Mythological Metamorphosis And The Genesis Of Individuality In The Information-Digital Space

Abstract

Digital space is a unique specific artificial reality that allows people to go beyond their capabilities and limitations. In relation to objective reality, this environment does not have an identical existence, but, for example, in terms of the individual’s attitude to it within it, this environment is quite capable of replacing the objective reality. The influence of the objective world in digital space is minimized. The possibilities of the latter have potentially endless characteristics, which generates fertile ground for various myth-making processes. The created artificial mythologemes operate not only within this space. They go beyond it, they emanate through an individual, who is the part of objective reality. Through an individual’s consciousness, thinking and attitudes, such mythologemes are rooted as some objective and existing phenomena. Due to its specifics, digital reality is an effective surrogate that forms an individual, replacing, in particular, society, culture, morality, etc. in the aspect of an individual’s formation. However, the appearance and formation of a new digital individual is subject to many trends and changes. The paradox of the digital space is that for all the individuality of the approach to everyone who exists in it, it also imposes certain requirements that the one who is present in it should meet. Many attitudes towards the formation of the information space identity contain trends of destructing an individual’s direct relationship to many of its spheres, creating a kind of autonomous world, isolating the presence of objective reality from an individual.

Keywords: Artificial autonomous spacechaosdespairfearmyth-makingnew personality

Introduction

Digital space is an autonomous territory that has its own temporal and local characteristics that are subject to its internal rules. In this aspect, the virtual space in its characteristics is similar to the phenomenon of the game, since it has similar qualities. There is no doubt that there is interpenetration between virtual and real space, and there are certain elements responsible for their synchronization (Alavesa, 2018). It is worth noting that modern research is aimed at studying the trend of mutual integration of these areas (Serino et al., 2017; Stoyanov et al., 2018) to create a hybrid space, as well as to study the consequences and possibilities of such a synthesis. The influence of the objective world in digital space is minimized, and the possibilities have potentially endless characteristics, which forms fertile ground for various mythological processes. The created artificial mythologemes operate not only within this space. They go beyond its borders, they emanate through a person who is part of objective reality, and through consciousness, thinking and attitude, they are rooted as some objective and existing phenomena.

Today researchers indicate the urgent need to study social myth and secondary ideological myth-making in order to curb negative trends (Ponizovkina, 2017). The modern denial of mythologization as a tendency of worldview is the result of rationalization, self-belief in the absence of the supernatural, the flourishing of spiritualism (faith in ghosts, spirits, etc.), characteristic of Europe (Josephson-Storm, 2017). Modern myths may have a rational, even scientific justification, but they are characterized by a lack of empirical evidence (Leeming, 2020).

The influence of digital space on the genesis of personality

Digital space is a special area of personal reduction and regression, where an individual is able to “zero out”, that is, to completely free oneself from the burden of the objective past, which is the personal internal content (Studies in the area of abusive behavior on the Web, including those related to activities on DarkWeb, indicate that a person creates new forms of behavior, life and thinking within the virtual space (Touzeau, 2017). ) . Being autonomous, digital space makes an individual “empty” and “blank”, allowing filling the vacuum with new content, which a person is provided with in a wider range of possibilities than in the objective world. (It is worth noting that studies are currently being conducted on various aspects of an individual’s perception within the framework of virtual space, for example, spatial perception, such as distance, based on the concept of personal space, in order to determine the shape of the latter (Hechta et al., 2019). Or, for example, there is the study of the influence of visual, auditory and tactile stimuli on the reaction controlled by virtual space (partially or completely) on an individual (Serino et al., 2017). It is the question how our body, as an object of the real world, reacts to various phenomena of the virtual world, including the aspect of defining the latter as truly present and felt. In addition, various studies in the field of the “virtual body” concept (Ryu, 2020) open up certain prospects in the field of not only mastering the possibilities of virtual space, but also the possibilities of changing an individual.) Due to the myth-creating tendencies of digital space, a completely different personality is created where the vacuum is filled with such content that is relevant for the individual. It is worth noting that the digital space represents a certain sphere of reducing the psychological and existential load for an individual. This space as an alternative to the objective world is associated with the process of retouching such existential states as fear and despair in which each individual dwells.

Kierkegaard (2014) pointed out that fear is a definition of a dreaming spirit, and, unlike ordinary fear, it is a reality of freedom as an opportunity for the possible. But it is necessary to take a certain step in order to gain freedom and the realization of the possible. Virtual space removes this need to overcome. If necessary, the virtual personality can be restructured (filled with new content), which removes all past experience, responsibility, etc. from it.

One should say that there is a concept according to which the desire to get rid of oneself is the root of despair (Kierkegaard, 2019). E. Fromm noted that a person is not free from the dichotomy of existence, since even if a person wanted to, there is no way to free from the spirit, and if a person wanted to get rid of the body, the very desire of the body to live would not allow it (Fromm, 2009) Any individual sees the shortcomings of own existence, and wants to fix it. This causes a desire to get rid of what the individual is, i.e. from oneself and what defines oneself.

The impossibility or unsuccessful attempts to realize such a desire cause despair in a person. It reveals a specific tendency, suggesting that in a state of despair there is an infinite superiority of the potential over the real, the present disappears in the reality of the past, everything possible of the past is conceptualized as the present (Kierkegaard, 2019). Digital space identifies the potential and the real, replacing the second with the first, the past is excluded as rudiment, and the future is thought of as the present, where the principle of “everything is right here and now” prevails. Although we should emphasize that there are studies that consider the negative phenomenon of “cybernetic disease” through the prism of the ratio of presence and discomfort in the process of immersion (Weech et al., 2019).

Feature and Specificity of Digital Personality

Digital space is an area of potentially endless restructuring of personality. It involves constant metamorphoses and changes, like the cosmic chaos of mythology. F. Guattari, developing the concept of “chaosmosis” together with J. Deleuze, noted that chaos implies an inexhaustible reserve of possibilities, the birth of meaning always implies the mastery of the totality of conceptual diversity, and a person is not an integral person in whom chaos erupts sometimes, but is a chaotically branching network of eventuality (as cited in Djakov, 2012). It is necessary to point out that the construction of an individual in such a space is connected, in particular, with autopoietiques trends, in which a variety of derivative products is created. However, with all the external autonomy and diversity of individuals within the digital space, they are all only derivative, but not producing. Any Machine produces its own world where there is no need for a sovereign individual (Djakov, 2012), and digital space has identical qualities. Within the borders of this world there is only that which corresponds to it.

The digital personality has several particularly distinctive features. First, an individual is able to create a relatively autonomous world of one’s own, but dependent and determined by the digital space itself. Secondly, the content of this “world”, created by an individual inside the digital space is conceived as something completely personal and secret. However, these “sacrednesses” are deliberately put on public display. Exponentiality can only be a mask in order to hide the empty content of what is positioned as something “secret” and “sacred”. Hyperbolic aesthetization allows for hiding the meaningless flaws of such “sacrednesses”.

Thirdly, a digital personality is similar in its characteristics to a “cybernetic personality”, that has a pronounced consumer attitude to the world, a lack of emotional sensitivity, a high degree of narcissism, and a tendency to stereotyped behavior patterns and schizophrenic obsession (Fromm, 2016). Such person creates a symbiosis with an automated system in which the machine becomes the object of narcissism (an individual loves the machine, mechanism, etc. like oneself) (Fromm, 2016).

Fourthly, the digital personality is characterized with the fragmentation of construction. The whole personality, which is formed in digital space, is built from disparate fragments, because only these moments matter, the rest, as a vestigial, must be forgotten. The initiation of such a state of affairs can only be within the framework of digital space, since a collision with objective reality can dispel this myth.

The absolutism of innovation and the paradox of the “normal” in the digital personality

There are several other important distinguishing features of digital identities which are being created. For them, the pathological focus on innovation is important and inalienable. To be innovative and relevant is the only thing that is necessary, even if it requires giving up one’s individuality, which many are ready to do. This aspect of personality is closely related to radical aesthetization. A radical aestheticization is necessary in order to give consistency and presence to the illusory and ephemeral.

For the digital person there is a specific concept of normality. Its paradox is that the concept of the primacy of infinity and immensity and the concept of “normality,” which every individual in digital space must conform to, coexist together. However, such articulation or the alloy creates in reality a homogeneous structure of space in which there is neither pluralism nor normality, only mechanical reproduction.

Problem Statement

2.1. The research problem is the genesis of individuality in the digital space and the determination of the catalytic nature of this space for the formation of a new individuality.

2.2. Also, the problematic of this research is analysis of personal transformations of an individual in digital space, the identification of pathological, destructive and hyperbolic tendencies.

Research Questions

3.1. What is the impact of digital space on the formation of personality, and what is its specificity?

3.2. What are the specifics, features and characteristics of a digital personality?

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to identify the specifics of the formation of a new personality in the modern world, that is initiated within the digital space.

In addition, the purpose of this work is to emphasize, label and analyze the nature of the specific myth-making of the new digital personality.

Research Methods

In this work, the dialectical method was used as a tool for considering internal contradictions, which find their manifestation in the genesis and subsequent functionality of the new individuality. The analytical methodology involves the use of an in-depth analysis of the authenticity and behavior of a modern individual in the digital space, in particular in social networks. This is necessary for synthesizing the obtained results, which, in addition to the modeling method, allowed us to form the characteristic features of a digital personality. Elements of an ethical and psychological approach were also used in this process, in particular to identify the specifics of behavior and thinking. The comparative method and religious studies approach were used to identify the specifics of the myth creation of the modern individual within the framework of virtual space. In this work, we also use the ratio/synthesis between the approaches of essentialism and constructivism, necessary to consider complex phenomena, in particular ethics and religion (Latysheva et al., 2019). It is used when considering the destruction and restructuring of the individual within the virtual-digital space.

Findings

6.1. Digital space contributes to “zeroing”, which leads to a distortion of the true identity and submission to the digital space system.

6.2. The process of personality restructuring removes responsibility from the individual and literally “deifies the person.

6.3. The genesis of the “new personality” has an autopoietiques character. Digital space gives it a certain “personality” in accordance with its own requirements for it.

6.4. Digital space in a special way mystifies “normality” and “innovation”, redrawing individuals to their own requirements.

Conclusion

Digital space has a mixed effect on the individual. On the one hand, it opens up a wide range of possibilities, on the other, it deforms individuality, turning a person into a mechanical element of the digital world system, which the human created.

The amorphous nature of such an individual does not indicate particular existential flexibility, but rather shows a weakening of volitional qualities, a lethargy of existence and consciousness.

References

  1. Alavesa, P. (2018). Playful appropriations of hybrid space: combining virtual and physical environments in urban pervasive games. University of Oulu.
  2. Djakov, A. V. (2012). Feliks Guattari, filosof transversal’nosti [Felix Guattari, Philosopher of Transversality]. Vladimir Dal’.
  3. Fromm, E. (2009). Sindrom raspada [Syndrome of decay]. In Krizis soznaniya [Crisis of Consciousness] (pp. 82-97). Algoritm.
  4. Fromm, E. (2016). Anatomiya chelovecheskoy destruktivnosti [Anatomy of Human Destructiveness]. AST.
  5. Hechta, H., Welscha, R., Viehoffa, J., & Longo, M. R. (2019). The shape of personal space. Acta Psychologica, 193, 113-122. DOI:
  6. Josephson-Storm, J. A. (2017). The myth of disenchantment: magic, modernity, and the birth of the human sciences. University of Chicago Press. DOI:
  7. Kierkegaard, S. (2014). Kontseptsiya strakha [The Concept of Fear]. Akademicheskij proekt.
  8. Kierkegaard, S. (2019). Bolezn’ k smerti [The Sickness unto Death]. Akademicheskij proekt.
  9. Latysheva, Zh., Arinin, E., Petev, N., & Barashkov, V. (2019). Dialectic of essentialism and constructivism in modern sociohumanistic research (illustrated by ethical and religious range of problems). In B. Yazyev (Ed.) International Scientific Conference: «Achievements and Perspectives of Philosophical Studies» (APPSCONF-2019), 72.  EDP Sciences. DOI: 10.1051/shsconf /20197203020
  10. Leeming, D. A. (2020). Modern mythology. In Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion, 1496-1498. Springer. DOI:
  11. Ponizovkina, I. (2017). Social myth in modern society. Advances in Social Science, Education and Humanities Research, 40, 648-653. DOI:
  12. Ryu, S. (2020). Performing virtual bodies. International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media, 16(2), 1-17. DOI:
  13. Serino, A., Noel, J. -P., Mange, R., Canzoneri, E., Pellencin, E., Ruiz, J. B., & Herbelin, B. (2017). Peripersonal Space: An Index of Multisensory Body–Environment Interactions in Real, Virtual, and Mixed Realities. Front. ICT, 4(31), 1-12. DOI:
  14. Stoyanov, S., Glushkova, T., Stoyanova-Doycheva, A., & Doychev, E. (2018). Virtual Physical Space – An Architecture Supporting Internet of Things Applications. 20th International Symposium on Electrical Apparatus and Technologies (SIELA), IEEE. DOI:
  15. Touzeau, N. (2017). Differentiations between the Real World and the Virtual Space. Journal of Forensic Research, 8(6), 400-401. DOI:
  16. Weech, S., Kenny, S., & Barnett-Cowan, M. (2019). Presence and Cybersickness in Virtual Reality Are Negatively Related: A Review. Frontiers in Psychology, 10(158), 1-19. DOI:

Copyright information

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

About this article

Cite this paper as:

Click here to view the available options for cite this article.

Publisher

European Publisher

First Online

27.05.2021

Doi

10.15405/epsbs.2021.05.02.95

Online ISSN

2357-1330