my digital life


“My Digital Life” Project

The purpose of this assignment is to reflect upon your own use of social media, and to critically analyze how social media has affected (and/or is affecting) your sense of self and the identities you hold. This is a creative project that should utilize key concepts and terminology from class, but also personal examples to communicate your vision of the connection between your own self and the digital arena. The assignment is not structured as a typical research paper, in that you are not expected to follow an introduction-body-conclusion format. Instead, the paper should be split into the sections outlined below. If you so choose, you may integrate visual examples (e.g. screen captures) in your project. In any case, you should use a number of detailed examples to illustrate your points.

For the purposes of this particular paper, you may discuss any media space that is (a) interactive/social, (b) digital, and (c) one-to-many. Avoid discussing media usage that is solitary (e.g. playing Candy Crush), non-digital (e.g. television consumption), or primarily one-to-one (e.g. texting, for the most part). Kidd’s discussion of the social media landscape is a good place to start. Though Kidd does not include virtual worlds, interactive video games (e.g. World of Warcraft), or online dating sites/apps on his list, you may include these spaces if you would like. You may also discuss past usage of sites/apps that you may no longer use. If you do NOT and have NEVER used any social media in your life, you should discuss your lack of usage and how that lack of usage reflects who you are and your various identities.

The assignment is worth 150 points.

Paper Components

  1. Introduction (approx. ½ page) – This section does not need to be very long, but you should think of a creative way to introduce the project and illustrate your connection to social media. You should also outline the main idea of your paper and the different sections.
  1. Social Media Use (approx. 1.5 pages) – In this section, you should discuss your use of social media. What types of social media do you commonly use? For what purposes? How often? You might also consider what types of interactive media you choose to avoid, how often you use interactive media, and how long you have been reliant on interactive digital communication. Be specific in discussing the online spaces and tools you use, and why/how you use them.
  1. Social Media and Your Self (approx. 2 pages) – How does social media impact your sense of self? Recall the three components of the self (cognitive, emotional, social) and discuss the impact of interactive media on these three things. Be sure to use the terms (e.g. self-concept, self-esteem, self-awareness, looking glass self, self-consciousness, self-complexity, etc.) Also, discuss how you present yourself online in social spaces. Do you present yourself in different ways in different spaces? How conscious are you of how you present yourself online? Do you disclose more about yourself in some spaces over others? You are not limited to only these questions, but they should be a starting ground.
  1. Social Media and Your Identities (approx. 1 page) – Which of your identities are visible in the various social media spaces you use? Which identities are hidden/not actively portrayed? Are there differences across various locations/spaces? What do you think your various profiles say about your identities (think broadly – images, posts, likes, groups you are in, connections you have, who you follow, etc.)? Might your interactive media presence alter how others view your identities? You are not limited to only these questions. You may discuss any aspect of interactive media and identity.
  1. Overall Contributions to Your Identity/Self (approx. 1 – 1.5 pages) – In this section, you should reflect on the positive and negative role that social media plays in your life, specifically in relation to your sense of self and the identities you hold. Summarize both the positives and negatives and then determine which you feel is stronger. That is, do you feel that interactive media brings you more good than bad, or that it contributes to your sense of self in more negative ways than positive ones? Which side outweighs the other? Be sure to take a clear side.
  1. Conclusion (approx. ½ page) – Conclude your paper with a brief summary of what you said in each section, and an interesting and impactful clincher.


No outside research is needed for this paper, though you are encouraged to reference both course readings and lecture. If citing a lecture slide, I am fine with you simply citing my lecture rather than the originating source (but, of course, you must cite lecture in APA-style). All references need both in-text citations and a mention on your reference page. All sources should be cited in APA-style. When in doubt, cite your source. Do not rely solely on one course reading for terminology/core concepts.

Also, please use quotations sparingly. The goal of this paper is for me to hear your own take on your interactive media use. While you can use a couple of quotes to illustrate a connection between your thoughts and the course material, do not rely on quotes as space fillers. Paraphrase when possible and limit your use of the course material to where it is appropriate. I am not expecting an extensive amount of citations in this short paper.

Length and Format

This paper should be between 6 and 7 pages, double-spaced. In accordance with APA-style, you should use 12-point Times New Roman Font. Margins, sub-titles, pages numbers, and all other format elements should be in APA-style (7th edition).

Title Page

You should include an APA-style title page with your paper. Note that the 7th edition of the APA style guide has specific guidelines for student papers that differ from scholarly title pages. You do NOT need an abstract.


Papers are due by August 2 at 11:59 PM. There are no exceptions. You must upload a copy to our Blackboard site by this time on this date.

About the Author

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