By Devon Donatello
Donna Haraway, professor at the University of California, proposed the theory that man and machine are closer then we may think. People utilize machines and technology as an extension of themselves. An example of this relationship between technology and man is evident within social media. Social media sites act as an extension of the individual’s personality and identity. One problem found in the world of social media is that individual’s identities are distorted on their online profiles by the users’ desire to conform to the expectations of society, cultural norms and a desire to portray the best version of themselves possible. A common trend for people on social media is to portray a “better than reality” version of their lives instead of their true to life identity by posting images that reflect the positive things in their life that will cause them to be more well-liked and popular.
One individual who doesn’t feel the need to alter their identity on social media is pop star Miley Cyrus. Miley Cyrus is acting in a way that mirrors Donna Haraway’s definition of a cyborg, or someone who uses technology (or the events of life) to recreate herself separate from predetermined cultural stereotypes. Cyrus, who is currently under fire from critics regarding her expressive style says that, “People are always telling me that I am not like other girls…that I don’t dress like other girls…that I don’t act like other girls. But I am my OWN person… I go to the beat of my own drum.” Miley’s individuality is evident not only in her life, but on her various social media platforms as well. An examination of Miley Cyrus’ Instagram reveals that she stays true to her identity regardless of what others think. Miley’s Instagram account acts as a portal into her wild and crazy life, and despite the fact that she is often criticized by the public, the pop star stays true to her individuality as she posts anything and everything, from silly photos with friends to images of her expressing herself through music and dance. She doesn’t let social media sites control her identity or who she is as a person, much like she does in real life, she takes charge of her accounts and posts what she wants, when she wants regardless of what other people might say about her. Miley’s account has accrued two hundred and twenty one thousand followers who tune in to view her individualistic expression and unique take on life through the photos she posts. Miley Cyrus’ Instagram account demonstrates how the relationship between people and their social media accounts should be. It should be an accurate reflection of who you are as a person and should portray all aspects of your life, including the good, the bad, and the ugly.