Social Media creates two forms of individuals. You have the actual person posting the pictures, forums, videos, tweets, etc. Then you have to image created through those forms of communication. It is very common that people don’t know who is holding. A certain account. For instance, when it comes to Twitter, a lot of the “troll” accounts or accounts where people tweet nonsense is done without anyone even knowing who the actual person is. All that is known is the persona that’s created. According to an article from the NYtimes, titles, “The Trolls Among Us”, they state that “Internet users adopted the word “troll” to denote someone who intentionally disrupts online communities,” in order to get a laugh or for their own personal gain.
The appearance of a troll is common and can be seen in many ways, while sometimes it is for one to create chaos, others may use their secret identity for personal tranquility, to post encouraging things they might not be able to do in another sense, or they might use that identity to help others and go after the trolls.
Through the presence of a social identity, it allows one to have the best of both worlds. In real life, with twitter, instagram, YouTube, the fame is attracted to the persona account. In some instances it is the actual person, but in most cases it is the account, the idea/mystery that followers have for them. This relates in a sense to Neuromancer, through multiple characters. Through Wintermute/Neuromancer, Armitage/Corto, and with Molly, we see this relationship of two identities emerging from one.
Wintermute is the persona that is created through his hacking actions, while Neruomancer is the actual being. He is the being that has created this image that takes a hold and almost acts as if it has a mind of its own. In the article with the NYtimes, they state that a, “troll explained the lulz as a quasi-thermodynamic exchange between the sensitive and the cruel: “You look for someone who is full of it, a real blowhard. Then you exploit their insecurities to get an insane amount of drama, laughs and lulz. Rules would be simple: 1. Do whatever it takes to get lulz. 2. Make sure the lulz is widely distributed. This will allow for more lulz to be made. 3. The game is never over until all the lulz have been had.” This reminds me of Wintermute in the sense that he finds humor in the terrorizing that he conducts on the other in the novel. Not to mention that many of the individuals that troll for the tedious reasons have a mass following. This is the same with Wintermute and how he has a following of people who are amazed by what he does. He has the followings of 3jane, Rivera, who are intrigued by the power that Wintermute holds.
For Armitage, while he starts off the novel in mystery, it is believed that he does his trolling in order to help others. His past identity as Colonel Willis Corto, was compromised when he was the only surviving soldier from a war that left him wounded and betrayed. Through the betrayal that he faced from the individuals he thought he could trust, he went insane, eventually partaking in an experiment that essentially created a new person. Corto then had a new identity, Armitage. Yet, through all of this, he battles with the two identities that he possesses. He had Corto who is trying to break through and not betray the people he has gotten close to, while Armitage is the foil who is deceiving many through his mysterious past.
With Molly, her story is very personal in the fact that she found a somewhat form of reinvention for herself. Molly’s past insisted of her essentially being a prostitute and having a chip that allowed her to forget all of the encounters she had. While that’s bad, her chip begins to malfunction and she gets little glimpses of her sex encounters as well as the fact that she fell in love with a guy named Johnny, but he was killed due to a job they tried to complete. Her newfound self, like a cyborg, is a very strong and powerful girl. She can take care of herself due to her great confidence that allows her to help and find closure with herself. While her past wasn’t great, this new identity allows her to become someone she didn’t think was possible, someone who could stick up for themselves.
This novel greatly shows a correlation between the cyber hacking world and are very present social media world. In present time, we have a Twitter account for terrorist group, ISIS, that can’t be located. In Neuromancer, Wintermute exports information through the cyberspace and can’t be tracked. These similarities are ironic and completely interesting as they bring a new light to the book and to our very technological world. It correlates with the idea that anyone can re-create themselves for their own personal desires.