Human Identity in the Digital Age

Photo by Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash

Our sense of our self, our own identity and that of our families, clans, tribes, communities and even nations is an important aspect of what it means to be human. Technologies have long played a role in our personal and broader identities from ceremonial spears to smartphones.

As we move ever further into the Digital Age, identity will become increasingly important, personally and more broadly. Why?

Human identity is neither fixed nor static. It has been evolving for hundreds of thousands of years. It is a wonderfully complex thing, identity. All wrapped up in where we come from, our socioeconomic conditions, foods, norms, traditions, language, belief systems. It is all these forms of identity that make up our cultures, and so many cultures makes our world so interesting and wonderful to be a part of.

Our own personal sense of identity evolves as we age too. Who we are as a youth is not who we are in our 70’s. Our communities change over time as new influences, ideas and norms evolve. Parts of a city change as groups move in and out over time, as economic conditions change and new ideas of societal governance evolve into being.

Digital technologies, especially communications technologies, are playing an increasing role in our sense of identity, both personally and societally. Think of the smartphone. The model…

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Giles Crouch | Digital Anthropologist

Digital / Cultural Anthropologist | I'm in WIRED, Forbes, National Geographic etc. | Head of Marketing Innovation | Cymru