Creative Cyborgs: How Consumers Use the Internet For Self-Realization

Andrea Hemetsberger, University of Innsbruck
ABSTRACT - This article advances the perspective that consumers who engage in online collaboration construct, re-present, and create their Net self not primarily for others to view, but also for self-realization. A review of different ontological realities of the Net as a space for consumer activity provides the contextual framework from where possible forms and expressions of consumer self-realization on the Net become apparent. Empirical evidence is based on an online questionnaire and netnographic observation of the free/open-source movement. The findings reveal that consumers’ various forms of self-realization on the Net are characterized by 'materialization of mind’ and 'passionate work’, 'gift-giving’ and 'the communal self’, 'tech-culture’ and 'revolution’. The achievement of a digital Higher self is accompanied by a 'sense of immortality’ and 'merging with the Other’.
[ to cite ]:
Andrea Hemetsberger (2005) ,"Creative Cyborgs: How Consumers Use the Internet For Self-Realization", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 32, eds. Geeta Menon and Akshay R. Rao, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 653-660.