Perception and representation

Online, there is hegemony of text. Existence on the Internet only occurs in the infrastructure of knowledge. This subverts existing authenticity in society. There are over a hundred versions of the story of Rama as they have been told over the centuries, but today on the Internet, there are only two or three. Also, young people experience ‘giving data away’ as establishing authenticity online. That is how one exists online, by opening one self up. Older generations do not experience this as such; yet, younger generations do. In the offline world, one can live with different identities in different worlds. In the online world, one has to find one’s own lowest common denominator between the varieties in identities one has, to be able to keep as many people happy. Not only cultures, also people loose multiple nuances of their identity online (interview Abraham 2008).

People’s perception of themselves is a complex constructed entity. The notion of signature is the true and most effective manifestation of their inner presence. This in itself is problematic and possibly a ‘mirage’. The threshold at which a certain entity ceases to be itself is not clearly defined. Hazra emphasizes that a person can have 500 different ways of signing. The notion of the most original authentic signature or presence of a particular person is of little value in current merging realities. The notion of authenticity is changing. Traditionally, an unexplainable tie to the soil of the land was needed to be authentic, giving a true representation of a specific culture. These are the politics of representation. Today, authenticity has to do more with the degree and intensity of engagement than with supposed organic ties and binds. One can be as authentic in Facebook as on a piece of land for 80 years (interview Hazra 2008).