What happens when a woman goes online? She becomes a girl.
The unwritten contract of the internet, that a user is what is used, extends from the well-examined issue of data privacy and consent to the very selves women are encouraged to create in order to appear. Invited to self-construct as “girls online,” vloggers, bloggers and influencers sign a devil’s bargain: a platform on the condition they commodify themselves, eternally youthful, cute and responsibility-free, hiding offline domestic, professional and emotional labour while paying for their online presence with ‘accounts’ of personal “experience.”
This arresting personal narrative disguises the truth of a women negotiating the (cyber)space between her identities as girl, mother, writer, and commodified online persona. Written in a plethora of the online styles, from programming language to the blog/diary, from tweets to lyric prose, Girl Online takes in selfies, social media, celebrity and Cyberfeminism. It is an (anti) user manifesto, exploding the terms and conditions of appearing online under the sign of “girl.” A profound and moving philosophical investigation into the online experience of women as everyday users, it asks, is the personal internet a trap, or can it also be an opportunity for survival, and resistance?