Monday, February 13, 2012

Dear Mendelson and Papacharissi,
Being both a college student and Facebook user myself, I entirely agree that photos used on SNSs are an instrument of self presentation and a means of visual autobiography online. SNS users are more concerned with their photos than with their actual biographies, comments, and statuses. The results found in your study were pretty obvious though. Obviously females will post more photos than males, obviously females will receive more comments than males, and obviously photos are used to demonstrate relationships and social life. Most college students photos will be of them with their significant other, friends, or out partying. Every college student wants to portray they are living out the typical college life. Drinking is seen as typical norm in college, so you will find many pictures of college students drinking and comments such as, "wtf bro when was this?" etc. etc. Everyone wants to be seen as "normal" and they will portray their normality through photos. You also mentioned SNS users will edit their photos. Everyone wants to look good, so why not edit your photos to look your best? However, many times you will find someone looks completely different in person than they do in their Facebook photos...
One thing I must comment on is this research fails to mention the danger of self presentation that can be done because of photos on Facebook. Portraying yourself as someone you are not on SNSs can damage relationships with other people. Most people judge a person by their photos on these SNSs. Also, in today's society, many universities and companies are using SNSs to do background checks on potential students and future employees. Having a profile that is bombarded with photos of oneself drinking because one wanted to come off as "cool" could prospectively give off a bad depiction to individuals doing background checks. It is important that users start to clean up their photos instead of continuing to put up pictures that will make them appear to be "living the college life" because of these threats. I don't think anyone with a Facebook photo like this would have a very good change of being hired...

Yours Truly, 
Taylor Palehonki

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