Studying the Digital Self

Five analytical 
concepts that can 
guide scholarship 
on virtual lives

the Digital Self 1

Randy Lyhus for The Chronicle

Opportunities to compose, assemble, and network our lives have expanded exponentially since the advent of Web 2.0, in ways that challenge our understanding of the practices of self-representation.

In online venues, unlike traditional life-writing such as autobiography or memoir, the self-referential subject is both "creator" and "user." The lives that people present online are relational and interactive, co-constructed, and linked to others—family,