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How the Internet defines who we are


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Millions of Canadians are wired to communicate in the digital world – but not without peril.

On November 26 at the Rotary Centre for the Arts, UBC visiting speaker Russell W. Belk discusses just how the Internet affects who we are online: our “extended self.”

Belk, a consumer behaviour and marketing expert, believes our identities are heavily shaped by online activities, whether we’re posting photos on Instagram or rating movies on Rotten Tomatoes.

“The digital world affects who we are for ourselves, as well as for our friends, family, marketers, colleges, job providers, and governments,” he says, adding it’s still possible to have fun while carefully managing our digital selves.

Belk also discusses the benefits and dangers of blogging, rating products, and posting on favourite networks such as YouTube, Flickr, and Facebook.

An endowed professor at York University, Belk teaches marketing at the Schulich School of Business. He has been called one of the most prolific consumer behaviour and marketing scholars of the contemporary age.

“Russ Belk, with his extensive and ongoing research on the concept of the self, is possibly the marketing expert we can turn to understand the phenomenon of the extended self in digital media,” says Annamma Joy, professor of marketing, Faculty of Management at UBC’s Okanagan campus.

Belk’s free public talk in Kelowna – part of the Visiting Speaker Series presented by UBC’s Faculty of Management (Okanagan campus) – is 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 26 at the Rotary Centre for the Arts. Advance registration can be found at:

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