|| The term Digital Identity refers to the way that an individual chooses to present and depict themselves in online and digital communities (the Third Space). An individual’s digital identity is largely curated by themselves in order to portray themselves in a favourable manner.
In Eric Erikson’s fifth stage of psychosocial development individuals start to question their identity and personal values starting from adolescence, and henceforth embark on a life-long journey to resolve their ‘identity crisis’. The Internet allows individuals to experiment with self-identification in a virtual space, serving as a tool or platform for individuals to satisfy their innate curiosity. 
In his article in “Facebook and Philosophy”, Wittkower suggests similarly that:
“Facebook gives us the same richness of interaction because it, too, fails to determine the meaning of our relationships and communications.”
In other words, the customisability of online social media platforms gives people space for creativity to invent new meanings out of any content posted, thus creating new content identifiable with the self. All the seemingly meaningless things that we post onto our profiles contribute to our digital identity and shape this indefinitely aberrating form in different ways.  We are able to put up whatever we want to define ourselves, even if it is an idealised image.
The absence of a social context also liberates us from shaping our output such that it conforms to a particular social situation; this gives us freedom to post whatever we want, whenever we want online.
In Carla Gannis’ solo exhibition “Until the End of the World”, she explores technology as a medium to depict herself in a virtual context as a character model. 
“Gannis’s process the work should be understood as a conscious interplay between portraitist, portrait and the camera itself. “
With the use of augmented reality in a virtual space, the possibilities for depicting the self visually are endless. This contrasts the mundanity of the image of self in real life in the sense that we are not able to portray what goes on in our minds, as part of our identity in totality. Others are only able to perceive what they see of you.
The idea of using the Internet as a tool to better express ourselves is also evident in the gaming realm, where the virtual re-embodiment of players through self-extension and self-aggregation allow them to build a whole new identity that is idealised, yet closely related to who they are in real life. 
In conclusion, we utilise the Internet as a platform to explore the idea of self. Even though our potrayal of self online may be idealised, there is, to a certain extent, an inherent undeniable truth about who we are in real life, echoing the idea of how technology is an extension of ourselves in an online “global village” (McLuhan).
 Images, Self-Images, and Idealized Identities in the Digital Networked World: Reconfigurations of Family Photography in a Web-Based Mode by Luc Pauwels (Universiteit Antwerpen, Belgium).
Pauwels, Luc. “Images, Self-Images, and Idealized Identities in the Digital Networked World: Reconfigurations of Family Photography in a Web-Based Mode.” In Digital Identity and Social Media, ed. Steven Warburton and Stylianos Hatzipanagos, 133-147 (2013), accessed March 04, 2018. doi:10.4018/978-1-4666-1915-9.ch010
 Until the End of the World, Carla Gannis. http://carlagannis.com/blog/prints/until-the-end-of-the-world/
 Onlineidentity construction: How gamers redefine their identity in experiential communities.
PINTO, DIEGO COSTA, et al. “Online identity construction: How gamers redefine their identity in experiential communities.” Journal Of Consumer Behaviour 14, no. 6 (November 2015): 399-409. Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed March 4, 2018).
 McLuhan, Marshall. Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1964.
|| The Big Kiss (2008) is a 3 hour live webcam networked art piece by Dutch Performance artist Annie Abrahams, where Annie and her co-performer are physically separated from each other and have themselves perform the act of kissing recorded separately.
In a interview with Randall Packer on Third Space Network’s Networked Conversations, Annie Abrahams observes that there are two main reactions to the performance: either fascination by the eroticism that can be evoked without physical interaction, or awkwardness as a bystander who is witnessing this bizarre dissected makeout session of 2 strangers. She explains that the product of this artwork is not the live performance itself, but rather the meeting with her co-host (who was a completely stranger), and the process of discussing what to do in the performance. While performing The Big Kiss, both performers had to visualise pictures in their head and ‘draw’ it out with their tongues, mimicking the action of French kissing.
Annie Abraham’s attempt to expose the ‘sloppy side’ of people (or as we call ‘unglamorous side’) in spontaneous performances like this online juxtaposes the glossed image of online personas that we present to strangers who chance upon our profiles online. In the context of love and intimacy, there are dating applications that people turn to to find love, such as Tinder, Lively and Hinge.
The limitations of these applications are that people can only form “parasocial relationships” (Internet and Emotions by Tova Benski, 2013) with others, since the only information they have is someone’s profile page, and the only people they interact with is the other party’s online persona. They are never in touch with each other’s true personality; rather they are attracted to the illusion that someone has created of themselves in this “egalitarian cyberspace” (Love Online by Aaron Ben-Ze’ev, 2004), with all the ‘unglamourous’ sides filtered out.
The Big Kiss effectively draws a parallel to this social situation and presents it in a compressed, physical performance that emphasises society’s simultaneous desire and fear when it comes to physical intimacy. Perhaps more could be done to thrust the the online world into reality so that people can begin to rediscover the experience of sharing physical space and touch again, rather than being enclosed in our own “magic circles” (Benski,2013).
The Big Kiss (2008) by Annie Abrahams [5 minute version] https://vimeo.com/2070207