Navigating Nuances: Unveiling Surprising Similarities Between Born Global And Traditional Multinationals

The international business landscape is ever-changing, and the concept of Born Global Multinational Enterprises MNEs has intensified a dynamic academic debate. Scholars like Oviatt and McDougall (2018) define Born Global firms as those “organizations that enter international markets early in their development, without using the home market for activities apart from the initial production of goods. A more thorough investigation is warranted by the claim that Born Global enterprises’ traits are strikingly similar to those of classic MNEs and that scholars who doubt the applicability of traditional theories are categorically incorrect. This discourse addresses the special features of Born Global firms, considering how technology entrepreneurship and certain skills can make them occur. Although this article acknowledges the value of traditional theories in certain contexts, it is promoted that a more comprehensive understanding might be required relating to both classical views and contemporary ones to adapt better to global commercial settings.

Similarities between Born Global Multinational Enterprises and Traditional Multinationals

Market differentiation and specific techniques can help Born Global and traditional MNEs gain a competitive advantage (Knight & Cavusgil, 2004). Born Global businesses may specialize in narrow markets to avoid direct competition with MNEs.

Born Global and traditional MNEs may build strategic alliances or networks to expand globally. Firms can access external resources and expertise through collaborative partnerships.

Both Born Global and traditional MNEs recognize how ICT facilitates international trade. Through digital media, both interact, market, and reach a worldwide audience.

Born Global and traditional MNEs prioritize international marketing due to global market diversity and client preferences.

Relevance of Traditional Theories

Uppsala Model

The Uppsala model argues that firms grow their involvement in foreign markets according to their acquired experiential knowledge (Johanson & Vahlne, 2015). However, Born Global firms challenge this sequential development by selling their products in many foreign markets almost from the start. The Uppsala model may misinterpret why Born Global firms internationalize so quickly. For instance, companies like Zoom or Spotify rapidly got an international scope without the step-by-step process of establishing themselves in other countries as the Uppsala model forecasted.

Eclectic Paradigm

According to Dunning (2015), the eclectic paradigm erects three factors: ownership advantages, location advantages, and internalization advantages as determiners of internationalization. On many occasions, Born Global firms use their ownership advantages, such as unique technologies or innovations, and internationalize quickly. 5 The eclectic paradigm might not wholly represent the fast and concurrent growth of the Born Global MNEs. Tesla illustrates how ownership advantages are instrumental in the astronomical speed at which Born Global companies can succeed worldwide.

Other Established Frameworks

Further international business insights are provided by transaction cost economics (TCE) and the resource-based view (RBV) (McIvor, 2009). TCE outlines why Born Global businesses use digital platforms and technologies to reduce international transaction costs and entry barriers. RBV’s emphasis on valuable and rare minerals aligns with Born Global’s focus on innovation and intangible assets for global competitive advantage.

Traditional theories provide excellent notions but do not explain why Born Global MNEs are unique. Classical values are supported by Born Global firms’ preference for innovation, digital technologies, and entrepreneurial leadership. Technological advancements have boosted economic globalization and interconnectedness, bringing conventional notions of gradual internationalization into question.

Critique of Academics Questioning Relevancy

Asserting that those academics questioning the relevancy of traditional theories to explain why so many MNEs are now going Born Global is all wrong is a very strong claim and should be carefully analyzed. Critically assessing both sides of this argument includes questioning the truthfulness of that statement and investigating whether there may be traditional theories, too, which are unrelated or if they offer good features under different circumstances.

Validity of the Assertion

Supposing these theories persist as feasible explanations of how and why Born Global MNEs emerged, developing so rapidly on the international stage suggests that anyone questioning their relevancy is “wrong.” However, the dynamic and changing global business environment, often transforming due to new technologies and paradigm shifts, questions the universal applicability of conventional theories.

 Arguments in Favor of Traditional Theories

In some cases, these theories are still insightful, especially those related to more mundane multinational enterprises. For instance, TCE may still be useful in looking at the costs and risks associated with international transactions, while an intake of RBV may help us look into how firms tap into unique resources for global competitive advantage (McIvor, 2009).

Limitations of Traditional Theories

Born Global businesses challenge the assumptions of traditional ideas. Born Global MNEs employ rapid internationalization and may disregard the gradual and pragmatic Uppsala model. The eclectic paradigm’s emphasis on possession, location, and internalization may not fully reflect the distinctive characteristics and motivations of Born Global firms’ international locations. The reliance of Born Global firms on innovation, entrepreneurship, and digital technologies may conflict with traditional theories of resource accumulation and experience practices.

The Evolving Business Landscape

The global business environment underwent unparalleled changes concerning technological progress, processes of the worldwide interconnection and integration markets. Born Global MNEs are leading this change, and existing frameworks must be reconsidered. The statement that traditional theories are completely inapplicable may miss the fact of their contingent validity.

Conclusion

The assertion that academics who dispute established ideas are incorrect in explaining the expansion of Born Global Multinational Enterprises simplifies a complicated academic topic. Finally, this argument facilitates the debate. Even though Born Worldwide companies have some characteristics with traditional multinational enterprises (MNEs), such as market distinctiveness, worldwide alliances, and a concentration on unique resources, the global business landscape is dynamic and diverse. This is true even though Born Global companies have some characteristics. Finally, the academic community’s debate over whether traditional ideas apply to Born Global MNEs is beneficial. This discussion contributes to the development of existing frameworks for adjustment and enhancement. Academics who challenge conventional wisdom help to advance global economic understanding. This is done because context is critical, and a one-size-fits-all approach would fail to reflect the complexity of Born Global events.

References

Dunning, J. H. (2015). The eclectic paradigm as an envelope for economic and business theories of MNE activity. In International business strategy (pp. 60–84). Routledge. https://www.exeter.ac.uk/media/universityofexeter/internationalexeter/documents/iss/Dunning_IBR_2000.pdf

Johanson, J., & Vahlne, J. E. (2015). The Uppsala internationalization process model revisited: From liability of foreignness to liability of outsiders. In International business strategy (pp. 33-59). Routledge. https://www.academia.edu/3110860/The_Uppsala_internationalization_process_model_revisited_From_liability_of_foreignness_to_liability_of_outsidership

Knight, G. A., & Cavusgil, S. T. (2004). Innovation, organizational capabilities, and the born-global firm. Journal of International Business Studies, 35, 124-141. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1057/palgrave.jibs.8400071#:~:text=Bornglobalsareyoungbusinesses,ofearlyadoptionofinternationalization.

McIvor, R. (2009). How the transaction cost and resource-based theories of the firm inform outsourcing evaluation. Journal of Operations Management, 27(1), 45–63. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jom.2008.03.004

Oviatt, B. M., & McDougall, P. P. (2018). Toward a theory of international new ventures. International Entrepreneurship: The Pursuit of Opportunities across National Borders, pp. 31–57. https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1057/palgrave.jibs.8490193.pdf

Personal Reflection: Should Cultural Attitudes Towards Leisure And Enjoyment Be Applied In Workplace Dynamics?

Since the Industrial Revolution, the prevailing cultural perception is that work and leisure are completely divergent spheres. However, our previous debate depicts how an increasing number of contemporary organizations facilitate and advocate for the integration of recreational pursuits into work environments. The debate sought to examine the impacts of leisure and fun activities on employees’ productivity. We argued that cultural attitudes towards leisure and enjoyment should hardly inhibit its application in workplace dynamics (Ching & In, 2010). Using Amazon as an example, it was emphasized that engaging in recreational activities within the workplace setting sometimes inhibits productivity. Thus, we based our arguments on the fact that as much as employee morale is a key factor in maintaining productivity, there is a limit with which the employees’ engagement in fun activities in the workplace setting decreases their productivity.

In the debate, my point of argument was that fun and sporting activities in workplace environments should only be embraced during free and break time. Any attempt to engage in fun activities during work time is detrimental to overall productivity. This argument was based on the notion that there every activity should be accomplished at the right time. Establishing such harmony results in a good work-life balance essential for enhancing the performance levels of the entire workforce (Owler, Morrison & Plester, 2010). I used Amazon as an example of a company whose productive work culture is characterized by an effective plan for ensuring the employees are allocated time for vacations upon achieving certain milestones. This ensures every individual is motivated to work towards achieving the target goals without unnecessary interference of regular schedules by unplanned leisure activities. If workers believe their employers are responsive to their efforts and commitments, they will be more motivated to make improvements and be content with the way things are.

This discussion has instilled various lessons. For instance, I have learned that an excessive amount of fun and entertainment activities in the workplace may cause employees to become preoccupied with playing games, joking, and enjoying themselves with their coworkers rather than concentrating on their work (Ferro, 2014). Maintaining concentration on a given task without resorting to pleasurable activities like playing video games requires a level-headed thought process. Maintaining this level of discipline is challenging when there are plenty of opportunities for enjoyment and distraction within walking distance. Therefore, the introduction of leisure activities into the workplace may disrupt the structure of task allocation and delivery if not managed effectively (Owler et al., 2010). It is possible that employees could develop a propensity for sluggishness and failure to meet objectives and deadlines.

Based on personal experience, I can attest that engaging in addictive fun activities such as video games has the propensity to dominate the mind and inhibit concentration in workplace chores. In my previous work environment, having access to video games at work prompted us to subconsciously believe that playing the game motivated our performance. While this is not an entirely false notion, it is important to distinguish between using the games as incentives and as rewards for excellent work (Ferro, 2014). Some of my colleagues viewed gamification in the workplace as a strategic instrument, whereas others viewed it as an end in itself. The latter scenario results in heightened levels of productivity, whereas the former fosters and inhibits the work ethic.

Engaging in a heated debate on whether cultural attitudes towards leisure and enjoyment should be applied in workplace dynamics has greatly enhanced my learning experience in this module. It has enabled me to meet the learning outcome of integrating an agile management culture in a contemporary workplace setting. Besides, it supports the need to incorporate a positive culture and work ethics to achieve mutual benefits between the employees and the employers (Tews et al., 2015). Thus, I have noted that companies need to think about how to strike a balance between employees’ productivity and their motivation to work.

Despite the positive outcomes of our arguments, I believe we should have engaged in a more organized debate that gives room for individuals with controversial opinions. For instance, I would have opted to argue how the prospect of having to quickly organize new events or establish a new culture in the workplace is extremely daunting. In this essence, there is a need to consider both the negative and positive consequences of incorporating fun activities such as gaming in a workplace setting. On a positive note, leisure activities can be a beneficial strategy for a business organization since staff members are able to relax more naturally, make quicker judgments, and form stronger bonds as a result. Incorporating video games into the workplace also comes with a plethora of transferrable abilities. However, in order to achieve this level of inclusion, tactics must be put in place to encourage a positive work environment where people are encouraged to focus on their health and wellness rather than on their gaming habits and carelessness.

References

Ching, C. Y., & In, C. Y. (2010). Workplace fun and job satisfaction: the moderating effects of attitudes toward fun. Hong Kong: Hong Kong Baptist University.

Tews, M. J., Michel, J., Xu, S., & Drost, A. J. (2015). Workplace fun matters… but what else?. Employee Relations37(2), 248-267.

Ferro, S. (2014). Having Fun at Work? It Could Be Bad For Your Productivity. Fast Company. Retrieved from https://www.fastcompany.com/3022136/having-fun-at-work-it-could-be-bad-for-your-productivity

Owler, K., Morrison, R., & Plester, B. (2010). Does fun work? The complexity of promoting fun at work. Journal of Management & Organization16(3), 338-352.

Risks And Opportunities For Forging Self-Identity Through Social Media

In the digital age, social media is increasingly becoming a dominant shaper of our perceptions of cosmic relations and, most significantly, self-perception. This virtual world creates an opportunity for people to form, develop, and create their identities in ways others will see them and how they will view themselves. This essay addresses the complex dynamics of self-identity formation via social media and explores the multifaceted opportunities and risks of this contemporary phenomenon. On the road through the hallways of Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, one continues to get involved in a network of challenges and opportunities. Social identity theory, the Proteus effect, and Goffman’s dramaturgical perspective are some concepts and ideas that will be examined critically in this investigation of the many facets of identity construction in the digital era. To better grasp the topic, this essay draws on various resources, including empirical studies, psychological theories, and real-life examples, to uncover the complex relationships between social media communication and the process of self-identity construction.

Comparison and Envy

There are countless social media sites in today’s digital world, and users meticulously curate the elements of their lives that they share with the world (Buckingham, 2007). While this pervasiveness allows us to peek into the lives and struggles of others, it also triggers a complex psychological mechanism known as social comparison. This idea is based on Social Comparison Theory, which asserts that people’s self-esteem is affected by how they perceive the success, valuable assets, and lifestyles shown on social media (Crusius et al., 2022). Users curate highlights of their lives on social media platforms, which function as virtual display windows. Frequently, these pictures show romanticized depictions of life, a sanitized story. Visitors to these well-planned exhibits often find themselves caught in a self-defeating cycle of comparing their experiences and achievements to those of the virtual residents. The highly regulated nature of social media material might amplify this comparing process and evoke emotions of inadequacy or jealousy.

The Social Comparison Theory, introduced by Leon Festinger in the 1950s, postulates that humans have an inherent need to judge themselves based on comparing what they can do or say with their social standing towards others. First, as individuals compare themselves on social media with other people, they perceive themselves to be more successful or accomplished than them. Much work has been done regarding the complex connection between high social media use and its effects on mental health, especially among young people, according to studies like Fardouly et al. (2020). The constant view of carefully selected highlight reels can lead to an unrealistic self-concept (Fardouly et al., 2020). As people are exposed to a constant flow of seemingly perfect lives, they adopt unrealistic standards, making them feel inadequate and ultimately reducing their confidence.

A huge psychological cost is connected with constantly comparing oneself to others and feeling jealous. Several studies have demonstrated a correlation between the utilization of social media platforms and elevated levels of anxiety, symptoms of depression, and other negative emotions such as feelings of isolation. A person’s sense of self-worth can be lowered, and a cycle of negative emotions can begin when they are driven on social media to adhere to a particular ideal about themselves. This can be a vicious cycle.

Identity Distortion and Performativity

In virtual social media, people are not just users but actors in a big arena; dancers participate intricately and simultaneously, maintaining an image while creating their identity. This phenomenon reflects Goffman’s dramaturgical perspective, wherein individuals are compared to actors dressing up in different masks and representing distinct roles in the social play (Kivisto & Pittmann, 2007). First, the Proteus Effect further enhances this inherent theatricality, a psychological phenomenon when avatars or online personas that people adopt affect user behavior. Social media platforms foster impression management where users selectively craft and display specific aspects of their lives, often showcasing a version that can be far removed from the truth about who they truly are. Goffman’s Dramaturgical Perspective helps us look at this process in a new light – individuals strategically choose what to disclose and what not to tell each other, just like great actors on the stage carefully build their performances from scratch.

A study conducted in 2007 by Yee and Bailelson discovered that the use of numerous online personas or pictures might have a substantial impact on people’s behavior and their image of themselves. The Proteus Effect is the name given to this phenomenon. During their interactions with the virtual world, individuals adopt a variety of personas in order to maintain a sense of coherence between their online persona and their identity in the actual world. People can better cope with the concept of authenticity in contrast to the pressure to conform to accepted cultural norms, which, according to Yee and Bailenson (2007), forms an identity deformity. This distortion helps people work through this conflict. Toma (2010) conducted research that contributed to a better understanding of this activity by examining the tendency of individuals to display their ideal selves on the Internet. Even though it gives the individual a feeling of control and agency, the meticulously built identity may also result in a disconnected and superficial view of who they truly are.

According to Toma (2010), the impacts of performativity and identity distortion have extended beyond the realm of the Internet. The levels of self-esteem that individuals possess and how they interact with one another have been influenced as a result of these consequences. Cognitive dissonance may occur due to the pressure to behave in a manner compatible with this online identity. Individuals cannot properly manage the virtual person and the real person in this scenario because the virtual person is unlike the real person. As a result of this dissonance, an individual may have feelings of isolation, imposter syndrome, and a separation from their true self within themselves.

Cyberbullying and Online Harassment

In a society of social media interconnectedness where, anonymity has often hidden users, allowing them to participate in that digital world as though they have no repercussions from things done there. However, this sense of liberation also introduces a dangerous idea called the Online Disinhibition Effect (Suler, 2004). So, the dark side of this phenomenon develops as individuals become empowered enough to neglect societal norms and resort to behavior they would otherwise not display face-to-face, such as reacting to cyberbullying or online harassment. Online Disinhibition Effect is a psychological state whereby individuals become less aware of social constraints and act more freely in cyberspace. This phenomenon can be a breeding ground for cyberbullying because, behind the virtual mask of anonymity, people engage in nasty behavior that includes harassment, intimidation, or even spreading malicious content.

The investigation that Hinduja and Patchin (2010) conducted has concentrated on the occurrence. Individuals are regularly allowed to conduct acts of cruelty that might cause them to have second thoughts about engaging in the real world because of the virtual universe’s separation from the practical implications of their actions. The hostile environment that is fostered by cyberbullying not only hurts the mental health of those who are bullied but also forces them to question their authenticity and their capacity to endure as human beings.

According to Hinduja and Patchin (2010), victims of cyberbullying experience both short-term and long-term repercussions on their self-esteem, mental health, and overall well-being. Individuals who are subjected to online harassment experience psychological anguish, which can result in a sense of helplessness. This makes it challenging for individuals to define themselves within the digital environment. Victims may be forced to withdraw or develop a defensive persona as a result of this poisonous atmosphere, which will further change their genuine selves.

Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) and Social Isolation

As we live in social media, FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) has become an all-pervasive psychological effect that sheds shade on finding one’s self-identity.’ Every day, scanning through an endlessly long list of social events, get-togethers, and experiences on their screens, the concern of being left out or omitted fills one with dread. Such FOMO, stemming from the deep human desire to connect and establish a social identity, can take individuals into a whirlpool of societal comparisons for them to conform. The term FOMO, first used by a marketing strategist, Dan Herman, has found great relevance in the digital era, perhaps more so within social media (Marek, 2023). This feeling of constantly missing out on rewarding experiences due to constant exposure to social activities by others with vivid imagery and enthusiastic captions is pervasive. Social Identity Theory offers a perspective on how people define themselves regarding their importance to social groups and seek affirmation and a sense of belonging (Ellemers, 2023).

As a consequence, FOMO can affect people’s mental health and self-perception (Alabri, 2022). The fear of being left out of online social circles becomes an imperative stress provider that instigates his quest to remain in constant engagement and validation mode. In order to avoid the perception of social isolation, people may be motivated to adopt one or more norms that they find disagreeable simply because conformity with these standards makes it necessary for them to alter their true personalities. The consequences of FOMO on the self are deep and psychological because those who participate in it tend to participate continually in comparison that involves trying their best, like aligning their lives with what appears as very colorful experiences in other people’s online lives. Although relieving the pain of exclusion, this conformity could lead to a lower sense of individualism. This pressure to copy the lives and actions of other online community members may turn one’s identity into something superficial, with more similarities to codified demands presented by an abstract virtual reality than a personal, realistic self.

Privacy Concerns and Digital Footprint

In the interconnected digital environment, sharing personal information over social media platforms becomes akin to leaving tracks or footprints in an enormous place known as the Internet (Lutkevich & Wigmore, 2023). This digital footprint, although inherently fleeting, brings deep privacy challenges for individuals who struggle to come feet with the permanence of their online identities. The digital footstep is related to posts, comments, likes, and every small detail like location data or search history. When people participate in the seemingly simple activity of sharing their lives online, they may need to recognize how lasting and powerful this digital trail can be. The digital footprint principle puts individuals face-to-face with the concept that their online activities contribute to a permanent record, determining how others view and think of them.

The analogy is similar to a tattoo in that anything shared online becomes integral to one’s self-image – something visible, present and difficult to remove (Boyd, 2010). This metaphor highlights the importance of people being careful about their online activities because the cyber trails they leave can influence current opinions and determine future chances at job interviews and socializing. Employers, schools and even friends act through online platforms to collect information about individuals. Indiscreet or compromising content in a digital footprint can affect professional opportunities, educational prospects and social contact. Online privacy is also a consideration with the accessibility of personal information; individuals may be susceptible to data breaches, identity theft, or unwarranted invasion of their individual lives.

Opportunities for Forging Self-Identity Through social media

Social Connection and Support: Building Bonds in the Digital Realm

In social media, social connection entails more than just digital interactions; it entails developing virtual communities that imitate real-world connections (Buckingham, 2007). As a result, social connectedness extends beyond this. Social media platforms serve as meeting points for people with similar interests, experiences, and ambitions. This is accomplished through the use of social capital and affinity concepts. Sociologist Pierre Bourdieu introduced the concept of social capital. According to this theory, social networks and interactions provide resources, support, and a range of perspectives (Claridge, 2021). Bourdieu developed this notion. Social media platforms assist users in developing community social capital and using social media. Connecting with others with similar interests or challenges helps build an online ecosystem. This ecosystem connects people to rich shared knowledge, emotional support, and experiences.

Many online communities on various platforms show how this approach might be applied. Parenting, mental health, and life challenges support groups give a secure area for people to share and get help. Support groups span photography, gaming, and DIY hobbies to specific life concerns. Online groups can provide a strong sense of belonging for lonely people and those seeking deeper relationships. This is because these communities span borders.

Relationships have a significant impact on an individual’s self-identity. Within the confines of online communities, individuals can authentically express their interests and struggles, receiving validation and understanding from peers who share similar values (Claridge, 2021). The shared experiences affirmed within these virtual spaces contribute to a robust self-identity by reinforcing a sense of community and belonging. Moreover, the support networks formed in these online communities play a vital role in navigating life’s challenges. Whether it is advice on a particular hobby, coping strategies for mental health issues, or shared narratives of overcoming adversity, these digital communities’ collective wisdom and empathy become integral components in the ongoing construction and affirmation of one’s self-identity.

Self-Expression and Creativity: Crafting Identity on the Digital Canvas

In the dynamic landscape of social media, symbolic interactionism and creative agency converge to empower individuals to explore and express their identities (Buckingham, 2007). Social media platforms serve as expansive canvases where users, armed with creative agency, can paint vivid portraits of themselves through visual arts, written content, or multimedia presentations. Most people believe that George Herbert Mead created symbolic interactionism. According to Fink (2015), humans generate meaning through social interactions, symbols, and experiences. This theory highlights the platform’s significance as a symbolic arena where users actively construct and interpret their digital identities when applied to social media. This means that each post, image, and video becomes a symbolic representation with personal meaning that each audience can perceive differently.

Humans’ “creative agency” permits them to modify their surroundings and express their opinions. This is the “creative agency” principle. Users can freely express themselves on social media, providing unprecedented creative freedom. According to symbolic interactionism, every social media post becomes a symbolic act, a creative expression contributing to the self-narrative. When examined via the lens of symbolic interactionism, the content alters.

These themes are used in Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok content. Individuals can use these venues to exhibit their creativity, abilities, and unique perspectives. According to Melnick and Plann (2023), visual artists can utilize Instagram as digital galleries, authors can blog, and videographers can make YouTube videos. This multiplicity of creative activity results in a diverse and authentic self-representation. This is accomplished by allowing people to develop and communicate their identities actively.

Furthermore, participatory social media platforms enhance this form of self-expression, which makes the situation even more dire. A variety of activities, including chatting, commenting, and the formation of creative groups, are carried out by users. As a result of this cyclical production and engagement process, individuals are motivated to refine and develop their expressions over time, ultimately resulting in a dynamic flow of ideas.

Personal Branding: Crafting Distinctive Identities on the Digital Stage

According to Appel et al. (2019), social media has become a platform for people to promote themselves by showcasing their lives and engaging in personal branding. Social media users must present a public image representing their values, hobbies, and career goals. This is done after self-branding and impression management. According to Nickerson (2023), sociology was the first to pioneer impression management. According to the idea, people actively alter their public image to influence others. This is known as deliberate self-presentation on social media. Users make deliberate decisions about what they post, how they present themselves visually, and what they write to impact their audience and positively form their perceptions of others.

According to Gorbatov et al. (2018), self-branding converts people into brands with diverse identities. Self-branding occurs when individuals become brands. Individuals can use social media platforms to cultivate and protect their brands actively. Content delivery, aesthetics, messaging, and online presence are all part of this. Personal branding is demonstrated by Instagram and YouTube influencers. Individuals provide this example. The individuals in question can develop a coherent narrative that portrays their personalities and interests by actively spreading content that connects with their audience. Influencers can distinguish themselves digitally by developing a distinct and distinctive self-identity. This is accomplished by cultivating a self-centered brand through consistent and deliberate self-presentation.

Personal branding, beyond influencers, is becoming more popular among people of various backgrounds and financial levels. People who use dating apps to meet new people meticulously craft their profiles to present a certain picture to potential mates. Professionals use LinkedIn to create their brands; entrepreneurs use Twitter to demonstrate their competence, and even singles utilize dating apps to find new friends. Purposeful personal brand design results in a consistent and carefully managed self-identity. This is true in all of the indicated instances. Personal branding has far-reaching implications. People can impact their digital interactions and online opportunities by developing their image. This is because people shape their online image. When properly built, a personal brand can facilitate professional relationships, networking, and social contacts matching their values and interests because a person’s identity is reflected in their brand.

Identity Exploration and Discovery: Navigating the Digital Landscape of Self-Discovery

In the digital age, social media is a powerful catalyst for the intricate identity exploration and discovery process, particularly among younger individuals traversing key developmental stages (Buckingham, 2007). When studied through Erikson’s Identity Theory and digital nomadism, social media becomes a means for self-discovery. According to Erikson’s Identity Theory, people experience identity crises. According to Schwartz (2001), adolescence is critical for identity development since people construct identities. People can experiment with many aspects of their identity on social media, aiding self-discovery. Social media platforms provide a broad virtual arena with diverse communities and information.

Smercina (2012) defines “digital nomadism” as the ability to navigate diverse digital environments and interact with other ideas, cultures, and lifestyles. Also included in this definition is the ability to travel. Exploring one’s identity involves doing things like this. Users can follow content providers on social media platforms, participate in online discussions, and completely submerge themselves in online communities. A person’s understanding of themselves and the world is expanded when they are exposed to various perspectives, which creates an environment conducive to the process of identity discovery.

Given the dynamic interaction between clients across platforms, implementing these notions is a straightforward process. By following a variety of content creators who offer their experiences, attitudes, and points of view, individuals can investigate numerous facets of their identities. Users have the opportunity to taste and adopt pieces that are suitable for their changing selves through the usage of social media, which provides a digital smorgasbord of vacation vlogs, instructional content, and lifestyle blogs. One can find this buffet on several social media platforms.

People can experiment with expressing their opinions, values, and interests through online communication and virtual communities. This allows children to explore different ways of expressing themselves. Interactive social media creates community and belonging by offering a supportive atmosphere for people to express and enhance their identities. The enormous variety of virtual communities, each with its subculture, expands the opportunities for developing one’s identity. This process corresponds to Erikson’s identity formation hypothesis, which claims that people struggle with “Who am I?” and “What do I want?” Erikson’s theory is used perfectly in this process. People can experiment with different aspects of their identity, discover new hobbies, and construct an ever-changing sense of self by connecting with social media’s numerous materials and communities.

Community Activism and Social Advocacy: Empowering Voices in the Digital Sphere

According to Buckingham (2007), social activism and social media have combined to produce a potent force for change in the digital era. On social media, users may now actively participate in community activism and advocate for social issues, which has increased purpose and social responsibility. These platforms are based on social interaction and group identity. “Social activism” is defined by Brenman and Sanchez (2014) as “deliberate actions to influence social, political, economic, or environmental problems.” According to this concept, social activity is called “social activism.” People can connect across boundaries and rally around causes thanks to social media. These efforts are amplified and democratized via social media platforms. Remember that when many people work together, they may accomplish incredible things.

Gerbaudo and Treré (2015) found that social media usage increases group identification. In order to build online communities, users can connect with others who share their values and worldviews. Above and beyond personal opinions, this shared identity can foster a sense of community and belonging, which are crucial for social activity. Developing this persona could prove to be beneficial. Using the hashtags #BlackLivesMatter and #MeToo, Kann et al. (2023) demonstrate the possible implementation of these concepts. Even the most marginalized people’s opinions have the potential to be heard through social media. Social media’s multiplicative power is a contributing factor. Users’ involvement in these movements facilitates the dissemination of information, the arousal of awareness, and the mobilization of support. Beyond the domain of internet platforms, these movements impact societal discourse due to their broad nature. Not only that, but these changes can bring about real changes.

Going beyond basic posting and hashtagging, a person’s participation in the social media community becomes an essential aspect of their identity (Goswami, 2018). Users align themselves with social movements that uphold their values to solidify their sense of self. This is known as “alignment.” This sense of belonging and responsibility to one another keeps an individual’s friends, both online and off. One way to accomplish this is to cultivate a diverse, authentic, activist identity. The democratization of knowledge through social media also makes it possible for anyone to become an educated advocate and teach others about critical social concerns. We can fortify our shared identity by exploring intricate social issues in greater depth; doing so may inspire the open exchange of different perspectives.

Conclusion

Finally, creating a unique identity in this day of continual social media connection is challenging. There are advantages and disadvantages to using digital technology when trying to express and discover one’s personality. Social media users deal with issues such as the dynamic nature of online networks, privacy concerns, self-presentation, comparison, and similar problems. Many social media problems necessitate our immediate and vigorous response, including cyberbullying, social comparison, identity distortion, and digital footprints. To address these issues, we must first study psychology and then collaborate to promote empathy, respect, and ethics online. However, social media networks provide numerous methods for verifying identities. Users can find, empower, and participate in relevant activities through social connection and support, self-expression, creativity, personal branding, identity development, and community involvement. While it is critical to recognize the potential benefits of these opportunities, they must also be utilized. It will motivate people to organize their online experiences around their values and goals, benefiting everyone. Our investigation of the complicated interaction between social media and self-identity revealed that the digital world is a dynamic environment in which people negotiate their identities in response to possibilities and difficulties. Our investigation revealed this. The social media ecosystem is continually changing, and numerous critical components are involved. These are examples of digital literacy, online ethics, inclusion, and empathy. If users are intentional, resilient, and honest, social media can aid in self-discovery and identity formation.

References

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