KnE Social Sciences | The 3rd International Conference on Social and Political Science (ICoSaPS) | pages: 329-333


1. Background

The appearance of the new media is characterized by the presence of communication and information technology through a virtual world in which everything is controlled digitally and transcends space and time. The development of the communication and information technology itself is a process of the human being's adaptation to change in his/her environment. One of the examples is the creation of various stuffs aiming to facilitate the life process known as technology. Miarso in 2007 stated that technology is kind of a process which adds value to the information. Its process is able to utilize and to result in certain products not separated from the current product. In addition, technology is an integral part of component available in certain system. The availability of social media such as Path, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter provides new atmosphere to teenager's life since they are able to interact and to communicate with many people via social media.

1.1. Visual Interaction

The advance of internet allows social media within to serve various functions. Nowadays virtual communication mode becomes the recent trend in society along the development of several social media sites on internet for instance Path, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. The excellence of site or social media application is its multi-platform design which is able to be accessed and connected in various digital peripherals. There are approximately 80 million citizens in Indonesia utilizing internet technology and most of them are internet mobile user. Majority of internet mobile users only utilize internet function to chat and to access some social media sites. Hence, the construction of virtual room produced by technology makes people drifted inside and being interrupted by the real world. The counterfeit social relation turns to be the simulation of social relation. The more intensive we are connected virtually, the more likely will our life be engaged in hyper reality world. Hyper reality world is a condition in which we are not able to distinguish reality from fantasy. For instance, some of photos uploaded into social media have their own meanings. One of them is hyperreality meaning such as selfie photo as the mode taking photo. The selfie photo shows that its user is constructing his/her self and the result of that is not only as self-existence but also as a show to attract other users.

One of visual expressions appearing in some photos uploaded into social media is the amount of “like” obtained. The “like” itself is likely to be the measurement indication of self-existence in social media. People are competing to show his/her most attractive photo to another user. Then they tend to think that the virtual world is apparently real. This phenomenon is a problematic as hyperreality keeps us away from the real world and causes the reality's death.

1.2. Virtual Identity and Real Identity

There is a difference of self-concept between the real identity and the virtual identity. In the real world, identity concept means one body, one identity. The identity will be attached to one body that develops and changes as the age increases. Meanwhile in the virtual world, one person in the real world is able to make one, two, three, or even thousands of virtual identities as his/her will and capability.

`Hyper reality' era, according to Baudrillard, is characterized with the omission of meeting and metaphysic representation; collapse of ideology, and bankruptcy of reality that are taken by duplication of nostalgic and fantasy world or being reality replacing the real world, the fetish object losing its representation. The hyperreality world is the one required by the interchanging simulacrum reproduction objects (objects that are truly “illusion”, that are unattached to social reality of its past, or has no social reality at all as its reference). Within this world, consumer as a subject is led to experience the hyperreality room providing interchange illusion inside room, mixes and assimilates among reality, fantasy, fiction, hallucination, and nostalgia so that it is difficult to determine the difference between one and another. In this case, as Baudrillard states, hyper reality tends to dominate particularly nostalgia and science fiction. For instance, nowadays teenagers rely too much on their social media, they use their smartphone for almost 24 hours and ignore their surrounding as they are busy browsing the online world. This data is taken based on the result of research conducted by Sekolah Tinggi Sandi Negara (STSN) with Yahoo concerning internet usage among the teenagers. The result shows that teenagers (15-19 years old) dominated the internet users, about 64%. The usage of social media among teenager results in pro and cons. For instance, teenagers upload their best photo into Instagram in order to show their existence in virtual world, they try to show their existence and build as good as possible image. The teenagers also try to show positive image in Instagram. Not only in Instagram but also in Facebook, the teenagers post their photos enjoying days with his/her friends. Their photos likely reveal how happy they are. In other words, the teenagers utilize social media as self-presentation media.

What the teenagers post on social media does not always reflect his/her real social life condition nevertheless. When the teenagers post their happy photos, it usually expresses their loneliness in real life. It does not surprise us if sometimes we meet someone with personality completely different between in social media and in the real world. The teenagers acting in the virtual world are often deceived and are not able to differentiate whether their real life or virtual image they watch in social media is their authentic or fake image. Amid the development of communication and information technology, reality has disappeared and evaporated. Nowadays, we live in simulation era where reality is not only to be told, to be presented, and to be spread but also can be manipulated, made, and simulated.

2. Research Methodology

This study used dramaturgy theory. Dramaturgy is a kind of perception on social life as a serial drama shown in a theater. The dramaturgy theory divides social life into two stages: front stage and back stage. This research used qualitative and typically descriptive approach. The data was collected through observation, interview, and documentation methods. The sample of research was taken using purposive sampling technique. The technique of analyzing data was an interactive model of analysis encompassing three components: data reduction, data display, and conclusion drawing or verification. The obtained data contained verbal and non-verbal aspects.

In this case, hyperreality occurs in adolescents this time through the photo as a mediator of communication, where teenagers attain themselves according to existence, they upload a wide variety of photos, for example, a Selfie photo to represent a good image before followers or their followers took photos. The results they deem fit for social media will be uploaded into the instagram in the expectation that it will get lot of likes from other users. The image in the form of an existence expression and hyperreality occurs among adolescents. If the photos they upload into social media did not get much response in the form of the followers' likes, they will feel disappointed. Adolescents play different role in virtual world and in real life. Life on the front stage, according to dramaturgy theory, is a virtual world, and back stage is their own real life.

Entire information was obtained by the author through interviewing 10 teenagers in Jakarta aged 15-20 years. In sum, hyperreality among adolescents deepened the reality that the original seems to be closed; one of the negative impacts of future digital is that adolescents are increasingly not confident in their real identities and social media as a forum for them becomes the identity of anyone.

3. Conclusion

The marriage between human being and the digital technology have led human being civilization to the sophisticated level. In this post-modern era, human being has left the structured and empirical mechanism of modern era in order to be smart machine producing virtual room, new reality. The virtual room appears as the product of digital technology that is made and used by post-modern society. Digitalization in every aspect of life is just like an undetected virus destroying human beings gradually; in addition, it offers freedom and (fake) virtual ease, but above all these humans being actually is being dominated, being ruled by, and enters into structured system. Hyper reality is a condition in which a moment has crossed reality, a kind of condition in which fantasies/ dreams try to be realized/represented so that there is no border between both of them. The virtual media should be used wisely to minimize the negative effect resulting from the abundant usage such as wasted time, too much self-imaging, less interaction with surrounding environment (self-isolation), disaffecting social relation in the real world and disrupting another people if it is used in public area. Basically, our real position is in the real world rather than in virtual world.

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