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Virtual Personality: A Search for New Identity

Affiliations

  • Lomonosov Moscow State University, Faculty of Sociology, Moscow, Russian Federation

Abstract


Background/Objectives: The study is aimed at analyzing the phenomenon of virtual personality being of current concern in the context of the information revolution in the new century, its distinctive features and characteristics. Methods: The authors use the methods of theoretical research (including methods of analysis of documents, relevant scientific literature, monitoring online media). To get the most relevant and useful scientific information, the above methods were applied comprehensively. Findings: The analysis of recent developmental trends in the community showed an increase in new forms of social interaction within the virtual communication on the Internet. It was found that the transfer of communication in the virtual environment, the communicant’s immersion in a variety of network communities, forming in the global information space, creates a problem with the allocation of a virtual personality carrier. Alongside with this, the boundaries between the real and the unreal are being blurred, which in turn leads to the problem of self-identification and identification of an individual in the new social and cultural reality, the construction of identity. The article analyzes the peculiarities of the process of finding a new identity in the information environment and carries out systemic understanding of the status of the personality in the cyberspace. Different approaches to defining a new communication environment and the factors influencing its development are compared in the article. The authors have analyzed the main modes of virtual personality, distinguished by various researchers and their semantic content. The most relevant problem areas for the researchers involved in the study of virtual personality have been identified. In the course of theoretical and sociological analysis the key characteristics of virtual personality and the conditions of its emergence and existence on the Internet were considered. Applications/Improvements: The obtained results allow clarifying further the definition of ‘virtual personality’ and form a single, holistic understanding of this phenomenon, implementing its multivariate analysis and considering the results of human activities on the Internet in isolation from their creator

Keywords

Cyberspace, Representation, Identity, Information and Communications Technologies, Information, Virtual Community, Virtual Personality.

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