Sunday, February 12, 2012

More Than Just Pictures

To Mendelson and Papacharissi,

     I found your article on Facebook photos and tagging, "Look At Us", to be an extremely interesting and ironically truthful analysis on the way college kids use social networking sites to "advertise" themselves. Ever since Facebook has become one of the most popular websites on the planet, one of the norms for its users includes posting and tagging photos for all the world to see, love, hate, or simply ignore. No matter the attention a particular photo may get, Facebook users never cease to continue snapping pictures and uploading them to the web as fast as possible. We live in a society that demands instant everything - feedback, gratification, approval, or even just acknowledgment. As mentioned in your article, this habit exhibited by most college students today "is employed to present the self and everyday college life via Facebook photo galleries."
     In the section of your article titled, "Comments", there's so many subtle concepts and aspects of Facebook comments that most users implicitly understand but don't take the time to think about it in the way you pointed out. As mentioned, "The group nature of comments can be seen through the consistent use of nicknames, references to inside jokes or past events, statements of affection and compliments, and gentle ribbing of each other." As Facebook users, almost all of us experience these characteristics of comments on our photos. This form of communication is what makes Facebook so unique and attractive as a means of keeping in touch with all your friends, family, and acquaintances.
     A fitting conclusion on the idea of Facebook comments, "They present a suspended take on college life sociality, through a collage of scenes celebrating the self, group culture, and membership that are played out over and over again." Whether it's a simple self-portrait, an entire group picture, or a candid shot at a party, each picture has its own purpose and meaning. Simply put, they're not just images to stare at and flip through. Each individual photo tells a story and has its own meaning, which users can then interact with each other about.

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