Sunday, August 8, 2010

IMHO: Digital dignity and digital ego cannot exist apart from the real person

My partner posted a blog about digital dignity and proposed that it can be hurt. This digital dignity is supposed to be connected to a digital ego which exists virtually. Hence, one can digitally hurt someone without really hurting the real person (my deduction).

On his Facebook page, comments have been posted about this ephemeral (in my perspective) concept. I argued that digital dignity cannot exist apart from the real person represented by the digits. Moreover, one cannot argue that this dignity is inherent in that digits hence deserved to be respected.

His argument: In MMORPGs, there were instances that a character can be raped. Also, you may be great rivals online but when you see each other in person, so long as you don't know each other's character names online, there exists a separate ego in that "real environment" (my deduction from his arguments). But online, they may be hurting each other's digital ego or dignity.

But what is interesting for me is this: There have been fora on Universal Declaration of Human Rights and New Human rights include Digital Dignity. In one blog also, it says:

What amazes me is the total lack of concern regarding one’s basic ownership of one’s personal data. Why are we not paid when someone reads our data, stores our data, translates it into something compelling to advertisers and other third parties, and then sells it at incredibly high profit margins? Why are we not paid when a spammer sends to our email address or Twitter account unwanted emails about idiotic advertisements?

With that he proposed that persons and data are not free hence there is a need to recognize digital dignity. But still, I don't see any rational analysis that will prove that it exists. Don't we first prove its existence before we even talk about rights that arises from its existence thus the need of protecting it?

On a final note, this is what I commented:

This is stimulating--having triggered too many concepts: ego, digital, dignity, and reality. Oh, and the concept of a digital hurting, which is a witty oxymoron, methinks. In my opinion, there is no dichotomy--whether the ego is in the real or in the virtual environment, because it relates to only one person who is the point of reference. Not because a person is creating many personalities in his or her environment means that there is a need to distinguish such person. Hence, the hurting part cannot be digital (environment) but personal (source). If it is personal, it is not the dignity of the digits that is hurt but the person. My point being, there is no barrier between the digits and the person that represents it.

If my premises and conclusion are valid, then it will bring the train of thought to what Ms. Lorelyn mentioned about the perspective you will take depending on one's knowledge of the person, who contains/owns/has the ego, which can manifest in different environments. It cannot translate to a personal ego and a digital ego because it will not stand the rational/philosophical analysis (i.e. if p then q). That's like schizo. :p Unless we can apply dissociative identity disorder (DID) online.
In my humble opinion, when they say that defriending someone online hurts their digital ego, it really means you are hurting that person and not his or her digits.

Paulyn Duman
Blog #12
(for September 3)

1 comment:

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