Narratives: Narrating the Self

Having changed my idea from firstly being a fictional narrative that I have created and then distributed across social media, I am now working on making social media the story itself. Originally each fictional character within my story was going to tell their part of the story which fitted as part of a bigger picture. This therefore makes the character the narrator, narrating about themselves. Emerson and Wortham (2001) describe how this method of narration uses the “representational power of language to describe a particular version of themselves” (p.8). This is even more relevant than initially realised because it reflects the performance online and particularly the method employed to construct identity online, because “the act of telling an autobiographical narrative is a performance that can position the narrator and audience in various ways”(p.9). Each character I created took on a stereotypical social media role as previously explained. Although the idea changed slightly with me no longer constructing the characters, I still want this idea to come through and for the audience to reflect on their own performance online.

“Autobiographical narratives do more than represent events and characters; they also presuppose a certain version of the social world and position the narrator and audience with respect to that social world and with respect to each other…Autobiographical narratives may give meaning and direction to narrators lives and place them in characteristic relations with other people, not online as narrators represent themselves in characteristic ways but also as they enact characteristic positions while they tell their stories.”

Social media is an example of a collection of autobiographical narratives. Each person logs in to tell their own story and interact with other ‘narrators’.

“A self emerges as a person repeatedly adopts characteristic positions, with respect to others and within recognisable cultural patterns in every day social action. Because the positioning that partly constitutes  the self depends on social context that shift over time, and on the unpredictable counter positioning of others the self is an ongoing, open ended, and often heterogenous construction.”

The journey that social media users go on to construct themselves changes and adapts to fit whatever social norms and cultural patterns. As social media networks themselves have grown and evolved, so have their users. Each user is telling their own story and each user is part of a larger story and take part in other peoples story. There is no structure nor pattern the narrative of social media is multi structures and so is the story that it has to tell.


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