SYMPOSIUM: Intern Speaks Out

This is a short article I found online on a blog site. As opposed to the long and arduous journals I’ve been reading, the ‘short and sweet’ nature of this one was welcome!

The author describes Facebook as part of our ‘social media profiles [that are slowly but surely, taking over for our personal real-life identity.’ Our personal digital representation is changing swiftly due to each new feature added to the site, such as the ‘luxury’ of hiding posts and photographs from the users timeline. This provides the ability to remove anything posted by others that may be ‘generating a negative impression’ on the users profile. This provides a new element of control over our social identities, as before the user only had control over what they personally had uploaded/posted. ‘As Facebook is becoming more and more integrated with our lives, the line between real and virtual is becoming less clear.’

The part of this article of most interest is the figures regarding media habits surveyed by Intel. It was found that ‘56% of Britons care about looking as good as possible on their social media profile pages. In fact, more than half of Britons claim to want to be more like their ‘well-crafted social media personas’ in real life.’ The first finding is intriguing, but the second is a complete clarification of the self-construction that takes place across the internet, and provides proof that it is not only sub-conscious decisions that are being made in the creation of this crafted identity.

Interestingly, the article also states that in ‘the Middle East and the rest of Europe, social media users are far more concerned about appearing intelligent when posting content and their views on sites such as Facebook.’ This is a strange difference in opinion, as it was found by Zaho in his study conducted in America that the most desired quality when creating an identity was the acceptance and popularity amongst a users friends.

Despite the difference in projected personality, there is still a correlation in the conscious effort to alter the identity and eliminate characteristics not deemed attractive by the user, whether this be towards intelligence or social status. ‘The life and identity represented on Facebook is a social performance, building towards our social repertoire. And these days, the only first impression you will make is if you 0 friends in common on Facebook.’

Link to the original blog post: http://blog.limetreeonline.com/2012/08/24/intern-speaks-out-facebook/

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