Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Identity and Self-Representation

Dear Mendelson and Papacharissi,

“Look at Us: Collective Narcissism in College Student Facebook Photo Galleries” made me realize how amazingly realistic some of your points were.  Being a college student myself, I have seen just how much pressure Facebook can put on us.  We have to spend time daily trying to convince others that we’re cool and have friends and events to go to, all while looking good in the pictures.  It’s almost like an unhealthy competition among everyone, and no one wants to be left in the dust.  I think people have taken Facebook pictures way too far, and it makes me cringe when I see self-taken “mirror” pictures or obvious “drunk” pictures.

It is very true that people spend a lot of time picking out their profile pictures and carefully calculating what photos to put up.  We are all aware that we are being watched, and that is the whole point of it.  Getting other people’s approval is probably one of the few upsides of being watched, because it is validation that we are as cool as we say we are, or appear to be online at least.  I loved when you said “We therefore consciously and unconsciously transform ourselves before the camera, portraying a version of ourselves we hope to be.”  This is extremely accurate because we all reach and aspire to be something better, and one of the easiest ways to do that is to get validation from people who we don’t really know.     

Connie Zhen

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