My Social Media Journey #ALC203

Portfolio Part 1

How my online identity has matured.

Ah, maturity.

Is it something which is apparent in an online identity? I am on Facebook daily, and within each day my news feed is inundated with reminders of my previous travels which I have undertaken in the past few years; and with each day I am reminded of the last decade of my life through social media.

Recently, I have progressively been phasing out of social media, as my thought process has changed as I have matured. For example, I entered into twitter with this feed, however was not sure my thought process before doing so (#throwback)

Entry to Twitter source posted on April 5, 2010; by Dustin Kochen

For years I always asked myself “What is my need to remain relevant?” in this world where social media has become so present and prevalent, where during this time my need to be at the forefront of peoples psyche has slowly diminished.

Instead of posting photos of myself in my once ‘trademarked pose’ (one finger pointed to the sky, tongue out the side of my mouth, smiling and squinting with the eyes), I now post many more photos of my adventures, of nature, of my everyday life and happenings, and many of these are more professional, however I sacrifice my once youthful social media mannerisms for fewer, more professional posts.

I was one of those guys who constantly would post things to the effect of ‘…’ to garner attention, or silly theoretical discussions like ‘who here remembers 90’s band Ace of Base?’, as to enhance my quirky personality and to incorporate a discussion.

At times I used social media to vent, at times I used it as a fun quip, but usually it was a reflection of my emotions, my frustrations and my apparent (lack of) humour, to my hundreds of friends from around the world. I would post semi-topical humourous tweets and be silly, because…why not?

Twitter update source posted on June 4, 2012, by Dustin Kochen

At some point in the last 4-5 years, multiple members of my family have quipped “wow, you post a lot” or “you flood my news feed” – with one update a day, or a facebook post every other day. This comment, although in passing, echoed strongly with me, and in turn allowed me to internalise my thoughts and really ask ‘how can I remain relevant whilst limiting my social media output?’ and ‘what are my passions in this world’.
These questions took me on a journey overseas to live in Canada, as well as to advance my studies in Queensland, only to have just returned recently.

In my time away, my social media output was decent, and I progressively updated my life!

Life with no filter #nofilter #canada

A post shared by Dust Kochen (@dustkochen) on

Photo taken by Dustin Kochen, sourced 20 April, 2016, Photo taken on Kitselano Beach, Vancouver, 2014 (uploaded to Instagram)

As social media expands, entities such as Facebook and individuals who frequent it create a narcissistic role prying for attention, showcasing egocentrism (Kauten et. al., 2015, p. 245). In this world of perpetual narcissism, and the need to remain relevant, it is hard to distinguish between how often it is relevant to remain in the spotlight and update (whether harmless or annoyingly), but also how do you want to be represented across social media.

One of the reasons that I began with my online social identity, before it was the standard and the norm, was to find a new community and people I shared common interests. However during this period, this community which I had reached out to, had also found a way to push me away and bring out negative characteristics within me online; or attempt to cyber-bully me on my opinions and views. This may be due to social media being closely linked with social comparison and self esteem, with upward social comparisons occurring when comparing oneself with seemingly superior others with internalised positive characteristics (Vogal et. al, 2014, p. 207). At times in life I found it hard to remain impartial and not too sensitive on many issues, and being bullied online or remaining alone despite this new found connectivity allowed for many calls for cries for help, or being over dramatic online as another feature of my social identity

Twitter update source posted on 22 June, 2012, by Dustin Kochen

As things change, the need for a positive social media identity as one matures should follow your maturation process as well. I frequent LinkedIn much more than before, and am looking now to expand my professional network generally over my personal network; and by doing so gain insight into how my colleagues and friends are growing and maturing around me. Few are the days of drunken escapades and crazy photos online, and these have been replaced with engagement and wedding announcements, as well as TV show drama spoilers which encapsulates my Twitter and Facebook news feeds.

Capture 6

Screen grab taken from Facebook, sourced 20 April, 2016

But we must venture back to the earlier days of my social media to understand how they have matured with me. As social media becomes more prevalent and used, the ability to become addicted to social media can lead to narcissistic tendencies through users, especially younger users. Social media can act as a platform for the younger generation to develop and explore their identities without interruption (Andreassen et. al., 2016, p. 2). Prior to undertaking a subject where it was mandatory to undertake and revitalise my social media usage, I was quite content to abstain from my once prevalent social media addiction, and would fill my time instead by roaming the world and taking  photos of my travels and life adventures on my camera and on my phone, where my journey was not displayed on social media, and instead was kept to myself as a positive memory.

Since social interaction is now fully implemented across various platforms, you can now see the types of music that people listen to, games they play, cafes that people frequent, the types of food they enjoy, the events and activities which they enjoy. My online identity reflects all of these, with a match on Facebook with my Instagram, as well as my Twitter and Facebook accounts, as a means of fully incorporating various aspects onto my life streamlined onto less platforms.




Having come around to social media again, it is going to be a slow struggle to update my life and happenings, as it is important to remain online on prominent social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and others. Now I can return to my once hilarious tweets and social media identity.

Sassy in Banff #sassyhand #sassyhand #guuuuurl #dayum #ohyesidid

A post shared by Dust Kochen (@dustkochen) on

Instagram from being perpetually sassy, Dustin Kochen, sourced 20 Apr, 2016

In turn, I am hoping this blog will maintain sustenance and be a new part of my life, and become an outlet for positive thoughts, emotions, successes, travels, inspirations and an expression and extension of my true and inner self.

Because this humour cannot be withheld and contained

Let the social media beast roam free!




Andreassen, C, Pallesen, S, & Griffiths, M 2016, ‘The relationship between addictive use of social media, narcissism, and self-esteem: Findings from a large national survey’, Addictive Behaviors, ScienceDirect, EBSCOhost, viewed 20 April 2016.

Kauten, R, Lui, J, Stary, A, & Barry, C 2015, “Purging my friends list. Good luck making the cut”: Perceptions of narcissism on Facebook’, Computers In Human Behavior, 51, pp. 244-254, Education Source, EBSCOhost, viewed 20 April 2016.

Vogel, E, Rose, J, Roberts, L, & Eckles, K 2014, ‘Social comparison, social media, and self-esteem’, Psychology Of Popular Media Culture, 3, 4, pp. 206-222, PsycARTICLES, EBSCOhost, viewed 20 April 2016.


My social media presence has changed in the last few months, becoming progressively more and more active online. I have engaged more on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. This leaves a trail of data and social media footprints, and ALC203 has allowed for me to no longer be ashamed to post online, and I am progressively becoming more proactive. In turn, I have also created this website specifically in honour of this subject (#ALC203), and I hope to take this as a platform to launch my social media identity forward, whether it be for more serious issues or light hearted ones (see tweet below!)




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