Me! Me! Me! Otherwise known as social networking

 

I’ve been discussing visualizations and infographics with my ENGL 335 Digital Humanities students [check out their course blog here], and I came across this. Relevant to this week’s readings and blog posts, right?

 

Posted on October 1, 2012, in Social Media. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. 29% of people will friend people just because they look good without having any idea who they are? That sounds like a really bad idea.

    Also, from the readings–especially Qualman–it seems that the expectation is that social media makes people feel better about themselves and encourages them to get out and live a more fulfilling life, but this infographic indicates that the more time people spend on Facebook, the worse they feel about themselves.

    Are we really using Facebook to connect with friends or are we being narcissistic and trying to one-up each other with how cool we are. For example, as I look at Facebook now:
    – There is a post asking me to vote for someone’s baby in a cuteness contest for baby food.
    – Someone posting a picture of their cool new house.
    – Pictures of someone’s kids dressed up for homecoming.
    – A group of family members at a barbecue next to a pool.

    Is there any way to use Facebook that wouldn’t be a little self promotional? We don’t want people to post all the boring, embarrassing, and mundane stuff to counterbalance the bragging, do we? If we did you’d end up with posts like, “Eating an entire bag of Cheetos in my underwear while watching a Honey Boo Boo marathon.”

    • Oh my gosh, Bob, your last line nearly killed me. Hilarious!

      I find it interesting that the expansion of social media is really about our obsession with ourselves. (Well, interesting and horrifying.) Is it that we are trying to sell others about how wonderful our lives are, or we just trying to convince ourselves?

      It really does seem as if there is a “brand” that is built by an individual with each post, one building on top of another. So, what are individuals doing with their “brand”? Is the result really just to convince others that we are the sum of our posts? Like Bob, as I look at others Facebook pages I can sum up their “brand” pretty easily: One person’s main theme seems to be happiness, a person’s about on-going bad luck, and yet another’s about their hobby. Or maybe they/we are just trying to convince ourselves? Either way, social media does seem to be about the “Me!, Me!, Me!”

      • Agreed, I think most of Facebook is “All About Me”. Sometimes I just wonder how many of those posts are actually real. Like did it ever happen to you that you were with somebody at an event and that person is afterwards posting something about it in a very different way than you would have done? But then again, the same happens to me when I hear somebody telling this story to another friend in a face-to-face conversation. So I guess it is all just normal. Just the medium is different…

  2. Sadly, I think that Cheetos Honey Boo Boo status may be bragging to some, AKA “Look at all the free time I have & I can eat whatever I want.” 😉

  3. This discussion actually may segue nicely into the discussion of Sherry Turkle’s book [the subject of your midterm exam, which I’ll be posting tomorrow] as she feels strongly about the need for people to take time away from their phones and enjoy solitude!

  4. The idea of Facebook being about “me, me, me!” made me wonder about people who don’t have Facebook pages. For some reason I immediately thought of Garrison Keillor. He always talks about being a very shy guy, not really wanting to draw attention to himself, and feeling socially awkward. So I wondered– would Garrison have a Facebook page, or is that too contrary to the persona he’s tried to create? (I know, there’s already some irony there about an author, radio personality, and sort-of movie star not wanting attention.) Anyway, three different pages came up; one looked legit and believable, but not the other two.

    That leads me to two questions: 1. What’s to stop people from creating a fake Facebook pages about a celebrity or anyone they know and want to poke fun at? (Kind of like SNL satirizing politicians.) 2. How would the unwilling “victim” be able to respond? 3. (Yes, another question came up.) Does anyone know of any skillfully-done-but-purposefully-faked Facebook pages aimed at politicians or clebrities?

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