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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… Read more

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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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