I just wanted to thank you for publicly acknowledging how people present themselves on social networking sites like Facebook (and before that was Myspace) using photos online as autobiography of themselves. I’ve been an avid Facebook user for years now and I have seen what you guys talked about a hundred times over online. People chose photos to display themselves how they want to be perceived, i.e. if a girl wants people to comment and ‘like’ a picture she posted on her Facebook, she might put one of her in a bathing suit up to garner male attention. I’ve also seen examples where a girl will post a picture where she obviously looks pretty, but captions the picture with ‘I’m so ugly’ or something of that nature, then all of her friends will comment on her picture telling her how beautiful she is. You talked about how people using SNS edit their pictures, which is another thing I feel like I see all the time when I am on Facebook. People will photoshop their pictures to make them look better than they normally do because they can make their skin, eyes, hair, etc. look nicer than it originally did in the picture. They can change the picture to look exactly as the want it to, taking away any negative aspects and creating an entirely new image. Along with that, people can add images, symbols, and words to the picture to make it look ‘cute.’ There is a website called Picnik, where you can take a picture of you and pretty much pimp it out.
In your research the results were pretty much spot on about women using posting photos more as well as receiving more comments then males. I can look at my friends list right now and I know that all the girls for the most part have at least twice as many pictures as the guys do. I am guilty of this myself, having over 1500+ photos online versus my boyfriend who has maybe 500+. It seems like girls take pictures everywhere they go i.e. a sleepover at their friends house, a day in the city, going to a restaurant, a day at the mall, holidays, someone’s birthday (which will have at least 200 pictures in the album), and the list goes on and on. Most of my guys friends do not upload pictures on Facebook, they are tagged in pictures that their female friends take of them or they are tagged in pictures of family gatherings. Along with girls taking pictures every time they go out, they also take pictures when they are alone at home. And there are varying degree of obnoxious poses that girls do when they take these pictures of themselves. I think that you guys nailed the research aspect of this, but didn’t really discuss how bad it is for people to portray themselves like this online. Creating this false images to represent is negative, because future friends or employers will see this and wonder why you were creating this image and what was wrong with being just yourself online, what were you trying to hide?