Dear Mendelson and Papacharissi,
In chapter 12 of your book A Networked Self: Identity, Community and Culture on Social Networking Sites, you bring up many interesting points about SNS and the photographs posted. I must say that most of the points you mentioned about students presenting an identity through the pictures and comments posted is very true. Students are constantly posing pictures of the positive aspects of their college careers. They want to portray the idea that they are living the college experience, by posting pictures with friends at events like parties and athletic events. However it is very rare that students post pictures of themselves studying at the library for 3 days straight. The negative events and aspects of ones life can easily be avoided when developing an online identity/ representation of oneself.
The act of taking photographs is beginning to change, at least for many college students. People used to take photographs to save memories and to tell a story later in life. Now photographs are used to show others how great your life is. However there are some downfalls with developing an online identity and your “great life”. When others view your profile, they are able to interpret what they see as THEY see it. A picture is worth a thousand words. That picture you took drunk at a party doing a particular gesture may be a completely innocent inside joke, but others may take a completely different approach to it. Future employers of college students know that students develop these online identities and take advantage of it. With posting pictures, statuses, comments and liking pages, ones profile begins to invite the public world into their private life. Many people judge others based on the online identities one develops, and what may be positive for one group of people (college friends) may be negative for another group of people (potential employers).