Hello Avatar Explores the Power of Networks of Exchange on Young Digerati

Photo by Jerry Bunkers

The current media environment is so pervasive. It’s so saturated. And it’s changing our identities, how we understand who we are, argues Beth Coleman. This, Coleman believes, is reshaping an entire generation of younger users. I’m reading her erudite new book, Hello Avatar: Rise of the Networked Generation.

The book explores identity as a tool. I’m fascinated by the possibility that when we combine our aspirational selves – our avatar identities – with our more everyday personas, we may become something greater or lesser depending on how those identities behave in a networked world. In other words, it’s people who still affect people, says Coleman, whether we encounter them online or live.

Still, I wonder…Has the digital age made Shakespeare’s wisdom, “To thine own self be true,” more or less true?