Over the past decades, the global information network has become a universal tool for "communication without borders", allowing people around the world to share a variety of information with each other, share experiences, and relate themselves and their lifestyle to abstract objects .
Because of the Internet penetration into the daily life of people in all areas of their activities, the process of forming a new consciousness of "man in the web" has started. The global network allows you to find many ways of self-presentation, self-expression, starting from the picture on the friend’s "wall" to the expression of various emotions in words.
For the youth of the 21st century, the Internet is the dominant platform for communication and space. Virtuality allows the user to show a number of aspects of his/her personality, such as intelligence, erudition, values, emotional state, including those aspects of the inner world that can be hidden in everyday life .
The very concept of virtual reality has long been a common language. For most people, it is associated with "carnival, cinematic" images of fiction films and literary works. In essence, virtual reality is the same space as other realities, such as the reality of fantasy, theatre, game, carnival , . It is natural for people to try to get away from the basic physical reality and strive to create some special realities of their own. Reading a book, watching a movie, a person breaks away from everyday reality and goes into a special world. Therefore, virtual reality does not bring anything new that would change the laws of the human psyche. It is specific, related to computer interfaces, and software spaces affect its characteristics, but it is still an inherently human space.
A person, who is in virtual reality, has social and psychological experiences. Its physiological systems (immune, hormonal, enzyme, etc.) react to everything what happens in the same way as in real space and time. The same thing happens with the nervous system. It automatically reacts to information from the brain and everything you imagine or think is true for it . The only thing that changes is the attitude of a person to his computer, which is «animated» by it, becomes a «living being». It means that the line between the living and the inanimate, the individual and the computer, the material and the spiritual, between virtual reality and true reality is blurred. Thanks to the human nervous system, non-physical and physical space and time merge into one . At this point, emotions and consciousness do not distinguish virtual reality from everyday reality. The only criterion that allows you to distinguish virtual reality from everyday reality is the physical presence of a person in the real world.
The abundance of information leads to a "fundamental loss of orientation", which results in the loss of the ability to communicate with real people. The individual finds himself/herself at a crossroads between real life "here and now" and life inside a special communicative space, where time – "now" dominates the space – "here" , .
Virtual space beckons. Participation in the virtual world allows a person to relax and abstract from psychological problems in the real world, but it happens only at the time of being in the virtual space, as it creates the illusion of anonymity. A person in virtuality can create many of his/her own personalized projections-images that are different manifestations of the same personality, reflecting its subconscious drives and fears.
The experience of a person in virtual reality is very similar to the experience that we get in the world of our own dreams. You could say that in fantasy, a person is free, but not in the virtual world. However, this is not so, because in fantasy, a person is also limited, by the degree of his/her creativity, the degree of his/her cultural development. Moreover, in virtual worlds, a person is free , . Firstly, he/she chooses one world out of many, and secondly, he/she is free within the freedom that the chosen world gives him/her.
Virtual reality creates conditions for reassessment of values. A person can "live" several lives in different time directions. For example, you can "realize" unused opportunities and chances in the past "correct" your past and, as a result, change your self-esteem, attitude to yourself and to other people. It is also possible to "try on" actual roles and situations. Virtual reality can reveal a person's inner world, especially his/her hidden desires, thoughts, and gravitations . A person in virtual reality, “removes” the need to obey certain laws and regulations, becomes liberated. He/she can satisfy a hidden curiosity, be an «active» member of a certain group, and communicate a lot of time in the Internet. The person significantly changes the idea of him/herself, and then herself/himself. This is due to as a person acquires a new communicative experience .
However, excessive immersion in virtual space decreases the interest to real communication, where some important skills of real communication are acquired, and stable relationships are formed, including the attitude to oneself and to the world in general. It is the basis of a person's self-identification.
In real space, a person has to spend significant psychological and time resources to self-express and communicate. In virtual space, self-presentation requires lower costs, but it is accompanied by a greater desire to distort real image. Due to the smaller amount of resources spent to self-realization, the individual is tempted to dive into the virtual space .
Virtual reality allows you to model a new world and design a new image that has an ideal set of qualities and characteristics. This process is greatly simplified because the image is built from a ready-made set of virtual material and filled with it. N. Doering emphasizes that new images of a person do not replace existing ones, but develop on their basis. Different images make up a single complex integrity — a model of personality. In this regard, its virtual version is nothing more than a reflection of the real image but in the virtual space. N. Doering called this process as "Identitäts-Hopping" ("rapid change of identities"). The author's survey of chat users revealed that communication under the "avatar" and "nickname" is problematic, since the risk of exposure is very likely . Even if it does not happen, anonymous virtual communication is uncomfortable and flawed: users who, by their own admission, excessively distorted information about themselves in social networks, constantly felt the fear of being caught in a lie.
Image deformations in the Internet, on the one hand, indicate a person's dissatisfaction with the real person and are the result of an identification crisis, in which the integrity of the person is lost. Virtual space turns into a platform for implementing the qualities of an individual, playing those roles and experiencing those emotions that are frustrated in real life . On the other hand, the Internet provides a person with a wide range of opportunities to self-express, and a virtual image allows you to maximize your personal potential.
Internet is the system, which is designed and implemented by itself, has fast and reproducible memory resources and approach the human type of "thinking" by the ability to master information multiscreen and nonlinear. It provides the individual the ability of direct, creative, free and interactive participation in mass communication.
In modern research, a number of definitions of the concept "image" are presented. They are based on a purposefully created representation to exert an emotional and psychological impact on the recipient through the communicative (verbal and non-verbal) space of the individual , , . For Internet communication, this is especially important, since interlocutors in the framework of virtual communication «imagine the image of their opponent, based on his/her speech behavior, as well as non-verbal components of communication (the use of edits)» , .
Having clearly formulated the task, you can determine which communications need to be built to achieve the desired image. As
G. G. Pocheptsov notes, the task is set based on the requirements of the audience, and, therefore, the image is created in order to:
— define audience requirements,
— formulate the characteristics of the desired image,
— classify the characteristics of the desired image (visual, verbal, event, family, etc.) .
As we have already said, the process of virtual image formation has a number of features that distinguish it from the corresponding process in real life. The image in virtual space is always technologically mediated by "edits" . The more "edith" does not resemble the real name, and the real appearance of a person, the more the virtual image does not match the real one.
However, a virtual image is a rather cumbersome concept that includes several small images or sub-images . After studying the chats of modern users, we came to the conclusion that the visual and the verbal images can be considered its main components. The visual image is created using visual «edits», i.e. everything that can tell about the user before they start communicating. By visual «edits» we mean those carnival attributes that belong to the visual representation system (nicknames, avatars, userpics, etc.) .
Creating any image, including the Internet space, begins with the visual self-presentation, the correct use of which has many advantages:
— visual messages do not require "translation";
— they are better remembered by the viewer;
— a much larger amount of information is transmitted through the visual channel;
— visual messages are more trusted by the audience, because they are perceived as unedited.
For a person in the virtual space, it is very important that they are perceived exactly as he/she presents him/herself. By attributing certain characteristics and qualities that are approved or condemned by other users of the network and presenting him/herself to others in the right way, a person thus meets the needs useful for him/her at this period of time. In the virtual world, in contrast to everyday reality, it is impossible to declare itself without communicating.
The next means of self-presentation of a virtual language personality, except visual image, is the verbal image and the communicative behavior of the individual , . Only by manifesting him/herself in communication, the virtual personality can be noticed and appreciated by others.
The verbal image is expressed in the manner of speaking, in the style and phrases of speech that the communicant uses, in the vocabulary (the same idea can be conveyed to the interlocutor in different words). Very often, the choice of the right word depends on the impact strength and what image will be formed. The distinctive features of virtual communication are the genres and the styles of communication that users choose for themselves. The virtual space is a rapidly developing sphere of communication, so the appearance of some genres and the disappearance of others is quite a natural process. When deploying activity in the virtual space, the individual is not physically present there. It allows him/her to interrupt communication and interaction with other Internet users at any time. A false sense of impunity can provoke an unacceptable style of communication that would be unacceptable and dangerous in real communication .
After analyzing the chats, the main features of the verbal image, in our opinion, are the use of abbreviations, PTU-style, spelling errors, etc. In addition, for some reasons, there is often a discrepancy in the network, that is, the mismatch of case endings of some adjectives and nouns, etc. It also contributes to the formation of a verbal image. Word formation, more directly than many other linguistic systems, reflects all the changes that occur in the virtual world. All the structural types of words and all the ways of nominating the vocabulary in general can be found in the Internet communication.
Therefore, the Internet, for the first time, opens a paradoxical opportunity to a person to be like everyone else, while maintaining her/his authenticity and subjectivity of position. Through the variety of active interests of the virtual personality, a new level of real intelligence is formed. All these features of network thinking are presented at the language level in the form of special qualities of text-based Internet structures.
Thus, we can say that virtual reality itself, being the result of human consciousness, significantly affects the process of its formation, and puts new emphasis on its components. Virtual reality is a new platform for a person to demonstrate his/her identity and is a tool for its construction. The user appears in the social network already having a certain set of values and attitudes that define his/her image. However, active spending time in the virtual space contributes to the expansion, consolidation and gradual correction of the existing individual image due to comparison with other users.
The image created by an individual in a social network is an idealized reflection of a set of personal characteristics presented in the most favorable side, in the opinion of the individual. At the time of creation and during communication, the user transfers his/her settings, interests, and life strategy to his/her new virtual image.
The virtual image is a complex structure consisting of a huge number of sub-images. The two main components of a virtual image, in our opinion, are visual and verbal images. After analyzing the chats of modern users, they are the visual and the verbal images that complement each other, creating a complete picture of the virtual image that the user wanted to create.
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