Who are you?

// Posted by on 01/20/2013 (5:20 PM)

In a course that I took, called Cultural Studies, we had to read articles about shaping one’s identity. One of the articles talked about how social media, for example Facebook, on one hand helps to shape or improve your own identity but also to create a new identity.

The show ‘Catfish: the TV show’(MTV) reminded me of this topic. The show is about online relationships between people who met each other via Facebook. The question remains whether the person that one has been talking to is the person he says he is or whether he made up a fake profile on Facebook.

Personally, I think it is interesting to see how social media influences the way people think about themselves, not only that, it also makes people want to be a certain way. ¬†In the show, the reason that some of the people have a fake profile is that they are not happy with the way they look and they use someone else’s photo as their own. This shows that nowadays our society is really focused on looks, every advertisement you see will have ‘beautiful’ people in it, which most of the time means thin and flawless skin.

Every person is different. However, with Facebook it is possible to create a person that is more attractive, in looks but also in personality. The argument of the article that I read was that most people who create a profile want to be likeable. Even though they use their own name, pictures and interests. Most of the people do not post every picture; embarrasing pictures will often be left out. Also, petpeeves or interests that are uncommon, will probably not be posted on Facebook.
Why do people not show their whole personality? Are they not pleased with how they are?

An answer to that question will have something to do with the fact that you do not have to show everything about yourself, you could only post the good characteristics and the common interests. This makes people in a way ‘improve’ who they are. Often, people find it easier to talk online, since one does not have to respond immediately and one does not see the reaction of the other person. Since social media is used by many people, there is a big chance of talking to a fake profile; someone who pretends to be a certain way.

Do you think people show their true selves on Facebook?

If not,  should they?

A fun little video about this topic:

Is Facebook Changing Our Identity?

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Andrew said...

I think I had a couple of parallels in my own post. I’m fascinated by the people who post a ton of images and private content on their profiles and then become incredibly irritated when people talk about his or her “private” life in public. I’ve always believed in the mantra that no matter who you’re trying to be on the internet, if you don’t want something public, don’t post it.

I remember seeing an article about Mark Zuckerberg’s sister about a month ago. Apparently, a photo of her at the Zuckerberg home was posted on mark’s sister’s Facebook page, and a girl who was friends with one of the girls in the photo took it and posted it to Twitter for HER followers to see. Mark’s sister saw it as a breach of her privacy. While that may technically be the case, the fact of the matter is that Facebook’s privacy features are not foolproof, and this situation is a clear indication that no matter how “secure” you think your information is online, it’s never locked down.

For example, if someone wanted to figure out who I REALLY was, they could type my name into Google. Sure, my private Facebook page would come up, but all of the websites I use that have usernames would NOT. However, if you clicked on “Image Search,” a ton of my Spider Diaries photos would pop up and link the user to my Richmond blog. Creepy.

It really makes you wonder whether or not people can completely stay off the grid anymore. My parents used to always tell me to never put my name down in the Yellow Pages…now, it seems like being a part of the digital version of the “Yellow Pages” is simply unavoidable.

Here’s the Zuckerberg article I saw.

// 01/21/2013 at 10:43 pm