Does the identity on the social networking sites let a person know what is real and what isn’t? Are people willing to share just about anything on these sites not knowing if any others are forged? In Mrigaa Sethi’s essay, Facebook: Editing Myself, she talks about how online profiles are diluted, highly edited, flimsy representations of people’s identity. What is so real on these profiles?
She gives the example that online identity is an odd sort of shrine: It is not for a fixed deity but for a constantly changing self-representation. Meaning that we are not in harmony or keeping with the surroundings or other aspects of others in society. Even though social networking gives opportunities to reveal aspects of identity, it could also be deceitful because by giving the option to change the setting and that privacy is no longer a social norm.
When making one of these social networks, the person fills out information about themselves such as their hometown, where they go to school, and interest. Except, how do they know if the information is 100 percent true. The way a person edit’s their selves is the way people out there will see it. Starting out, many people will add your profile that has strange names or strange pictures.
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Are they really who they say they are? In today’s society, many people make up fake identities to do deceitful things to others or vice versa. These profiles are sometimes unoriginal. As said in Facebook: Editing Myself, “Carefully edited version of the self that is at times less than, more than, and sometimes entirely else from original.” (Sethi 62). Sethi says that what is on your profile is a weaker and careful version of your identity, which goes with that these social networks isn’t as real as we thought.
In today’s social world, privacy is no longer a social norm. People put just about anything on these sites for everyone to see, such as pictures, check-in places, and wall post about what they are doing at that time. This has shifted many people’s mind about these social networks. People have gotten comfortable not only sharing more information and diverse kinds, but more openly and with more people. Some people in society have open book and closed book personalities. Some people would rather share everything on these pages, while others share very little. This could be a bad thing, because how do we know what is now pushing the limit to things we need or want to know. Even, how much of this is all the truth about them.
The way the profile is designed, to the way the picture looks that day, all has to do with a sense of identity. Though, we will not ever understand how their life is really going. For example, there was a couple that had their profile with lots of color and all the pictures were oh so happy and bright. However, no one realized how they had many problems in their relationship and was not the same. People want to show others a world that is expectable and that is full of life. So, therefore, everything on these sites is not 100 percent true.
Social Networking can be the best way to express one’s identity and inner thoughts. Although, how close can we be to representing someone’s identity? With all the pictures and information, does that really justify someone to who they are? Facebook is an undercover world that many people are putting too much out there. So, next time going on one of these social sites, make sure to really get to know someone beforehand and not just what is on their profile. To make sure that is known, identity from these sites is not neat or controllable from the outside world.
Works Cited Page
Sethi, Mrigaa. “Facebook: Editing Myself.” Remix. Ed. Catherine G. Latterell. Boston:
Bedford/ St. Martins, 2010. 59-61. Print.
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