I’ve always believed we have separate digital representations of ourselves that never accurately depict the person offline. Recently, the National Media Museum introduced the Internet Mirror that takes the first step towards trying to decipher your digital self versus your regular IRL self.
Internet Mirror is a website that asks you seven questions to help determine your “online reflection” or your online personality. It’s based on the Big 5 personality system and the results are compared to more than 6.5 million personality surveys. The short survey asks you questions relating to your online preferences and social networks such as which celebrities you would follow on Twitter to which online news sources you check regularly.
Though the results may not be completely accurate (it surmised that I was a male based on my celebrity Twitter preference) and they offer a small pool of choices to correctly represent my very sophisticated taste in pop music, it’s definitely an interesting look at piecing together your digital self. If you connect your networks, the Internet Mirror also gathers your social media activity and compares it to the average user.
What’s really interesting about this project is that it focuses on the interaction between community, self identity and the Internet. There’s always going to be a number of perceptions of yourself online. Just like in real life where you meet people on your good days or bad days and in coffee shops or in grocery stores, you interact with people online at a Twitter chat or someone might follow you based on your Instagram feed. Between the general personality of each social network/website exhibits online and the amount of content we share online, there are a lot of factors to shaping our digital selves.
Definitely give this personality survey a shot. Yes, the Internet Mirror may have thought I was a guy, but even it's errors may have some insight to the culture around that selection -- there's a good bit of information to absorb in this fun examination. This is a pretty cool experiment that starts a great conversation about culture and community in this day and age.