi-structured interview data collected with college students in the Eastern United States and focuses on both behavioral and attitudinal patterns. I specifically consider the impact of strategic interventions of corporate media platforms to collect, distribute, manage and utilize individual level data on participants' information consumption, individual identity representation and group affiliation. Preliminary data suggests that participants engage partial and strategic representations of self across diverse media platforms. Patterns of self-representation are shaped by a wide variety of factors including in-group online community norms, perceptions of visibility and privacy, algorithmic distributions of information and individual perceptions of technology. Furthermore, online identity, while partial and strategically created, has the potential to impact self-identity and group affiliation in a diverse set of offline and online contexts.
This is the author's version of the work. This publication appears in Gettysburg College's institutional repository by permission of the copyright owner for personal use, not for redistribution.
Standlee, Alecea Ritter, "Surveillance and the Self: Understanding Privacy and Identity in Digital Environments" (2019). Friday Forum. 7.