Dear Andrea Mendelson and Ziki Papacharissi,
After reading your study which you selected a group of college students, eighty nine to be exact, and analyzed their Facebook photos (SNS) by qualitatively using methods based in visual anthropology and semiotics in order to capture the richness of the images, in addition to the more subtle aspects of the presentations. The results of the chapter were organized around Chalfen’s categories of analysis: the subject matter present in the photographs (participants, topics, and settings) as well as what subject matter does not show up or shows up very little; the behavior of subjects; the photographic aesthetics of the images; the organization of the photographs; and, finally, an analysis of the comments. After exploring the ways you have approached the idea of online and offline identities, I think that the sum of the chapter/study is that people (especially these young college students) that online in SNS the images or photos demonstrate the primacy of relationships. The photos are all about the connection among college students, primarily first and second-year students, among those of the same gender. This agrees with much of what you have argues that friends are especially important for members of this current generation, especially same-sex friends.
I agree that online people portray themselves, as they want to be scene, not necessarily as they are or as their “true identity.” I say this because when I go online I see a lot of my friend’s pictures distorted or edited to make themselves look better, or perceived as something better, or even cooler. Also another researcher Tinkler said “ Today young people from across the social-class spectrum have a wider range of opportunities for photographic self representation due to the availability of cheap…cameras.” I agree with her and I think this statement strongly represents what you are trying to say about self and photography on SNS. (Social Networking sites) Pretty much everyone I know in college either has a digital camera, or one hanging around there dorm room because now they have a smart phone that can take pictures, along with most lap tops that have cameras built in them as well. I have had Facebook for a while and I am starting to wonder are people going to get tired of these SNS? Constantly having to keep up with their online self, and how they are being perceived online thru their socializing groups. I think that the natures of identities that are performed on online spaces are on the bases of experiences lived offline.