Monday, August 19, 2019

Identity :: Technology, SNS Profiles

Some young people create profiles as their friends have, they desire to join in their peer group and to share a common experience with their friends. Joining like-minded peers appeals to their collective self-esteem, which eventually, gives them the unexpected pleasure in expressing themselves on SNS profiles. Often, young people provide specific information (e.g., name, birthdate, relationship status) on SNS, although such disclosure is often considered as personalized. Profile generation is an explicit act of writing oneself into being a digital environment (Boyd D., 2008) and participants must determine how they want to present themselves to those who may view their self-representation or those they wish might. With the ability to post, share and tag photos on SNS represents an important advancement in the ability to communicate. Before, if one wanted to share digital photos, one had to email everyone to let them know. With SNS and News Feeds, when one post new photos on Facebook, the friends get automatically notified in their News Feed. People will see the photos on the wall when they visit the profile page. Apart from being a place for self-presentations, profiles are a place where people gather to converse and share. Conversations happen on profiles and a person's profile reflects their engagements. Consequently, young people do not have complete control over their identities. Users are asked to invite their friends to the SNS once they have create their profiles. When relationship is confirmed, the two become Friends in SNS and their relationship is included in the public ‘News Feed’ wall. These four features – profiles, photos, friends and news feed - differentiate Facebook from other types of computer-mediated communication. Many young people join SNS to maintain connections with their friends. While viewing profiles, they are given links to their friends’ friends and so they can spend hours surfing the network, clicking from ‘Friend’ to ‘Friend’. By looking at others’ profiles, young people often get a sense of what types of presentations are socially appropriate; others’ profiles provide critical cues about what to present on their own profile. (Boyd D., 2008) Many young people also manipulate the profiles to express themselves with the choice of pictures and the answers to questions. As Manuel Castells (1997) points out, identity is people’s source of meaning and experience. From a sociological perspective, humans come into the world with an identity based on qualities such as their gender, race, family’s economic status, etc.

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