Social media and global identity: a study of the Instagram platform


1 Social communication Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Social Communication sciense.University of Tehran.tehran.iran


Agency emerges not merely in the hands of humans but as a network between humans and non-humans. The philosophy of technology and consequently the philosophy of media has been considered in this research.
With the view that media technologies are not merely a means of conveying the message of information but have changed the world and the way we exist in our ontological meaning and not merely in the sociological and psychological sense.
The agency of social media due to the essence of social media is a key dimension in this study, and on the other hand, the question is what mechanisms lead man, who philosophically seeks identification with the workd around him, to global identity? An identity that is a macro identity and can be discussed at the level of abstraction and theory. Cyberspace is stereotyped by different platforms, that is, it shows a certain trend, and this constant trend continues as a stereotype.
This means a technological agency that can impress the user. The present article seeks to study the functionality of technology (Instagram platform) through its deterministic and stereotypical framework in the global identity of individuals and answer the main question:
How does global identity come about through the technology platform of Instagram?
The focus of this article is on the operation of the Instagram platform. Latour uses the actor-network theory to divert people's gaze from pure human agency and define technology agency alongside it. Actor-network theory, instead of dividing beings into human and non-human and reducing the role and agency of one of them to another, speaks of a heterogeneous network of human and inhuman actors who, in conjunction with different structures, form scientific and technical realities. Bruno Latour's four technical intermediaries include "translation", "composition", "reversible concealment" and "assignment of instructions", which can be a tool to understand the nature and ontology of the Instagram platform. And with these four mediators, he provides a description, analysis and explanation of this platform.
In other words, in the form of text analysis, the researcher has examined the Instagram platform and according to the services and materials that are involved in the formation of this social media, he has analyzed it using the mediation of Bruno Latour. These analyses start at the level of description and penetrate into very high levels of Instagram epistemology and ontology.
Instagram puts the person in front of the world. This leads him from a national and local definition to a global identity. It removes the person from all structures and gives him power. Thus, the individual considers himself free from all existing structures, and becomes cosmopolitan. There is no limitation for him, and action is translated into technological action. The options and instructions are in the hands of the user.
A person who is defined on Instagram and whose agency is defined according to technological agency is a person who is challenged in essence, a thinker, wise, active, self-expressing, self-interested, free-spirited, free, and only in conflict with other interests. This conflict of interest is also in line with the small order in the Instagram guidelines. It is solvable. One has to define oneself as the opposite of something in order to be able to know and recognize one's identity within that space.
The basis and nature of the Instagram platform are "human" and in particular, "individualism". The closest intellectual paradigm to that is liberalism. The nature of Instagram in the philosophical definition of man is equated with the nature of liberalism. Liberalism's definitions of individualism, freedom, and equality are consistent with Instagram's view of human beings. As a result of this research, according to the indicators obtained from Instagram through the technical mediation of Latour, "global identity" is realized in a paradigm shift from structure to person within the context of the Instagram platform. And users are in an interaction with a global identity.