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The Continuum of Online Identity Final Major Project Report

By Maria-Pavlina Kiniaris University for the Creative Arts


AKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to express my deep gratitude for the various people who helps and supported me along side my Final Major Project. I Firstly would like to thank my tutor and head of course, Camille Baker for the helpful tutorials and enabling me to visit her office for assistance and at any time required. I wish to thank all the participants who kindly took part in my primary research questionnaire, as this was a personal subject to participate in. I would also like to extend my thanks to the technicians Paul and Craig, from the Foundation Department who guided me with building the installation, and letting me use the Foundation workshop and resources. In addition, I would like to thank Andy, another technician, for organising the time for me to use the workshop. Further more, I would like to thank my friends Catherine Jane Mallett, Michael Kennedy and Ricky Tollfree, who gave up 6 and a half hours of their time to help me build a black out room for my installation. Finally I would like to thank Tom Lynch, who gave up a lot of his time to guide me through the technical aspects of my project, assist me in the laser cutting room and provide me with his support and guidance. Thank you!

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CONTENTS List of Figures ........4 About Me ........5 Introduction & Motivation ........6 Abstract ........6 Proposal ........8 Research & Creative Influences ........10 Talhotblond Analysis ........12 Cafish Analysis ........14 Primary Research – Questionnaire Report ........16 Questionnaire Report Conclusion ........22 Design & Creative Process ........28 Implementation – Hands on Work ........40 Exhibition Set-Up ........59 Final Exhibition Set-Up ........62 User Testing ........63 Reflection & Evaluation ........66 Conclusion & Future work ........70 Referencing ........72 Appendix ........75


LIST OF FIGURES

Fig 1. ‘MarineSniper’ [Image] In: www.abcnews.go.com/2020/marinesniper-talhotblonde-sexy-ims-love-letters/story?id=10146967 (2010) Fig 2. Talhotblond in Hollywood: Who Plays Who in Blood-Soaked Online Love Triangle [Image] In: http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/ photos/photos-talhotblond-hollywood-plays-blood-soaked-online-love-16855392/image-16855868 Fig 3. The woman that Nev had fallen in love with turned out to be Angela Wesselman, a middle-aged wife and mother [Image] In: http://www. dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2264053/Catfishing-The-phenomenon-Internet-scammers-fabricate-online-identities-entire-social-circles-trickpeople-romantic-relationships.html (2013) Fig 4. Catfish’s Photo Fraud Victim [Image] In: www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2010/10/04/catfish-aimee-gonzales-speaks-out.html (2010) Fig 5. Helsingin Kaupunki, (2013), mask8 [ONLINE]. Available at: http://w-h-s.fi/performances/masks-the-machine/ [Accessed 04 April 15]. Fig 6. Helsingin Kaupunki, (2013), machine3 [ONLINE]. Available at: http://w-h-s.fi/performances/masks-the-machine/ [Accessed 04 April 15]. Fig 7. Helsingin Kaupunki, (2013), machine4 [ONLINE]. Available at: http://w-h-s.fi/performances/masks-the-machine/ [Accessed 04 April 15]. Fig 8. Helsingin Kaupunki, (2013), mask10 [ONLINE]. Available at: http://w-h-s.fi/performances/masks-the-machine/ [Accessed 04 April 15]. Fig 9. Anthony d'Offay, (1995), The Veiling [ONLINE]. Available at: http://www.sfmoma.org/media/features/viola/BV14.html [Accessed 04 April 15]. Fig 10. Harhinkim, (2004), Humanoid Herb [ONLINE]. Available at: http://www.harhin.com/Humanoid%20Herb.html [Accessed 04 April 15]. Fig 11. Harhinkim, (2004), Humanoid Herb 2 [ONLINE]. Available at: http://www.harhin.com/Humanoid%20Herb.html [Accessed 04 April 15]. Fig 12. Cyrill Foiret, (2011), LAYER MOTIVES BY NOBUHIRO NAKANISHI 1 [ONLINE]. Available at: http://trendland.com/layer-motives-bynobuhiro-nakanishi/ [Accessed 04 April 15]. Fig 13. Cyrill Foiret, (2011), LAYER MOTIVES BY NOBUHIRO NAKANISHI 2 [ONLINE]. Available at: http://trendland.com/layer-motives-bynobuhiro-nakanishi/ [Accessed 04 April 15]. Fig 14. Oskar & Gaspar . (2012). mapping screenshot 1. Human Face Video Mapping by Oskar & Gaspar. Making of.. [Online Video]. 2012. Available from: https://player.vimeo.com/video/39697056. [Accessed: 04 April 2015]. Fig 15. Oskar & Gaspar . (2012). mapping screenshot 2. Human Face Video Mapping by Oskar & Gaspar. Making of.. [Online Video]. 2012. Available from: https://player.vimeo.com/video/39697056. [Accessed: 04 April 2015]. Fig 16. Oskar & Gaspar . (2012). mapping screenshot 4. Human Face Video Mapping by Oskar & Gaspar. Making of.. [Online Video]. 2012. Available from: https://player.vimeo.com/video/39697056. [Accessed: 04 April 2015]. Fig 17. Oskar & Gaspar . (2012). mapping screenshot 3. Human Face Video Mapping by Oskar & Gaspar. Making of.. [Online Video]. 2012. Available from: https://player.vimeo.com/video/39697056. [Accessed: 04 April 2015]. Fig 18 A continuum of identity manipulation [Illustration] In: Peachy and Childs, Online Communication. P.63

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A BIT

ABOUT ME

I can once and for all hold my hands up and say, ‘Yes! I have finally completed three very tough, intense and fun years of University!’. Looking back from my early school days, I never would have imagined myself at University purely because, in all honesty, I never knew much about University in itself. After speaking to many people, and watching my friends travel in their own directions, it was my time to take it that extra step further. Having such a huge passion for graphics and digital design, this strived me to further my knowledge about the pathways in life and what steps I can take

next to further my knowledge. Some programs I found a bit more One of the first questions I asked challenging such as learning to code myself was how to get into uni? In on CSS and HTML and working 2011, I decided to go on my own with Ardunio. However when I travels and at the age of 17 I finally got into my third year, I decided to got accepted to do a Foundation challenge myself further and reach Diploma in Art and Design at UCA out my comfort zone and undergo Farnham, focusing down the Visual a project which incorporated Communication pathway. The Ardunio and coding. After finishing year consisted of a lot of hands on my final year, I still had a passion work, videoing and editing films for graphics and working within which was a new path for me, and the Adobe Creative Suits which furthering my knowledge in Adobe I want to pursue a career with Creative Suits. In addition to this, I these programs involved. After ended up qualifying for a Drawing undergoing a social media based Award as well which was a bonus! brief for the D&AD awards, I found After qualifying for my Foundation, another passion for social media I soon after got a transfer over to and enjoyed the interactivity with UCA Epsom, where I started of my online users. These three years are degree in Digital Communication finally over, however my life has Design, and this is when it all just begun, taking me on a new officially started! I had a mind set journey to experience. of becoming a motion graphic designer when I first started my degree, however this soon changed when my mind was opened up to many different aspects and roles you can actually undergo within the industry. Within the first two years of my degree, I had experimented with many programs which were all new to me. Some I enjoyed, such as working in 3DS MAX and Unity, building my own 3D environment and game, working in Photoshop, Illustrator and Indesign.


INTRODUCTION

&MOTIVATION

The interest of this topic stems and magazines portray people from personal use through social through social media compared media with the powering effects to how they represent themselves it has on today’s society, which through their personal sites such as tends to influence how people Instagram, where user’s posts have behave online. The motivation to been shared with the world which study this specific area lies upon have been personally selected personal experience and encounters and edited in certain ways for the I have come across whilst actively viewers to take in how they want to being online, especially on social be perceived. media sites. Not just from personal experience, however how the news

A BSTRACT

The purpose of this proposal is to outline my project on how social media has an influence on our behaviours, approaches to people and how we adapt ourselves to how we want to be perceived. This project will explore how social media has an influence one’s online and virtual identity. I will look at how people create and maintain an online persona through popular social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram. However, I will 6

also be focusing on online dating because I find that users within the virtual world of dating would emphasise a persona as they are trying to look their best to impress other users, which demonstrate examples of how people have constructed their online persona. I will study how people create their own reality and their online persona, which is viewed by other interactive users, and I will determine how accurate this is

compared to how people who know them best actually see them. In addition, I will use ethnographic methods such as carry out interviews and questioning people on how “real” they set out to portray themselves online. In reality, are we really the person we set out to be? The way we edit our pictures slightly to create flawless skin to hide any of our flaws? I will investigating Identity in the Age of the Internet (Turkle


1997) which highlights identitytransforming relationships between computer and a person alone with the machine, enabling us to live in virtual worlds. In addition to this, I’ll do an analysis of the documentary/film Talhotblond, directed by Barbara Schroeder (2009), which is based on a true of an online love triangle. From this thrilling documentary, a TV show was created by Nev Schulman called Catfish, which reveals the truth and lies of online dating. From this research, I aim to produce an installation which will have layers of acrylic sheets etched with different features of a face, so when the sheets are lined up, you will be able to look through them and the view will produce a full facial image, representing the breakdown of online identity.


emphasise a persona as they are trying to look their best to impress other users, which demonstrate examples of how people have The purpose of this study is constructed their online persona. to investigate the implications I will study how people create their of how social media had an online persona, which is viewed influence on our behaviours and by other interactive users, and I communicational approaches to will determine how accurate this is other interactive online users. With compared to how people who know face-to-face communication, we them best actually see them. communicate not only through our words, but also through I will use ethnographic methods appearances. However, the way we such as carry out interviews and communicate online is based on questioning people on how “real” the disclosure of information that they portray themselves online, one wishes others to know. This seeing whether they are trying study will demonstrate the ways to create their very own online that we adapt ourselves through a personas. In reality, are we really virtual world to create our online the person we set out to be? The personas, identity manipulating way we edit our pictures slightly to to give others an image of the type create flawless skin to hide any of of person we want to be viewed our flaws? Are we really the person as. Online Identity is a complex we set out to be online? Or are we business and still in the process of hiding behind another persona? being understood. I will also investigate into the This project will explore how social ‘identity in the age of the internet’ media has an influence one’s online (Turkle 1997), which highlights the and virtual identity. I will look at identity-transforming relationships how people create and maintain an between computer and a person online persona through popular alone with the machine enabling social media sites such as Facebook us to live in virtual worlds. In and Instagram. However, I will addition to this, I’ll do a close also be focusing on online dating reading of the documentary/film because I find that users within “Talhotblond”, directed by Barbara the virtual world of dating would Schroeder 2009, which is based

PROPOSAL

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Schroeder 2009, which is based on a true story where three people are caught up in a fantasy and are all involved in a love triangle that takes place entirely online. From this thrilling documentary, a TV show was created by Nev Schulman called “Catfish”, which reveals the truth and lies of online dating and identity theft which is happening in our society today. The term “Catfish” is a term created by Nev Schulman meaning “a person who creates fake personal profiles on social media sites—pretending to be someone more outwardly appealing than his/her true self, by using someone else’s pictures and false biographical information”. From this research, I aim to produce an installation which will have layers of acrylic sheets etched with different features of a face, so when the sheets are lined up, you will be able to look through them and the view will produce a full facial image. There will be two facial features, one at each end of the installation. One face will represent the online self and the other face will represent the offline self. The aim of this is to focus on the breakdown of identity people produce through social media. For example, ‘The Continuum of Identity’ focuses of the three main stages: 1) Anonymity, 2) Pseudonymity and


3) Real Life. Each sheet will light up “From this research, I aim individually, according to how close to produce a projection of of faraway an individual is stood dentity that will be projected to the installation, the closer you through two sheets of glass. “From get, the more you see. The distance this research, I aim to produce represents how well you know a projection of identity that will someone and how much you see. be projected through two sheets For example, the further away you of glass. The aim of this is to are you see very little, the closer you have a clear sheet of glass and a are, the installation lights up more fragmented sheet of glass, which because you see more of someone. will be placed slightly behind By using body sensors, LED strips the clear sheet. Alongside the and an Arduino UNO device, this projection, a booklet will make will bring the whole installation which explains to the viewer as to together to work. why this has been done and to give the viewer a better understanding about my project.” When first writing up my proposal and abstract, I had a very different As you can see, the first idea idea in mind. Initially, I was still producing an interactive profile focusing on the social media was more app based. Initially, services and concentrating on working with apps I wasn’t people’s online personas however, too comfortable with this as the end product I aimed to achieve experienced in the past. I would was very different. I had changed rather do a project based on my idea three times until I came up something I enjoyed doing, with my final one. The ideas were as however pushing myself to the followed: limit.

2)

CHANGES

1)

“From this research, I aim to produce an interactive profile which users can input their physical details such as, height, hair colour, interests and over time, these profiles will build up, matching you to your perfect match.”

The second idea was too simple. I liked the idea of projecting however this was just projecting an image through glass. I felt like I can push myself more to produce something better and exciting. However, by projecting through glass, this influenced my final idea

and instead of projecting, I will use LED strips and lasered acrylic glass to create a certain image, which can be viewed if a person, looks through the acrylic when stood in a certain angel, instead of projecting an image. I found my new and final idea was more thrilling and exciting, which makes my installation interactive and interesting.


RESEARCH & CREATIVE INFLUENCES When somebody says, “I’m going online”, where in reality are they going? From the beginning of the 21st century, the use of technology has increased substantially, providing a whole new world for people to step into. This exciting and fast paced growing world is identified as the World Wide Web. Considering online communication, our “emotions and behaviours usually occur when we perceive positive or negative significant changes in our personal situations, or in the situations of those related to us” (Ben Ze’ev 2003:58). Identity represents an individual’s characteristics by which they are recognised by. For instance, a rock star would represent themselves as rebellious and powerful. However, if a rock star were to choose to act like a rock star online, they would possibly reveal their interest in rock music. According to Scaglia (2011) this portrays the concept of the mask, whereby an individual interacts in a social sphere ‘masking’ their identity, due to the decisions an online user makes on his or hers profile. Even if a person choses to hide behind their identity, it is clear that it has been constructed which says something about their “fear and lack of self-esteem” (Scaglia. 2011:27).

The Concept of the “Mask”

The concept of the mask was analytically discussed by Dorain Wiszniewski and Richard Coyne (2002), in their involvement to the book “Building Virtual Communities”. The concept of the mask initially indicates the identity that someone is not exactly constructing, however living up to a type of characteristic they want to be recognised as. Scaglia (2011) indicates that, “the online mask does not reveal the actual identity of a person. It however, does reveal an example of what lies behind the mask.” This is where the online user has a conscious decisions about how they wish to be perceived and represent themselves as online, whilst hiding behind a false identity. Scaglia (2011) indicates:

“If a person choses to act like a rock star online, this metaphor reveals an interest in rock music. Even if the person chooses to hide behind a total false identity, this says something about the fear and lack of self-esteem behind the false mask”. (Scaglia, 2011:27)

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For online identity through social media to be the basis of my project, it is vital to investigate the repercussions of how social media has an influence on our behaviours and communication approaches to other interactive online users.

Goffman (1990), Turkle (1995) and Scalia (2011) discuss ways in which we adopt performances to give other users an impression of how we want to be represented online. For example, Scaglia demonstrates that users portray a mask of identity when involved in virtual With face-to-face communication, environments, as she states that we communicate not only through the identity of a person “reveals on our words, but also mainly through what lies behind the mask” (Scaglia real-time body appearances and 2011:27). body language. However, the way we communicate online is As we enter the virtual world, most often based on the disclosure of performances we inherit are based information that one wishes others around the type of environment to know (Wood et al. 2004). An we step into, for example, as we example of this can be shown log into shared environments, through a virtual world whereby the majority of online users are the digital representation of an performing through their avatars avatar is conducted to other virtual they choose to display. According participants and users who may be to Peachy and Childs (2011), “the simultaneously exploring the same identity of the person operating area (Peachy & Childs 2011). the avatar is usually theirs to reveal according to their preference”. For My project will establish the ways example, as we log into a social that we adapt ourselves through a media website such as Facebook, a virtual world to create our online digital representation of your self personas, where by our identity has will be displayed as an ‘avatar’ on been manipulated by ourselves to your profile. According to Peachy give others an image of the type of and Childs (2010:37), users have person we want to be viewed as. “made virtual worlds into social for identity study”, as we link back to A specific performance we Facebook, all users are portraying encounter when we access the a sense of identity by representing virtual world is called an online themselves a certain way through persona. Many theorist such as their avatar.


TALHOTBLOND ANALYSIS

Users of social media site can someone with power and in some construct their identity online to case a hero, as these attributes fragment their offline selves. A resemble Marine Snipers. classic example of this can be taken from the television documentary called Talhotblond, whereby two of the participators who were involved in a love triangle were not who they set out to be. Montgomery, who went by the screen name of ‘MarineSniper’, proposed himself through an avatar to be a young, handsome marine sniper, where in actually fact, Montgomery was a Figure 1. Marine Sniper middle ages 40 year old man, in a 17 year long marriage. In figure 2, this is the actual representation of As you can see in figure 1, this Montgomery, the real was the avatar Montgomery self who he was hiding. proposed to Jessi, showing a We come to question, false construction of his actual why did he do chose self. He represented himself as a to use a Marine Sniper young Marine Sniper, which was to represent his virtual consequently the opposite of who identity in an online Montgomery actually was. By chat room? choosing to associate himself as a Figure 2. Talhotblond in Hollywood: Who Plays Who in Marine Sniper, this suggests that Blood-Soaked Online Love Triangle he wanted to be represented as 12


By comparing both images, figure 1 shows a young man, full of youth and attractive to a younger audience, whereas figure 2, Montgomery’s real self is an older man, and visually less attractive. According to Dosh (2013) in “The 10 Most Common Lies in Online Dating Profile”’, a study conducted with Dr. Toma reveal participants admitting their lies online. Dr Toma states that “photographs were identified as the single most deceptive element of the person’s profile”. He then goes on to explain that the images are “unintentionally misleading, thanks to poor camera quality and lighting, but others were purposefully altered through digital editing to be more flattering”. Social media is influencing the digital editing of identity as an application called Instagram, has become a photography sensation where over 300 million users are uploading images and loitering around other peoples to ‘like’ and ‘comment’ on them. Self-presentation is very important where by making conscious decisions on how the user wishes to be perceived, for example, personal description, screen name and selecting which avatar to

represent themselves, will in fact be an important decision viewed by other participants. To illustrate this, Wood and Smith (2004) state: “In face-to-face interactions, people infer qualities of our identities based on our gender, race, clothing, and other nonverbal characteristics. Because many of these cues are invisible online, Internet technologies offer us the possibility of controlling more aspect of identity for public consideration than has been possible before”. (Wood et al. 2004:56) This suggests that Montgomery used technology to create an online identity for himself as the characteristic he proposes offline suggest a visually unattractive resemblance of him.


CATFISH

ANALYSIS In relation to the Talhotblond analysis, Catfish the movie was created to promote an online identity scandal that happened to Nev Shulman. The term “Catfish” accordingly means “a person who pretends to be someone they’re not, using social media to create a false identity, particularly to pursue deceitful online romances” (Nev Schulman: no date). By creating these fake profiles on social media websites, the photographs which contain real experiences and descriptions of one’s self collide together to create the identity of a ‘scammer’. In Nevs case, he had fallen in love with a “gorgeous young woman’s Facebook profile and her voice over the phone” (Peterson,2013), a woman named Megan from Michigan. Little to his knowledge, the real person he fell in love with turned out to be a woman called Angela Wesselman who acclaimed to be a “middle-age wife and a mother” (Peterson, 2013). 14

As you can see, figure 1 shows the real representation of the woman behind the screen who Nev fell in love with and in figure 2, was the avatar that Angela used to represent herself as ‘Megan’. The contrast in characteristics is heavily Figure 3: The woman that Nev had fallen in love with turned out to be Angela Wesselman, a middle-aged wife and mother noticeable, as the real representation of Angle demonstrates her to be visually less attractive woman, suggesting that she was using figure 2 for a possible selfesteem boost. Users choose to adapt their images for a sense of “selfgain” As BenZe’ev (2003:56) suggests, Figure 4. Catfish’s Photo Fraud Victim


“In online relationships, people try to enjoy the benefits of both close and remote relationships, while avoiding their flaws”. This is relevant to Angela’s online identity as she promotes a young “vanity-driven” pretty girl to represent her as. In comparison to other social media or virtual dating sites, this aspect can be seen in a way where users edit their images. For example, Instagram provides an immediate service to edit your images before you have the chance to make them public, thus making it easier for users to edit their pictures to create the best of their flaws.

to create a fluid conversation and to live a fantasy online in which she believed to be acceptable at the time. Ben-Ze’ev, (2004:2) indicates, “When people are asked why they engaged in sexual relationships online, the most common reason given is that they have specific fantasies and desires that are not being fulfilled in their offline relationships”.

According to Zsobig.Hubpages (2014) statistics show that 11% of married people are participating on virtual dating websites, as to this day, there are virtual dating websites dedicated to married people in relationships, influencing ‘cheat’ online. Examples of this are websites such In an interview conducted with as “cheater-dating-guide.com” and Angela Wesselman with Abc News, “illicitencounters.com”. stated: “I really created [Megan] to make it more of an age appropriate conversation for [Schulman],” (Berman, Deutshe and Sher, 2010). The description of creating an “age appropriate conversation” for Schulman indicates that Angela, just like Montgomery’s case in “Talhotblond” when he lied his age and identity as he entered a chat room for younger adults, Angela felt the need to lie her age as well


PRIMARY RESEARCH QUESTIONNAIRE REPORT From the analysis and research undergone, this had enabled me to create my own personal questionnaire to find out for myself as to why most people adapt their behaviours and approaches online. By making people take part in a questionnaire, it was vital to go through an ethical procedure which would guarantee the participant reassurance that the questionnaire undergone will be confidential and safe, making sure they understand every possible procedure which was being taken place. For example, letting them know why they were chosen, anonymising the data received, withdrawing from the questionnaire at any time and many more actions. Everything has been stated on the ethics list which would be signed by myself, the participant and a witness. Alongside this an information sheet was provided which stated the purpose of the study, potential benefits, location and further information for concerns or complaints. Participants were given the information sheet to read and a thorough explanation of the questionnaires nature and purpose and what they are likely to do. (The ethics form, information sheets and participants questionnaires will be within the appendix.) 16


Throughout my primary research I interviewed 8 people of whom 7 When asked ‘What purpose would/ were guys and one girl all ranging from 18-21 years old other than one do you use Facebook for?’ Some participant who ranged within the 22-25 year old category. It wasn’t strange answers came back to intentional to ask more boys than girls, however I only noticed this me. One person confessed to use happened once I collated all the questionnaires and looked over them. Facebook to ‘stalk’’ other people. Within the consent form, the participants signed over their permission Four people used Facebook to for me to troll their social media profiles and use their profile images mainly stay in contact with friends that they upload. This was because initially, I was going to undergo an and family and the rest use it for investigation and look at their images and see whether they match what watching funny videos. I find this they were saying. I was going to use their images to show examples of quite interesting because as I am how they represent themselves online, to how the present themselves a regular Facebook user, I tend to offline. When I got round to trolling their social media profiles, in this use it a lot for stalking other people, case I stuck to Facebook, I felt rather bad for taking their images and keeping in touch with friends and making them known to everyone. Seeing as these people are friends, family and use it for watching funn when got round to doing it, I didn’t actually want to share or even reveal videos. So all the points given is who they are because I didn’t feel comfortable with this myself, even how I tend to use Facebook. In though they did sign over and give me permission to do so. However, addition to this, I personally use it within the analysis of answers from the participants, I have spoken about for viewing and uploading pictures the ways in which they answered, relating back to their profiles after as well to share with everyone. trolling them. After asking the gender and age of the participants, this led onto the third question. Which follows:

‘Do you actively use social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram in your day-to-day life? If yes, can you explain how much time you spend on these social media sites?’ Seven people replied yes and one replied ‘not so much’. When asked this question people gave an average time alongside their answer. It was interesting because five people responded on average they spend around one hour a day on social media, whereas one person responded up to 8 hours strolling the Internet and another responded ‘just once in a while’.


When asked what purpose would/ do you use Instagram for? Four people didn’t use Instagram however the other four did. One in particular answer I found interesting was to ‘following birds’ and ‘#Foodporn’. Other people however are actively using other social media platforms such as snapchat, which one person states that everyone uses it and two people use Twitter on a regular basis. However one answer stood out to me which when asked which social media platforms are you best using and why, the response was ‘Twitter & Instagram – can post anything, family not on there to see’. This answer reveals that this participant is hiding or not revealing a certain aspect of them for their family to see.

the best impression of themselves because they are trying to impress others. When asked of anyone has online dating service that could be in the forms of an online dating website or a dating/match making application, five out of eight people had confessed to using these services and shockingly one person admitted to using 6 online dating services already who lies in the age range of 18-21. After finding out how many people use or have used online dating services, the people who had done, had to carry on answering the following questions, however the people who haven’t had to skip a couple of questions because the following questions were online dating related. When asked what purpose do you use online dating services for, I found all answers were different to one another. Only two people specified to using online dating sites for fun, however the other 3 people were in some way interesting.

One of the participants was using online dating services to find a girlfriend because they were desperate...

So far, the questions asked are only and the other participants were just looking for the opposite sex and getting themselves out there into the online dating environment. to get a rough background about the participants use with social media. I then go on to ask some more personal questions that are more beneficial and focus more on the point of my study. I then went onto ask people about their times using online dating services. A reason behind this is that people tend to show the better side of their profile, to give 18


I then went on to ask the participants, when describing yourself on your online dating profile, how accurate is the description you are proposing? Do the descriptions provided describe yourself in your day-to-day life or mainly in an online environment? One person withdrew from answering this question, which is aloud. One confessed to never showing their full name on any social media or online dating site they are actively on and the other three people bullet pointed aspects of themselves. Some of them

When participants were questioned about how much about themselves do they tend to give away on their online profile, most of the participants stated that they don’t tend to give much of themselves away, some answered to just giving their age, location and occupation, whereas someone else stated showed they give everything away about themselves but nothing about and good family. So far from analysing the Following this, they went on to saying that they did not show any signs questionnaires, it has come to my knowledge that family plays a big of unhappy things, poor qualities, bad habits and bad photos. These role in how someone perceives answers suggest that these people are trying to empahsise the best himself or herself because a lot is things about them so that they can be perceived in a good way from other users. In conjunction to the previous question, I then asked how hidden from them. This way be because people tend to live up to accurate is the description you are proposing on your online dating a certain standard for their family, profile. Everyone answered actuate or pretty much accurate to this or even hold a different persona question. I think I should have carried this question out in a different around them as our personas and give people the option ‘from one to ten’ to get a more accurate tend to be adapted depending rating. This is because the participants just wrote the word ‘accurate’ on what environment we are down which did not really give away too much. in. This strongly shows that the When asked if participants online dating profile only show the better side of them, or if they chose to put less attractive images up to represent online self is altered to fit a certain representation style. themselves, only one person didn’t respond to this question fully and stated that they post some pictures they put on their Instagram profile. The other four people said they reveal attractive pictures of themselves. I started to ask questions that were more based around the way the This shows that the image they are trying to represent online has been participants represent themselves selected to be the best side of them to represent, possibly to impress online. I went on to ask them, other users. when uploading images of yourself From here on, the other participants are now involved in answering the on to any social media platform, has there been a time when you’ve questions, as they are not related to the online dating services. edited images to portray a certain style or look? This could be from

success, money fun, good looking photos, socialness qualities.


adjusting the brightness, adding selected filters, or even cropping images. If yes, please provide a

statement as to why you have chosen to edit your pictures? When asked this question, 6 out of the

8 participants admitted to editing their images. Editing the images were mainly for improving the image and making themselves look better for example, a participant adjusts the

brightness of their images whereas another participant edits their images to crop half their face out because of their big cheeks. It is evidently clear that the editing of images to make yourself look better online is done for a self-confidence aspect or to make the image better. From this, the representation of the online self can be seen as a better/nicer representation of ones self. The previous question led into asking the participant whether they portray a certain look/style online and whether it represents then in an offline environment. Two participants responded that they try and

portray a successful image online, with one other participant responding to sometimes

representing him or herself differently online. The other participants responded no to this, however in previous questions admitted to editing their pictures before they are posted online. Sometimes, we may not see the things that we are doing, or even the actions we are taking to undergo how we are perceived online. I then went on to asking them whether they think social media has an influence on how they represent themselves online. Four of the participants said no and one participant refused to answer. The other participants stated yes, it does have an influence because you are given the option

to edit pictures before you upload them. Another participant stated that social media make them more self-conscious, and the other participant has certain people on their social media sites they don’t want seeing certain things. I wanted to ask my participants whether they knew anyone else or have been involved in a situation where social media has influenced ones identity. Three people withheld from answering this question however the other five did. Not only is this to do with the way you look and hold yourself online, however two participants restrain what they say, as this can bee seen by future employees and family and know other people that do so as well. The other two participants described the way in which they edit their

pictures and aspect of themselves, either by cropping or enhancing their images to fit into a social environment.

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When asked whether if there is limitation on your social media profiles that you choose to expose about yourself all participants’ answers narrowed down into the same category. Privacy was one of the main things that were discussed. For example, date or birth, personal life, phone and email. Two People were image conscious and said anything less that being in a vest and shorts is not left on their social media and an other participant stated that anything revealing that shows the breast area or revealing, is kept private. After trolling their Facebooks, one of the participants has stuck to their word and the way they represents themself online is exactly how they have answered.

other peoples attention by humour, help and interesting things, From trolling this individuals Facebook, it is clear that they are one of the funny kinds. Seeking the attention from other users to ‘like’ their post for sharing images and funny videos. I guess this related to Erving Goffmans ‘self-gain’ theory, whereby the participant gains satisfaction from other people, thus making them feel better. The other participants withdrew from answering this question.

When asked whether participants represent themselves exactly how they are offline, all their responses were yes, or as close as they can get to. Only one person responded ‘not all the time’, however after trolling this person Facebook, I can definitely this! The Following this question, I resemblance online to their offline thereafter went on to ask them what influences their decision on self is significantly different due to the behaviours and images they the way they behave/represent themselves online? One participant upload. strongly said the people who are Following this, when asked around him influence the way he whether participants would makes decisions online. This can relate to someone else saying that portray a certain persona to try and impress someone else online future emplyees may be able to see the way you behave, so this is only three people answered saying yes, however ever so slightly and a decision to make with regards depending on the situation they are to representing yourself online. Someone else responded to gaining in.

The final question I asked whether they have ever met someone online and continued an online friendship without ever meeting them? If yes, can you go into further detail about this scenario? Consider how you felt, what made you feel good and as to why you haven’t met the person yet. Only two people answered yes to this question and the other 6 people said no. One participants response was meeting people from a design team, however the other persons response was quite interesting. This participant was speaking to another user online more or less every day however they never got to meet because the users were either busy or in a relationship, or married!


QUESTIONNAIRE REPORT CONCLUSION

To conclude this all up, I would first like to thank every one of the participants who took part in the questionnaire and allowed me to get the results I needed. The findings have been rather interesting and carrying out this questionnaire has made me think more about how people represent themselves online. I have learnt that people tend to hide, or remove their images or things people say from their social media sites because they don’t want family or current/future employees to see. In addition to this, it shows that when users are active on online dating profiles, they tend to reveal the better side of themselves and enhancing their images to give off the best image, possibly to impress other users. The majority of participants revealed that they did not show any unhappy/bad aspects towards themselves and wanted success to be a main image they give off. This goes to show that the majority of people are aware and think about what they post online and how they reveal themselves to other users. 22


CREATIVE INFLUENCES My creative influences have encouraged and helped me alter my project various times. As I initially settled on making a video projection and projecting through glass sheets. I had looked into many projects that had a similar concept, encouraging myself to think of more creative and interesting ways of designing. I have looked into projects that use video projection as their main project platform. Here are some projects that I found interesting and could potentially have an influence on my work. I have researched into various types of video projections which I find interesting and creative in various way. These are the main projects that I felt had a big influence within my design process.


MASK & THE

MACHINE

Figure 7. machine4

In a small box-shaped work an extra large close-up of an eye is layered on several polymer glass plates put in small distances between each other. Every now and then a stream of electricity is conducted into the plate turning the surfaces of the Figure 6. machine3 plates matte, shutting down the flow of the image through one glass plate to another. Seeing is fragile. The plates refer to the membranes Figure 5. mask8 inside the eye and the threats, which are confronting it – in example a physical injury or opacity Figure 8. mask10 of the lens of the eye. Although Nio has filmed his own eye, in a I really like the idea behind this tight close-up every eye becomes installation. The theme of the eye just “some eye”, like the French film entices you in, creating an eerie director Jean Epstein has said, a environment. I particularly like the close-up detaches itself often from idea of using streams of electricity the environment has been noticed to conduct the plate, turning also by other film theorists, like them into a matte effect. This is a Béla Balázs and the philosopher very clever way of ‘fragmenting’ Gilles Deleuze. Nio´s work can something and can come in handy remind the viewer also about the when designing and thinking about only film work directed by the fragmenting online identity through writer Samuel Beckett, namely my work practice. “Film” (1964), which starts with a close-up of an eye. 24


THE VEILING Images of a man and a woman Personally, I have tried to think moving through a series of about what could be the possible nocturnal landscapes are projected theory behind this, however it has into parallel layers of loosely not been stated. The installation suspended translucent cloth. They as a whole is rather impressive. I each appear on separate opposing like how the cloth material diffuses video channels, and are seen the light and think this is a really gradually moving from dark areas cleaver way of fragmenting an of shadow into areas of bright light. image. The cloth material diffuses the light and the figures dissipate in intensity and focus as they penetrate further into the scrim layers, eventually intersecting each other on the central veil.

HUMANOID HERB

Figure 9. The Veiling

Figure 10. Humanoid Herb

Humanoid Herb is for the spiritual this video on a hexahedral glass evocation of a human being. The box, resembling a building in the man, whose face and cloth that city. This project has gone beyond is painted, is a metaphor for the creativity. The artist has been really human spirit. Through capturing cleaver and uses metaphors within the man wandering in New York his work, which gets the viewer City’s busiest sites, Rockefeller thinking more about what is being Center, Times Square and China presented, instead of just focusing Town, the artist tried to express on a pretty and eye-catching our soul in the materialistic present installation. day. To emphasise the suffocated psychological aspect of a human being, the artist contrasted the man, who is the image of nature, with urban sights, and then projected Figure 11. machine4


LAYER

MOTIVES CLICK HERE TO WATCH VIDEO

The Japanese artist Nobuhiro Nakanishi has created these beautiful layered up landscape views by using plexiglass acrylic sheets and simply laser printing on them. His theory behind the concept lies within the way we perceive things and not seeing them the way we initially set out to view these things. On his website, he states:

“In a foggy landscape, we no longer see what we are usually able to see – the distance to the traffic light, the silhouette of the trees, the slope of the ground. Silhouettes, distance and horizontal sense all become vague. When we perceive this vagueness, the water inside the retina and skin dissolve outwardly toward the infinite space of the body surface.”

Figure 12. LAYER MOTIVES BY NOBUHIRO NAKANISHI 1

Figure 13. LAYER MOTIVES BY NOBUHIRO NAKANISHI 2

This has a link to the concept of what my project is based on because his views are focused on landscapes and the way they have been unclear and vague. This aims to capture the spiritual change and the infinite flow, producing art work that creates movement between itself and the viewer to gain an anticipating user experience. 26


HUMAN FACE

VIDEO MAPPING CLICK HERE TO WATCH VIDEO For the launch of its first 2 SIM card smartphone - Galaxy Y Duos - Samsung did a surprising project and mapped projections on a human face!

This video uses exclusively the video mapping technique to build several characters on a human face. The images were projected directly over an actor, as in a canvas. This video mapping technique, seen before in spectacular projections on buildings and cars, uses in this video the human face as its single object of work. Video mapping has always been something that really interests me as I find it fascinating and so cleaver how artists do it, especially this one. As soon as I saw this project I was blown away with its sci-fi theme. I think its just mesmerising how they have projected onto someone’s face, creating all sorts of amazing aspects on the person. I like the idea behind this, however you would never know its actually advertising a 2 SIM card phone until the very end.

Figure 14. mapping screenshot 1

Figure 16. mapping screenshot 4

Figure 15. mapping screenshot 2

Figure 17. mapping screenshot 3


DESIGN & CREATIVE PROCESS 28


SKETCHING

I always find the starting point at the beginning a project is the hardest part, which seems to drag on and on. It initially took me about 3-4 weeks of researching, thinking and sketching, trying to grasp that one final idea takes up more time than you imagine. I had an idea in mind at the beginning which was influence by Sherry Turkle as she discussed the internet both as cyberspace and a wonderland that is accessible via a looking glass in the Figures of Fantasy (2005). She discusses that “We are able to step through the looking glass. We are learning to live in virtual worlds. But increasingly, when we step through the looking glass, other people are there as well” From this I came up with the idea of projecting images through glass, or just working with some form of glass and projection. I started sketching out some designs, which had been inspired by the Mask & the Machine exhibition and Bound, a video projection, projected through a box full of water, which has been thoroughly explained previously in the research content. At first I wasn’t too sure what to put on the layers of glass/acrylic sheets as I focused more on the look of the

as I focused more on the look of the installation, not the actual concept behind it.

Here are some of the first sketches I came up with. As you can see, the sketches incorporate the layer style. The first sketch is layered sheets which hang from two rails, with the aim of the image projection projecting all the way through the sheets. The down side to this is that I would want all the images to be slightly different to emphasise changes and adaptations of someone’s persona online. I then went on to sketch other designed which used acrylic glass sheets.

The sketch which shows 3 acrylic sheets that slot into a wooden support box is a more ideal way of using projection with the aim of the projection getting fragmented/ changed by traveling through the glass. The reason I want it to fragment is because the online self tend to be fragmented when people go online. The 3 sheets of acrylic will be made up from different styles

of sheets. The first sheet presented will be a clear sheet, the second will be a slightly blurred sheet and the last one will be a ridged fragmented sheet, which doesn’t allow much projection to travel through. This will give the effect of an image travelling through the acrylic sheets and fragmenting along the way. The final sketch shows two large sized stands, which hold acrylic sheets, using the layer effect form.


On the following sketch, the first stand is a clear acrylic sheet and the second one is a frosted/fragmented sheet. When the projected goes through the sheets, the image presented will become fragmented along the way. I wasn’t too keen on this idea because I think I would have had some troubles trying to find two large stands. Not only this, but I think I had better ideas to work upon. Overall, the design of these sketches are very basic, however as I am focusing on making something interactive, none of these installations presented propose to have any interactive benefits to them, only a visual aspect.

I then went to sketch out some more designs, holding the same style of the layered acrylic sheet effect. Being inspired by Layer Motives by Nobuhiro Nakanishi, I liked the effect he had going on with the mounted up plexiglass acrylic layers which had been laser printed onto, revealing a intriguing landscape view as you look through the glass. Not only did this inspire me to add more acrylic sheets to my design and build upon the layers, it however inspired me with what I would reveal on the sheets.

At that point, I went to sketch out possible installation ideas, which led me to my final design. However there was one thing I forgot to add when sketching and this was I felt that I still needed to work upon my sketches and improve my making the installation interactive. In my farther development, this installation, because I don’t feel like it’s a strong enough project to is where I add the motion sensors in, however as for now, I was still stand on its own. In addition to concentrating on the look of the this, I want to incorporate some installation and what it will do. sort of interaction within the installation to gain some ‘digital communication’ between the viewer and the project. Looking back on the sketches, one of my favourite designs was the three sheets of acrylic, held within a support box. I wanted to expand upon this and create something with a greater interest. 30


FINAL DESIGN


ACRYLIC

SHEET DESIGN

For the designs on the acrylic sheets, I came up with the idea of having layers of facial features in a landscape view, whereby when a view looks through the glass, a whole facial image will appear. I decided to do this because it acts upon the breakdown of identity. Through social media, it has been shown that most people are trying to portray a certain image online or limit the amount they reveal about themselves to expose a certain image.

In my final design, I chose to work with 6 layers of acrylic sheets. This was to focus on each aspect of a face to build up upon on the layers. For example, the first sheet will have the hair on, the second sheet will have eyes, the third nose, the fourth lips, the fifth ear and the sixth eyebrows. I was initially aiming at producing one facial image that will be shown on the installation, however I experienced some trouble of trying to get the perfect looking face.

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As you can see on the previous page, these are the first illustration I set out to do. Each of the illustrations represent a layer of the plexiglass acrylic sheets which will be displayed on the installation. These designs were created on Photoshop by using the pen tool and drawing out the images I wanted and filling the space in black or applying a black stroke. In the back of my head, I kept thinking that my illustration wasn’t good enough. It looked too vague and bland and not the way I wanted it. This could be because I experienced some more trouble along the way due to my laptop crashing various times and me losing my work, and the first illustration I did before these ones, I felt that it was much stronger than this one. So I kept going at it, trying to produce something I was happy with. One mistake I made was not applying any hair onto the face. I’m not too sure why I forgot about this feature, however I then went on to adding the hair.


When adding the hair, I wasn’t too sure which style to go for. The initial aim of showing facial featured layered up is to emphasise the amount of identity someone shows through social media, slowly slowly forming a full facial feature. The face I was creating represented the ‘online self ’, which is much more glamorous and ‘done up’. This was quite hard to illustrate through a black and white illustration as the emphasis of colour can connote beauty and glamour. By adding the hair, I felt that this decreased the ‘done up’ self of the whole image together. I thought maybe it could be because the hair is only a stroke? Maybe I had to fill it in to make it more ‘hair like’. So I went on to filling the hair out. Personally, I still wasn’t too sure on the style of the hair. The style doesn’t fit the head that well and looks like it had been ‘plonked’ there just for the sake of it. So from here, I wanted to experiment with different styles to try and gain the best one to show. This then gave me the idea to change the installation slightly and instead of having one facial image, I could possibly have two. By having two facial images, one will resemble the ‘offline’ self and the other one can resemble the ‘online’ self. This links in with the different personas people adapt to through online environments. 34


EXPERIMENTING WITH LAYOUT

As you can see here, I started to experiment with different facial illustrations. I was still focusing on trying to represent the online self. I started off experimenting with a different hair style which I much preferred to the previous one. The hair style looks like it was more in place and fitted with the face more. After sectioning each part of the face off into 6 parts, each part representing a layer of acrylic sheet, the face started to come together and represent the online self.


Here, I was experimenting with different types of layout and how to represent the online self and offline self. I played around with the layout and put the offline self on one side and the online self of the other side. I wanted to incorporate the two selves together to show the differences between personas that people inherit online. Once seeing the full faces next to each other, I wasn’t too sure on the effect it represent. I don’t think the user will understand as opposed to why the two faces are next to each other. In my opinion, I think I need to experiment more with layout and see which ones work the best.

36


Instead of lasering onto many acrylic sheets to find the best layout, I decided to illustrate each of the designs to see which layout looked the best. As explained before, I wanted to incorporate the online self and the offline self within the installation, so I had decided to go with the ‘back to back’ theme. I think this style looked the best and evened out the installation. In addition to this, when viewing the facial features, if I were to have one feature as opposed to two, the views will be crammed at one end of the installation trying to all look through. Where as, when I have two features, one at either end, this allow viewers to go around the installation and get the most out of the space and LED lights. Acetate sheets were a great way of experimenting quickly and organising layout so you can re-order them within seconds. One problem I did have whilst using this technique was it was quite had to get them to stand up and look through the sheets. So i had to just layer them up against each other flat on the table, which didn’t give the 3D, effect as the layers were compressed up against each other.


CODING & ARDUINO IDEAS

As I remember in my second year, I wasn’t too keen with coding and using an Arduino. I never really had the patients, as this was all new to me. However for my third year project, I decided to challenge myself to incorporate using coding and an Arduino for my FMP. On my installation, I have 6 acrylic sheets, which will light up according to how close someone is to the installation. I initially came up with the first concept and thought id stick to this, however I then though of other ways the installation could be fun and interactive.

Frist Concept

My first concept was thought up when I only had one facial feature on the acrylic sheets. The idea was when someone walks up to the installation, all the LED lights will come on and the viewer will be able to look through the sheets and see a facial image. The sensor will pick up motion from approx. 80cm away from the installation. Each strip of LEDs will be a different colour, which will represent each feature. For example, the hair will be brown, the lips will be red, the eyes will be blue etc. I think this concept wasn’t interactive as much as I would liked it to be, so I went on to think of some other ideas.

Second Concept

My second concept came about when I decided I was having two facial images on my installation. The idea is similar to my first concept however uses two sensors instead of one. Each sensor will be place at either end of the installation. When someone walks up to one end, one of the facial images will light up, and when they walk away, the facial image will disappear. Same goes to the other side of the installation. This means that each side lights up individually, showing individual faces at different times, depending on where the user is stood.

38


Third Concept

Keeping the same concept of on the second idea, instead of each facial figure lighting up all at one time, I decided to have them lighting up individually. When someone walks up to the installation from one side, one sheet will light up. When the user gets walks a little closer, the second sheet will light up and when they walk some more closer, the third sheet will light up. The two facial images will have 3 acrylic sheets on. The first sheet will be the hair, the second will be the nose and mouth and the third will be the eyes. When the user walks away from the installation the lights will switch off. When the user walks around the installation to the other side, the closer they are to it, the more sheets will light up. So, when they are stood further away, the first sheet will light up, then the user walks closer and the second sheet will light and when they walk some more closer the third sheet will light up. I prefer this interactivity because it’s more playful and interesting. The reason why I chose to go with this concept is because it links to how well you know someone. The further away you are, you know less about the viewer, so only one part of the face will show, which represent anonymity. The step closer you get represents pseudonymity, which means that the viewer shows a bit more of their identity and the closest you get the installation all the lights will light up which represents real life identity, creating a full facial image.

How Anonymity, Pseudonymity and Real-Life identity is Shown through Social Media. Anonymity: No degree of identity shown. Online users portray a hidden identity.

Pseudonymity: Some degree of identity shown, that has been fragmented, but holding some characteristics Figure 18. A continuum of identity manipulation that are ‘real’ to the user to the users ‘offline self ’. 
Real-life: Full identity is shown to the users potential. As my installation is based on the construction of identity, “continuum” is a continuous sequence in which adjacent elements are not perceptibly different from each other, but the extremes are quite distinct. As for the continuum of identity, these stages are broken down into anonymity, pseudonymity and real-life. This links into the concept of my installation, as I will have layers of plexiglass spaced out among each other demonstration the build up of an identity shown through social media. The first slide of the plexiglass will have a very vague outline of a facial feature, possibly just the outline of a face, which will be linked to the anonymity of identity. As the layers increase, the next stages of identity will be the pseudonymity, as features will add to then become more vivid, and then flow into the real-life identity, which will represent the continuum of identity.


IMPLEMENTATION. HANDS ON WORK 40


CODING & ARDUINO

When I started to attempt to put together the coding, I looked at various websites to help me. The official Arduino website was very useful and helped expand my knowledge of understanding certain aspects that had to go within the code to make it work. Along side the websites, Tom Lynch helped me with putting the body of the code together, then I was able to play around with it and change the sensor distances and where it picks up motion, colour of the individual strips of lights and anything else that I wanted to change.

Arduino Support, Learning and Playground

On the Arduino website, they have a lot of examples and learning materials to t each a user how to start coding for Arduino. On here, they have massive libraries of code, which you are able to play around with and learn from, which helped me start off my project and get more of an understanding of the device and code it.

Working in Arduino 1.6.2 CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE ARDUINO WEBSITE WHAT IS ARDUINO? Arduino is an open-source electronics platform based on easy-to-use hardware and software. It’s intended for anyone making interactive projects.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE FULL VIDEO

ARDUINO BOARD ARDUINO SOFTWARE Arduino senses the environment You can tell your Arduino what to by receiving inputs from many do by writing code in the Arduino sensors, and affects its surroundings programming language and by controlling lights, motors, and using the Arduino development other actuators. environment.


STARTING OFF Wiring the LED strips together When I received my Adafruit RBG NeoPixel LED strip, it came in a long 3-meter roll. As I was having 6 strips, I had to carefully cut the strips up to the width size of my installation. This turned out to have 6 LEDs on one strip. Once the strips were cut up, I had to re-wire them all so the flow could be consistent. This included using a soldering machine to solder the wires onto the strips. I was tutored by Tom Lynch, who showed me how to use the soldering machine and solder the wires in the allocated places. It was vital that the wires were in the same whilst wiring up all the strips together. The black wire had to be on the ‘ground’ part of the LED strip and the red and white one could go on any other part. As this was my first time using CLICK HERE TO WATCH DUMMY TEST VIDEO the soldering machine, I found it quite tricky. I had to ensure that Once all the strips were soldered tothe metal that soldered the wire gether, I applied some glue from the to the strip wasn’t touching other glue gun, which secured the wires components as this would mess into place and acted a protector for up the flow. After three to four them, so they didn’t break off. attempts, the soldering got easier Once all the strips were connected, and I was able to keep a steady pace I tested it out on a dummy run on momentum of soldering each strip. Arduino. 42


CODING IN ARDUINO First of all, as I was working with Adafruit_NeoPixel strip indicates what strip is being used in each strip. Adafruit LED lights, it was vital to download the Adafruit_Neopixel library. The library was downloaded from 'https://github.com/adafruit/ Adafruit_NeoPixel'. The Libraries provide extra functionality for use in sketches, e.g. working with hardware or manipulating data. My coding will be saved within the library to enable it to work efficiently. Many AVRs contain a Power Reduction Register (PRR) or Registers (PRRx) that allow you to reduce power consumption by disabling or enabling various onboard peripherals as needed. So we needed to include the AVR to enable the Arduino to pick it up.

Secondly, we needed to let the Arduino know that there are two sensors we are working with. These sensors were recognised by inserting '#define distanceSensor1 A0'. This stage was repeated again for the second sensor which was identified as 'distanceSensor2 A1'.

'48', indicates the amount of LED lights I will be using and '6' indicates the amount of LED lights which are in one strip. All in all there are 6 strips which are being used. 'NEO_GBR' represents the LED lights.

Adafruit_NeoPixel strip indicates what strip is being used in each strip. ’48’, indicates the amount of LED lights I will be using and ‘6’ indicates the amount of LED lights which are in one strip. All in all there are 6 strips which are being used. ‘NEO_GBR’ represents the LED lights. When buying the LED strips, I had to make sure I purchased RBG LED lights, as this would give me the opportunity to freely choose which colour I would like them to light up. For example, if I were to go for a blue strip, the only colour I will be aloud to work with will be blue. The b[6] row lights up white, the g[6] row lights up green and the r[6] row right up red. I wanted each layer to be a different colour so they can represent different feautures.

The numbers for the distance is calculated in CM. ‘Far’ is the distance the first sheet of acrylic will light up, ‘near’ is the second sheet and ‘close’ will be the third sheet which will light up. So the further away you are, the first sheet will light up and as you step closer to the installation the second then third sheet will light.


The ‘checkSensor’ allows the LED lights not to all switch off at one time. For instance, because the LED lights come on strip by strip, the first layer which will light up will stay light and not switch off when the second or third LED strip lights up. This is because I want the facial image to all stay on when the viewer gets as close as the can, so they can see through the layers of acrylic and see a full facial image.

TESTING

Once this was uploaded to the Arduino, I then started to test it out. In my opinion, I thought the distance between the sensors and the detection it picked up were to near to the installation, so I then went on to change them again.

The new code enabled the sensors to pick up motion from a further distance. However after thinking about the amount of space my installation will be in, I couldn’t have the range too far out because there will be many people in the room walking around it. So I then went onto shortening the distance again for a more convenient range, where it would work in the gallery and New Designers. This was the new distance I uploaded onto the Arduino. After testing it out, I was happy with the detection, and the sheets light up consecutively as planned. 44


SENSORS

Proximity sensor
 A proximity sensor is a sensor able to detect the presence of nearby objects without any physical contact.

PING))) Ultrasonic Distance Sensor The PING)))™ ultrasonic sensor provides an easy method of distance measurement. This sensor is perfect for any number of applications that require you to This sensor was the first sensor I perform measurements between bought. They were roughly around moving or stationary objects. £4 pound each, however this proved that you have to pay the After the failure with the previous price to get better equipment. Once sensor, I then went to purchase wired up, this sensor was not able more expensive ones at £25 each! to detect a solid shape or motion. I bought two ultrasonic distance It was very jumpy and would not sensors that proved to work have a stable more efficiently. This was a bonus because the sensor itself was smaller and less noticeable against the installation.


Testing

46


BUILDING THE INSTALLATION

The making of the installation was very fun processes to undergo because I had never built something like this before! At first, it was a challenge to find the correct building sources to work with. After speaking to the University technicians Paul and Craig, they advised me the best thing to use was MDF board, purely because it would be slightly lighter and not as cost effective. The MDF board needed to have some substance to it, so it can stand and support itself. The best type of MDF to go with was the MDF caberlite panel, which measured up to be 18 x 2440 x 1220. This was thick enough to hold itself up and large enough to have my installation cut out on one large sheet. This was ordered from Travis Perkins in Epsom that was ordered into my University with their delivery as well. Once the MDF was ordered, I had to send off the measurements for each part of my installation. This was so the pieces could be cut out ready for me to fit it all together. Reason why I wasn’t aloud to cut the pieces out myself was because the machine used to do this was only to be used by a member to staff who was trained to use the equipment. 3D SKETCHES MADE IN GOOGLE SKETCH UP These were the measurments sent to the technicians


24th March 2015 LET THE MAKING COMMENCE!

At the beginning, I had some troubles trying to get the MDF cut out because this would have to be done in the Foundation workshop by one of the two technicians. However at the time the technicians told me that there was nothing they could do for a couple of weeks, and that I would have to wait until then as the foundation students were their priority. A couple of weeks wasn’t good enough as I needed it to be cut out as soon as possible so I can get cracking with the building. After some nagging and persuading, that day my pieces for the installation were cut out and the following day I was able to start fixing it all together! At first, I had one of the technicians come and help me and to show me what to do. Paul, explained a few simple things to me, for example how to use the drill correctly, lining up the MDF sheets equally, which has a technical term called ‘flush’ and so forth. First of all, as I was going to drill into the MDF to fit the base together, I needed to apply planks of wood to the side of the MDF boards and drill into the planks of wood. This is because MDF is compressed wood fibres, and when you drill into it, it may split or crack the board. Once the planks of wood were applied to each side of the MDF boards, it was time to drill the base together. Using a drill for the first time properly was slightly challenging. You had to make sure you angle was dead straight or else the screw will go in wonky and not sit and hold together properly. 48


Once the base was drilled together, I then have to mark up where the shelf inside was going to sit. I had to get my measurements on point because this is where the acrylic sheets will be resting on as well. As I will be having A3 Acrylic sheets, the only visible part of the sheet would be 29.7cm x 29.7cm, which means the remaining length of 12.3cm will be inside the installation. This is how far down from the top the inside shelf will go, which the LED strips and Arduino will be attached onto. Once this was measured out, I placed the shelf inside and screwed it into place with the drill. This step took two people as one person needed to hold and support the shelf whilst the other person screwed it into place. Once the inside shelf was securely attached to the base, I then had to measure out accurately the distance between the separate planks of MDF sections which would be where the acrylic sheets slide into.


As the thickness of the MDF is 18mm I had to measure 18mm down from the top of the base so I can then apply the support for the planks to rest on. I then applied thin bits of wooden strips either side of the installation for the planks to sit on which were screwed into place. I used my A3 acrylic sheets as a guide for measuring the distance which will be between the planks. The sheets are 5mm thick, so the distance between each plank was 6mm, as I allowed some space for the sheets to slide in and out. A problem occurred when doing this because when I screwed the planks into place, the base tightened and the planks slightly moved. To guaranty some leeway for the sheets to slide in and out, I sanded down the support strips inside so the acrylic sheets have some more leeway to slide in and out. At one end of the installation, I didn’t screw the plank into place because I wanted to have access to the Arduino without unscrewing the top. Another problem, which occurred was when I screwed all of the top planks into place, I then realised I had to get into the installation and glue the LED, strips into their 50

position. However, this wasn’t so much of an issue because I could simply unscrew the separate planks and this would be a guide as to where the LED strips would sit.


Once the installation all came together and everything was screwed into place and secured, I then had to polly fill over the screws, which would give a nice finish to the installation when painting over it. At first, I found it rather tricky to simply polly fill! I never knew how hard it actually could be to get that perfect finish. However, once the polly fill was dry, I would then be able to sand over it, which would create a smooth finish. After sanding down the polly filled areas, this left a matte effect on the MDF. As the MDF is combined with wax or a resin to bind the wood fibres, this leaves a gloss effect on the MDF. I then has to sand the whole installation to guarantee it had no gloss effect left on it, because when it comes to painting it, parts of the MDF board will soak up the paint in areas where it had been sanded and will look patchy. By sanding down the whole installation, I was able to guarantee myself that all the edges and sides were perfectly in line as I would be able to sand any ‘sticky out’ bits. The process of making the base of the installation took two full days. It took two full days for all the pieces of the installation to be assembled together. This was finished on the 25th March.


26th March 2015 I took my installation up to my classroom so I can paint it and fit the LED lights and sensors inside. I didn’t want to paint it in the workshop because it will get very dusty and stick onto the paint, plus I didn’t want to leave it lying around the workshop with loads of other students. Once I took the installation up to the class, I realised that I forgot to drill the two holes either side of the installation where the sensors will be fitted. This was a simple procedure, as I just needed a drill and a twist step drill part, which allows me to drill holes with large diameters. Once the installation was taken upstairs in the classroom, it was time to get the LED strips and sensors fitted. This was a two man job, as one person had to hold the LED strips down and in place, whilst the other person glue guns over the strips to secure them. Tom Lynch, one of my tutors helped me do this. This job took was quicker than I expected because the planks of wood which sat onto were a quid of where the acrylic sheets would sit on. We drew lines on the shelf, which indicated where the LED strips would lie. Once all the lines 52

were drawn on, it was time to glue them into place! A touch of glue from the glue gun was assembled onto the top, middle and bottom of each strip to ensure it was securely attached, holding the strip down whilst the glue dried. After this, it was time to fit the sensors in. As there was a sensor at each end of the installation, we fitted these in from the bottom and threaded them up to the top, then pushed them in the hole that which was made. The hole was a tiny bit small, so a bit of strength and wiggling around had to go into pushing the sensors in. However, this ensured that they had a stable fit and wouldn’t come out. As this was a quick process, it only took the day to do. So the following day I decided to come in on my own and start painting!


27th March 2015 When getting round to paint the installation, I initially set out to paint it white, so it can fit in with the other plinths at the exhibition. However, from my own judgement, I though the white will look too much like a plinth. I wanted something a bit different and unique so I experimented with different colours before painting. I bough wood two tones of wood varnish because, one medium shade and one lighter ‘satin’ shade. I really liked these two vanishes because I think it would have given the installation a ‘vintage’ look however, the MDF isn’t a nice type of wood, compared to other real planks of wood which had nice grains on which the varnish will emphasise. So I decided to scrap this idea.

I think experimented with some black matte paint. The whole theory behind my installation is that it will be placed in the dark, so that all is shown are the acrylic sheets being light up. As the installation is being placed in the dark, the best idea was to paint the installation black so it will fit in, and the main focus will be on what is actually being represented on the acrylic sheets and not the actual base of the installation.


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1st April 2015 FINAL LASER CUTTING There was a last minute decision as opposed to which hairstyle I was going to use for the offline self. So I quickly illustrated some more hair designs. As this hairstyle if for the ‘offline’ self was slightly similar to the ‘online’ self, I wanted to keep this style simpler in comparison to the other hairstyle because the offline self tends to be a minimalistic trend. As the hair type changed, I needed to alter some of the features on the illustrated face, as they were not in proportion with the new hairstyle. Here, you can see the slight adjustments I have made.


In addition to making some adjustments, the clarity of the images was slightly distorted as they have been copied and moved around various amounts. In order to get the best out of the laser cutter, I traced around the features with the pen tool in Photoshop and created sharper features. Below, you can see the difference. The left side hasn’t been touched up whereas, the right side is sharper and the clarity is clear.

Here are some final shots of lining up the illustrations before laser cutting. This is because I want them to be in line with each other, so when looking through the acrylic sheets, everything doesn’t look messy and not lined up.

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Here are the final illustrations which will get lasered. Each image represents a A3 clear acrylic sheets. As you can see, there is a square around the image. This square represents what the viewers will see and the excess part below is the part which will slide into the installation.


DIFFERENT STYLES OF LASERING I will be using the laser cutter to etch onto the acrylic sheets. By etching onto the sheets, this allows the LED lights to reflect of the etched out areas, highlighting the features. I ran some tests with the laser cutter before going ahead with my finals. Here are some videos and images of the process. By running the tests, I wanted to see whether using solid shapes or outlines best reflected the light, producing the best view. The outcome of this test was a success. I found out that by only etching out the outline of the features reflected less light as apposed to etching out the features in a solid shape. In addition to this, by etching out in solid shapes and not outlines, this sculpted the facial image better.

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CLICK HERE TO WATCH LASER CUTTING VIDEOS!


EXHIBITION SET UP University for the Creative Arts, Epsom


13th April 2015 On Monday 13th April, I started setting up my exhibition space. As the original plan was to put my installation in the Gallery with the lights switched off, I thought this wouldn’t be dark enough for my installation. I started thinking of some ideas by using black out sheets and surrounded the space with these, however the sheets were not big enough to cover half the gallery, nor was there enough. Another idea was having tents and putting my installation inside the tent, however the tent was too small. So I came up with the idea of building a not so little room, which would be completely blacked out.

Making the Black-Out Room

The first step was to speak to the technicians to arrange MDF boards to be brought to the gallery and screwed together to give me the base of my room. The technicians screwed everything into place for me, ready for me to come in the following day and add the final touches.

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14th April 2015 Painting and Blacking the Room Out Tuesday 14th April was the day I came in with 3 of my friends to finish the room. Before the walls were painted, I had to go over them with gum tape and seal all the wholes and scruffed up bits, so they wouldn’t be visible when painting over. After sealing everything off, we all started painting the installation, giving it two coats of black paint.

Once the paint was applied, I used a large black out sheet to act as the roof of the room. The sheet prevents any light from getting inside the room, which was perfect, as I needed it to be as dark as possible. The black out sheet was staple gunned to the top, ensuring its stability and strength to stay put in its place. In addition to this, I added another black out sheet to act like a door and to block out most of the remaining light. 6 and a half hours later, the room was finally complete! Finally I would like to say a huge thank you and credit Catherine, Ricky and Michael, who took time out of work and college to come in and make this happen!


FINAL ROOM

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USER TESTING & LAST MINUTE TROUBLES! CHANGES TO CODE . When setting up my exhibition space, I guaranteed that I had enough walking space inside the black room

for people to walk around, without all the sensors bouncing off people’s motion at the same time. However I miss judged the space and this meant I had to alter my coding. At first the thought the room was too dark, so the sensors we’re not working properly. However it turned out to be that the furthest distance which the sensors were set to, kept bouncing of the wall of the box, making the installation light up on its own without anyone around it. Also, the distance between the three numbers were too close together, so I had to give them a further gap. So I had to change the distance of the code. The new distance is: #define close 46 #define near 60 #define far 80

The change to this has been modified to detect motion when someone is much nearer to the installation. This works out better because after testing it, if there are multiple people within the installation, it will give the installation enough time to switch the LEDs off and turn back on again when another user approaches it.


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FINAL EXHIBITION SET UP - CLICK HERE TO WATCH INSTALLATION IN ACTION



REFLECTION &

EVALUATION


Taking my mind back to last year, I never would have thought that id accomplish such a technical and tough project. Coding and using an Arduino were never strength of mine, however I decided to set myself a challenge and do something out of my comfort zone. Starting from the very beginning of the project, I initially set out to make an installation that will use a source of projection, projecting onto glass sheets. As this one of my first ideas, I thought to my self; yes there is room for development. I had to face one of my first problems here because the installation I set out to make was not interactive in the slightest. As I am undergoing a digital communication course, it wouldn’t be ideal to do something with not a lot of innovative thought, a challenge and not interactive! After undergoing some research, I came up with the idea of using motion sensors, which will detect motion and light my installation. However, this included using Arduino and code, which made me feel a bit daunted. When first starting to put my code together, I did a lot of research online of the Ardunio website to assist me. This was helpful in a way where it only provided me with the simple steps of setting up and running mini trials on the Arduino with pre existing code from the online libraries. I found this part the trickiest part of the project and was assisted by one of my tutors. Once we had the code up and running, this was a success. It worked how I wanted it to work; however I wasn’t too sure how it will run whilst inside the installation and users around it. Once I had my installation built and good to go, I tested it out in the classroom upstairs. I kept the installation in the room it was in to test it and the code worked fine, detecting motion from a good enough degree, which was awesome, and to be honest, I was very chuffed with myself. Once setting the installation up inside the gallery, I experienced another problem. The coding that was updated to the Arduino upstairs in the classroom was set for users to walk around the installation within that environment. The environment was bigger and had more leeway for users to walk around. When the installation went inside the black room, the sensors were rebounding from the walls of the room, causing the LED lights to light up unexpectedly on their own. This looked pretty cool and reminded me of some sort of techno party in a dark room (which isn’t what I was aiming for!). I kept it this way, I could have classed it as a ‘happy accident’, however I wanted to keep my original idea and program the Arduino correctly to how I wanted it to be. I then had to re-code the sensors and drop the distance down. Once this was done, I was very pleased of this achievement. Never, ever would I have thought that I would be able to code on my own, even under stressful times when the code needed to be changed when setting up for the exhibition. I can now say that I have learnt a lot about coding and the amazing things you can achieve with it, even making different coloured flashing lights with LED strips was amusing! As I have some left over LED lights and loads of different coloured sheets of acrylic which I ordered as samples, I would definitely try and create something in the future, which incorporate the two elements together.


Building the installation was one of my favourite parts of the project. I’m such a hands on person and always had a ‘DIY’ side to me, (most probably influence from my father). By building my installation, it started off to be a rather stressful time, as I mainly have to depend on other people and the facilities within the university. For example, relying on the technicians to cut my MDF boards out in time so I can assemble together, having access to the workshop, organising time in the laser cutting room and being supervised at the same time by someone who is trained in using the laser cutter. Most of my project had to be assembled in university, so time management and coming into university every day was the way forward. I managed my time well on building my installation and got it finished by the 1st of April. The first problem I experienced was that the technicians couldn’t find enough time to fit me into the ‘busy’ schedule, and told me that they would not be able to cut my MDF boards out until after the Easter holidays, which meant after the 13th April. This was not good enough as the aim was to finish my installation by the first week of April. Personally, I would say I am quite a bossy person, so if I want something done, I will not give up until I am happy with what is proposed. This very same day, I had to think of ways to overcome this situation, so taking a visit down to Andy, one of the main technicians on site to see if he can put in a word to the foundation technicians. The very same day, I got a call back from Andy saying my MDF boards were being cut out at the end of the day! The lesson here is to never give up on what you want. When getting my hands messy with building the installation, I learnt a lot of handy man work such as drilling, polly filling, accurate measuring and different types of techniques. This may not be important to the digital aspect of my project, however it was vital to get everything on point and having a neat finish because this would be big part of my project, holding everything together.

Abstract and Proposal Review

The purpose of my study was to investigate how social media has an influence of our behaviours and approaches through social media. I have looked into how people create and maintain their online persona through social media by carrying out a questionnaire. The questionnaire enabled me to ask the participants various questions about their use online, how they carry themselves, edit their pictures and even meeting up with people they have never met before, who they have met through social media. The results were very interesting as the majority of the participants admitted to editing their images online, even if it’s to enhance their natural features, to make them feel some more confident. In addition to this, most participants also admitted to disclosing most of their information and removing images online so family or future employees can see. This indicated that because participants are tying to hide a certain self from their family, this emphasises that there is a change of persona as to when you are online as opposed to off.

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I’ve also undergone a thorough and in depth analysis of Talhotblond and Catfish. These analysis’s also showed the dramatic change to the online personas these users were undergoing, to an extent which their identities were not even real. As Montomery was describing himself as a young marine sniper for his personal ‘selfgain’, which links into Erving Goffmans theory of feeling good online. From the research undergone, this enabled me to create my installation. The reason why I decided on creating layers of acrylic sheet layered up against another, to represent each aspect of someone when they go online. This links into the three terms of anonymity, pseudonymity and the real life self, which promotes the break down of identity. The breakdown of identity is shown through the layers of acrylic glass, as one sheet had one feature on, the other sheet has another and the last sheet had the final facial feature on, so when you look through the glass a whole facial image appears. The reason why I added the sensors and made the installation interactive, whereby when the user walks up to it, it lights on is because I wanted to emphasise the breakdown of identity. The further you are away from the installation; you don’t tend to see much. This resembles the disclosure of information a user knows about someone else online. The further way you are, the less you know. When you step closer, or get to know someone a little bit more, you will see more aspects of that person, so another layer of acrylic sheet will come one. Finally, the closest you are to the installation resembles the close distance you have with someone. The closer you are to someone, the more you see of him or her. So the close you are to the installation, all the features will light up making a full facial image.


CONCLUSION & FUTURE WORK 70


Overall, I would say I have established and shown that social media does influence ones behaviour. From undergoing my own primary research, this aloud me to clarify and see for myself that many users who are actively social online, are undergoing the change in persona through social media. This doesn’t necessarily have to be through social media, even through online dating services as it was proven in my primary research that most people who used online dating services, shown a successful and better side to them, making sure no flaws were shown. My installation reveals the breakdown of identity, which is undergone through social media. The acrylic sheets that represent facial features represent the breakdown of identity. One side of the installation is represented as the offline self and the other side is represented as the online self. Each side represents each persona that users adopt in their social sphere. I feel like I have challenged myself to my potential, working over hours at university, coming in on days off and being part of the course curatorial team, which means working and organising the courses exhibitions. Yes I have been stressed out and yes, I occurred a lot of problems, however I managed to resolve these problems instantly and learn from them. If I was given the opportunity to re-do my project again, I would take up a notch, make it bigger and bolder. As I was really fascinated by the LED lights and the amount they can actually do when coding them up to other devices, I would still like work with these devices. I would like to incorporate music and motion together, which will light up acrylic sheets with patterns. I have a vision in my head, which pictures waterfalls of neon lights trickling down acrylic sheets. I’m not too sure what the thrill is about this, but there’s something about these lights that are so cool and mesmerising. As I have left over LED lights already, I will definitely be experimenting more with them! Take me back a couple of months and ask me whether I would ever use an Arduino and coding within a project, I would most likely say no. Ask me now, and it will 100% be a YES!


REFERENCING


Anthony d'Offay Gallery. (1995). The Veiling. Available: http://www.sfmoma.org/media/features/viola/BV14. html. Last accessed 4th Feb 2015. Arduino. 2015. Arduino. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.arduino.cc. [Accessed 17 April 15]. Ben-Ze’ev, A. (2003). Love Online: Emotions on the Internet. United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press. Cyril Foiret. (2011). LAYER MOTIVES BY NOBUHIRO NAKANISHI. Available: http://trendland.com/layermotives-by-nobuhiro-nakanishi/ . Last accessed 4th Feb 2015. Dosh, K. (2013) The 10 Most Common Lies in Online Dating Profiles,WomensDay. 2012-10-29T5:45Z. Available at: http://www.womansday.com/sex-relationships/dating-marriage/online-dating-profile-lies Goffman, E., (1990). The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, Penguin Books Ltd. Kalle Nio. (2014). Mask & The Machine. Available: http://w-h-s.fi/performances/masks-the-machine/. Last accessed 4th Feb 2015. Kari Yli-Annala. (2013). Mask & The Machine. Available: http://w-h-s.fi/performances/masks-the-machine/. Last accessed 3 Feb 2015. Nev Schulman (no date) Catfish - New Schulman. Available at: http://www.nevschulman.com/catfish/ Oskar & Gaspar . (2012). Human Face Video Mapping by Oskar & Gaspar. Making of.. [Online Video]. 2012. Available from: https://player.vimeo.com/video/39697056. [Accessed: 04 FEB 2015]. Peachy, A. & Childs, M., (2011). Reinventing Ourselves: Contemporary Concepts of Identity in Virtual Worlds, United Kingdom: Springer London Ltd. Samsung Portugal. (2012). Explore Your Dual World - Human Face Video Mapping. [Online Video]. 26 March. Available from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wBxf-NIbbI. [Accessed: 04 January 2015]. Schulman, A. and Joost, H. (2010) Catfish. Scaglia, B., (2011). The Sociology of the Internet: Cyber Relationships and Online Identities, United States: Webster’s Digital Services.


Shumar, W. and Renninger, K. A. (eds) (2002) Building Virtual Communities Learning and Change in Cyberspace. Cambridge University Press. TURKLE, S (1995). Life on Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet, United Kingdom: Wood, A., Smith, M. & Wood, D.E.E., (2004). Online Communication Linking Technology, Identity and Culture, Second Edition. Taylor & Francis, Inc.


APPENDIX


Consent Form Project title: The Continuum of Online Identity Data Controller: Maria-Pavlina Kiniaris, Digital Communication Design, University for the Creative Arts Supervisors: Collaborators: N/A Participant Name: Participant Location: • I the undersigned voluntarily agree to take part in the study on The Continuum of Identity questionnaire. I understand that I have been chosen to take in the questionnaire as all applicants are friends of the investigator. • I have read and understood the Information Sheet provided. I have been given a full explanation by the investigators of the nature, purpose, location and likely duration of the study, and of what I will be expected to do. I have been given the opportunity to ask questions on all aspects of the study and have understood the advice and information given as a result. • I agree to comply with any instruction given to me during the study and to co-operate fully with the investigators. I shall inform them immediately if I suffer any deterioration of any kind in my health or wellbeing, or experience any unexpected or unusual symptoms. • I understand that all personal data relating to volunteers is held and processed in confidence accordance with the Data Protection Act (1998). I agree that the data will be anonymised however research will be explained and results will be captured and kept safe and controlled online. I understand that my name will be strictly confidential. 76


• I understand that the data provided will only be used for ‘The Continuum of Online Identity’ and no other study. • I understand that I am free to withdraw from the study at any time without needing to justify my decision and without prejudice. • By taking part in the questionnaire, I allow the investigator to have full access and troll my social media profiles such as Facebook, Instagram and online dating service profiles. I give permission for the investigator to use images and written profile information that I have uploaded myself. • I agree to have my questionnaire attached to my consent form. I understand that my name will not be on my questionnaire however my name will be stated on the consent form. • I understand by participating in the questionnaire, this will have no negative impact on the academic status or reputation of the university. • I acknowledge that in consideration for completing the study, I will not be provided directly with any feedback however, study will be available online and in exhibition to view. •

I understand that I may be contacted after the study for further information of required.

• I confirm that I have read and understood the above and freely consent to participating in this study. I have been given adequate time to consider my participation and agree to comply with the instructions and restrictions of the study. Name of participant ........................................................ (BLOCK CAPITALS) Signed ........................................................ Date ...................................... Name of witness ........................................................ (BLOCK CAPITALS) Signed ........................................................ Date ......................................


Name of researcher/person taking consent ........................................................ (BLOCK CAPITALS) Signed ........................................................ Date ......................................

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Research Information Sheet Project Title: The Continuum of Identity Data Controller: Supervisors: Collaborators: N/A

Nature/ Purpose/ use of Data: The purpose of my project is to outline how social media has an influence on ones online identity and behaviours. I am undergoing a questionnaire to question people how they perform online and seeing how their behaviours change. The data I will be collecting will be used towards analytical evaluation in my project. I am collecting this data as I’m undergoing a personal investigation to show how social media has an influence on people’s online identities. The data will be used to see how people choose to represent themselves online. The Use or potential benefits of the study: My investigation will contribute towards my Final Major Project and to be exhibited in New Designer exhibition. Likely duration of the project and Location: The duration of the project lasts up until April 20th 2015, Located at University for the Creative Arts, Epsom. Obligations and commitments of the participant during the study: (See consent form attached) Information for further concerns or complaints: Any concerns or complaint about any aspects of the way you have been dealt with during the course of the research will be addressed; please contact Student Name, MPhil/PhD Researcher, University for the Creative Arts – Farnham (UCA); Tel: and Email:


The Continuum of Online Identity - Questionnaire Many studies show that social media influences people to construct the way they are perceived online in order to fit into a cyberspace world. The following questions will explore the use of social media platforms, mainly focusing on Facebook, Instagram and online dating services, understanding how they are used to portray a certain lifestyle or personality online. When completing this questionnaire, participants must be as honest as possible to ensure accuracy and answer fully to their potential. Thank you for your time: 1) Male

What is your gender? Please circle. Female Other

2) What is your age range? Please circle 16-19 20-23 24-27 28-32 33-40 40+ 3) Do you actively use social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram in your day to day life? If yes, can you explain how much time you spend on these social media sites? 4)

What purpose would/do you use Facebook for?

5)

What purpose would/do you use Instagram for?

6)

Which social media platforms are you best using and why?

7) Have you ever used an online dating service? This could be in the forms of an online dating website or a dating/match making application. If so, please state below: (If answered yes, please carry on answering the following questions, if no, skip to question 11) 8)

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What purpose do you use online dating services for?

9) When creating your online dating profile, what certain aspects of yourself do you chose to show and not show. Please describe with full detail.


10) When describing yourself on your online dating profile, how accurate is the description you are proposing? Do the descriptions provided describe yourself in your day to day life or mainly in an online environment? 11) Does your online dating profile only show the better side of yourself, or do you chose to put less attractive images up to represent yourself. 12)

How much about yourself do you tend to give away on your online profile?

13) When uploading images of yourself on to any social media platform, has there been a time when you’ve edited images to portray a certain style or look? This could be from adjusting the brightness, adding selected filters, or even cropping images. If yes, please provide a statement as to why you have chosen to edit your pictures? 14) Facebook and Instagram connect people through a social platform. Can you give an example of a time when you’ve connected with someone you may not have known well 15)

Have you ever been approach online by someone you may not have known very well?

16) Do you portray a certain look/style online? Does this style represent yourself in an offline environment? 17)

Do you think social media has an influence on how you represent yourself online?

18)

Tell me about a situation you know where social media has influenced ones identity?

19)

How would you describe the way you represent yourself online?

20) Is there a limitation on your social media profiles that you choose to expose about yourself? Can you explain where the line is drawn? 21)

What influences your decision on the way you behave/represent yourself online?

22)

Does your online self represent exactly how you are offline?


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