The Second Self

There’s a fantastic TED talk called “We are all cyborgs now” by Amber Case that talked about how our online presence is a form of Second Self, that we’re constantly putting on a careful (or sometimes less careful) performance in digital space to say “This is who I am”.  Take a watch:

The idea that your second self is who people are interacting with online is a fascinating concept.  This means that if you are online at all, if you’re not controlling your online presentation, then you are allowing other people or systems to create your representative, your face.  That’s something that I think I already grasped innately, having been so deeply enmeshed in technology for so long, but I’ve never really sat down and thought about the implications of that.

At the time of this writing, if I ego searched, I’d find about 4.8 million results, even with a fairly unique name.  Add couple of quotes and it narrows that down to 3,400 results.  Most of the results are things I’m reasonably proud of, or comfortable with being public information, but it’s understandably all over the place.  Some things are just jumping off points to networks (LinkedIn or Twitter pages), or things that are at least recent events.  There are a host of others that are older and irrelevant, but they’re still up pretty high.

That brought about this site as a concept.  When I think about someone who wants to find that digital version of Jeremy Vyska, I’d like to have my carefully crafted version of me be readily on hand to help guide someone around the digital flotsam of my life – talk about what’s out there, and why.

I’d be curious to know what folks think about all that, how it does or does not apply to them.  Have you engaged in trying to manage your Second Self – how did it work out?

About the author

Jeremy Vyska Jeremy is a technology enthusiast and often plays the part of "wise old man" to his friends and peers.