Are You Creating the Right Image for Yourself Online?

We live in a society with very public platforms for the distribution and preservation of our personal image online. Social media affords us the opportunity to be front and center in our very own curated editorial spread. The way we interact with our families, our work persona and the various discourse communities we are associated with, all contribute different aspects of our personalities. However, we may question whether we should project our real personality online.

“Perhaps the most important digital literacy associated with social networking sites is being able to engage in effective practices of self presentation and impression management in different situations and with different people” (Jones & Hafner 152). Impression management refers to the act of facilitating the information one reveals about oneself in order to illustrate a particular social identity. Someone like me who sees a person with multiple social media accounts, would generally think that the content the user decides to share may be putting on a facade or trying to save face by acting differently on multiple social media platforms but that just may not be the case.Reading Cohen and Kenny, I’ve come to a realization that, many social media platforms on the web, ¬†each has its own method for participation and communication with other users.

The purpose of my project is to show how effectively or ineffectively users of social media present themselves online and what exactly drives an individual to portray themselves the way they do. My project will address the following questions:

  • What roles do people adopt in different social media platforms?
  • Why people may or may not present themselves honestly on their social media accounts
  • What is the driving force behind having more than one social ¬†media account? Why not stick to only one?
  • To what extent do individuals regard their self presentation using their social media account to be authentic and honest reflecting themselves in their daily lives?
  • To what extent do individuals participate in exaggerating, idealizing, or completely lying on their accounts?
  • How many social networks are people on? ¬†How many are they active on?
  • How to properly present yourself online with detailed instructions and reasoning for the method of procedure
  • The demographics of social media users

In order to get the project off the ground, I intend to interview as many people as possible asking questions such as:

  1. How do you think you present yourself on your social media platform? (With the intent of viewing it for myself to compare/contrast to the answer they’ve given me)
  2. What made you present yourself this particular way on your social platform?
  3. If you could change the way you present yourself online, would you take that opportunity? Why or why not?

In interviewing multiple people, ¬†I hope to deliver in my project an e-book/e-magazine that provides a “How to” guide of properly presenting oneself on social media with all the research and information I’ve gathered.

Sources so far include:

Is Your Social Media Presence an Accurate Portrayal of Who You Are?

The Social Media Effect: Are You Really Who You Portray Online

The Presentation of Self in the Age Social Media

Self-presentation and belonging on Facebook

Understanding Digital Literacies: A Practical Introduction- Jones & Hafner

Producing New and Digital Media: Your Guide to Savvy Use of the Web- Cohen & Kenny

 

[Previous version: recovered / copied & pasted by Professor Belli, from post Revision history: some formatting may be off]

“Perhaps the most important digital literacy associated with social networking sites is being able to engage in effective practices of self presentation and impression management in different situations and with different people” (Jones & Hafner 152). Impression management refers to the act of facilitating the information one reveals about oneself in order to illustrate a particular social identity. Someone like me who sees a person with multiple social media accounts, would generally think that a user is putting on a facade or trying to save face by acting differently on multiple social media platforms but that just may not be the case.

Reading Cohen and Kenny, I’ve come to a realization that, many suicidal media platforms on the web,¬† each has its own method for participation and communication with other users. Therefore,¬† the practice of presenting yourself online within various platforms may be necessary and generates discourse communities within these social media sites.

The purpose of my project is to show how effectively or ineffectively users of social media present themselves online and what exactly drives an individual to portray themselves the way they do. My project will address the following questions:

What roles do people adopt in different social media platforms?

Why people may or may not present themselves honestly on their social media accounts

What is the driving force behind having more than one social  media account? Why not stick to only one?

To what extent do individuals regard their self presentation using their social media account to be authentic and honest reflecting themselves in their daily lives?

To what extent do individuals participate in exaggerating, idealizing, or completely lying on their accounts?

How many social networks are people on?  How many are they active on?</li>

Because of the technological and digital world we live in, “maintaining a public presence on an online social network is some extent becoming part of being a ‘normal’ and legitimate person in some societies and social groups” (Jones &amp; Hafner 156). With that being said,¬† the goal of the project is to inform others on the greater advantages of using social media whether they chose to participate in the platform or not. This project is also for myself in understanding why people are always encouraging me to make an Instagram account even though they can’t explain to me why I should. Hopefully I will gain insight on the purposes of social media other than what I think its purpose is for.

Sources so far include:

Understanding Digital Literacies: A Practical Introduction- Jones & Hafner

Producing New and Digital Media: Your Guide to Savvy Use of the Web- Cohen & Kenny

Response 6- Social Media

When we think of “culture” today we don’t always think of our ethnic backgrounds or upbringing we think of the fast moving tech savvy world in which we live. Social culture today is¬†predominantly online, our news, weather, banking and even most of our interactions with others are all via a screen of some sort. While in some aspects this is highly praised for its efficiency and speed others question its reliability. Even in the texts we read about Wikipedia one of the main detriments to the site was the fact that so many hands could alter a post making it hard to tell fact from fallacy.

Aside from online accuracy what else has a social media culture done to our values and basic language skills? In chapters 8 and 10 of the Jones and Hafner text they talk about the implications that social media has on our ability to properly communicate. I think about that as i type this and try and count how many times i have had to go back and fix a post on this site because i’ve typed it short hand or in “social media” language. Terms familiar on twitter, Facebook or instagram are not real world terms, they’re not accepted on a resume, in a business email or letter yet we continue to use and incorporate them into our everyday use, even speaking them aloud.

A great example of this is the example of the presidential race in the article “How Social Media is Ruining Politics”, where it states that candidates like Clinton and Bush are having trouble “fitting in”. Social media has become such a norm in our culture not having a large social media following as a public figure head actually works against you, you loose your touch with the world. Which is totally ironic because social media is virtual you can’t actually touch anything. For instance look at¬†Donald Trump’s Twitter Feed¬†and see just how many retweets and favorites he has, his following is huge even if he isn’t the most liked guy on the planet. The point is though he gets an edge for having a mass following, one he maybe didn’t earn but gets because his opponents are being in the times. Even decades ago in the Nixon/ Kennedy presidential race kennedy used the “modern” form of communication to win his election, his opponent Nixon was’t savvy on the new medium of communication thus costing him the race.

The language of the world may have its roots in the same places, may share similar meaning to words and symbols but being online changes all of that. There is a whole new frontier to language with social media and though it may not be wildly professional or grammatically correct it is common place on social networks, and to be successful on these apps to gain a following to reach the people and groups you’re targeting you have to know them because the inability to do so leaves you in the dust, obsolete.