The concept of Authenticity: deconstructing the underlying dichotomy between on- and offline environments.
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Real. Original. Genuine. True. Pure. Authentic. Words that have come to have a different meaning in the past years. The concept of authenticity is seen in every television ad, internet commercial or heard in radio programs. Theorist in economic theory and a technologoy philosophy discourse can find no meaningful interaction in online environments, and consider them not authentic. Yet can online culture be so easily dismissed as inauthentic or ‘fake’? The most adamant statement that is being done by both older and newer theorists is that somehow relationships or connections between people online are worth less that offline versions.There are claims that online relationships are ’fake’, yet there is an underlying, more serious predisposition present in these claims. There seems to be a basic understanding of technology being opposite to authenticity. In this research paper I will follow the concept of authenticity in the light of these two different movements within discourses. These movements within economic theory and the philosophy of technology each root their concept of authenticity in an innate dichotomy between on- and offline environments. But in order to properly assess authenticity in online culture, this dichotomy has to be deconstructed.