My Digital Self and I

Dylan Vining

We all have a right to control our data. Understanding how our data is used is paramount.

So much emphasis these days is placed on being your real self – but does your digital self correspond to this perceived reality? There is a presumption that our digital self (our phone) is us. Data companies such as Google presume this too. We have become so attached to our phone, using it to communicate with others, make purchases and conduct meetings. The phone, as a device, acts as a digital crutch but all of its positive personal benefi ts are undone when data collected from it becomes corrupted.

Data companies have exploited this convergence by using our digital data for a variety of purposes, from tracking our location
to knowing and understanding our spending habits. But as easy as it is for us to ‘give’ the right information, it is also easy for us to manipulate the information collected about us.

My Digital Self and I explores the idea that my digital self is not an accurate representation of my physical self – that our digital and physical selves are separate. We have a right for people to see us, physically, just how we want to be seen. We should have the same opportunity to justify our digital selves.

Attempting to visualise the invisible lines of data that travel with us and around us is the fi rst step to understanding how they define us.

Interview

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