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Social Networking

Autor:   •  December 14, 2012  •  Essay  •  1,544 Words (7 Pages)  •  927 Views

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Social networking sites are in today's context a worldwide phenomenon. To the hundreds of millions of people around the world who are members of sites like Twitter and specifically, Facebook, daily social interactions within the realm of cyberspace has become an essential part of their day to day life. These massively popular 'profile' building websites serve as mediums for building 'friend' networks that might serve as a virtual platform for the construction and management of multiple identities. (Fraser and Dutta 2008) This report examines 5 users' 10 most recent updates and seeks to analyze and determine if there are disparities between their virtual and actual persona and identity and the impact that Facebook status updates have on an individual's social life.

Created in 2004, Facebook has now grown to encompass 845 million users world wide generating 2.7 billion likes and comments daily and sees 250 million photos uploaded by its members on a daily basis according to the Registration statement made by Facebook Inc. on the US Securities and Exchange website (2012). It has also become an essential part of many of its users' lives and plays a big part in their social interactions by acting as a ‘social utility, a new kind of mechanism for connecting people with their friends and others who work, study and live around them' (Waters 2010) and in essence functions as ‘social venues in which many different communities may form' (Papacharissi 2011). The easiest way to share information with their friends are through the use of their status updates on their profiles, this is a simple message to share with their friends letting them know of their activities, whereabouts or even what is on their minds (McFedries 2011). From such updates, other users who are on their Facebook friends list are then able to interact with them through actions such as 'like' or commenting on their updates.

Identities as we know it has evolved with the onset of the digital age, whereas an identity used to be more straightforward in the past with just an individual's personal and social identity, an additional facet known as a virtual identity now exists for most individuals who are connected via social networking sites. A personal identity is derived from an individual's personality, characteristics and behavior while their family and friends in contrast contribute to their social identity in part, by responding to how the individual portray themselves to them in person (Palfrey and Gasser 2008). An individual's virtual identity may or may not adhere closely to their actual identities, whereas it could be possible to drastically change aspects of their personal identity, social identity are influenced by factors that remains out an individual's control and would not be able to be changed entirely. In the realm of cyberspace, an individual has no restrictions


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