Identity. We’ve all got one, but why, during this age of new media convergence do we wish to attain “Edge Cred” (Levy,S. 2006, p23) - the desire to be one step ahead technologically, culturally and socially? As new media technologies are evolving and dynamic in their very essence, it could be said that popular culture and social exchanges are following suit.
Chopra states our interactions with media texts are directly related to the formation of cultural identity (Chopra, R. & Gajjala,R. 2011,p8), therefore, the same theory could be applicable to something as innocuous as an iPod playlist. Flew introduces Collective Intelligence , an aspect of which is the ability of new media technologies to access data and social information by concurrently increasing communication to share ideas, thoughts & artistic endeavours (Flew,T.2008,p22). It is perhaps this ease of accessibility to knowledge, culture and connectedness that has created the need to redefine identity via new media applications.
The Washington Post online proved the premise that we can be identified by our playlist, when a lost iPod was returned to its owner by divulging songs, and artists via an online article. The journalist theorized “The personal nature of a playlist also means that each iPod should be unique. But is this musical fingerprint unique enough to identify this iPod’s owner?” (Kellet,R.2011 ) Yes, the iPod owner was identified, but the question remains, were they embarrassed or proud of their playlists made public?
Chopra, R. & Gajjala, R. (2011). Global Media, Culture , and Identity Theory, Cases and Approaches. New York, NY : Routledge.
Flew,T. (2008). New Media An Introduction (3rd ed). South Melbourne, VIC : Oxford University Press.
Kellet,R. (2011, December 15). Lost iPod: Can you identify the owner solely by the playlist? [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/arts-post/post/lost-ipod-can-you-identify-the-owner-solely-by-the-playlist/2011/12/15/gIQAiPNfwO_blog.htm
Leong, S. (2012). KCB206 New Media: Internet, Self & Beyond. Week 3 Lecture Notes. Accessed March 16, 2012. http://blackboard.qut.edu.au/
Levy, S. (2006) The Perfect Thing: How the IPod Shuffles Commerce, Culture, and Coolness. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.