On the internet no one knows you're a...

At the oh-so confusing age of 22, one thing I have realized is that social media is not by any shot an accurate representation of reality. I enjoyed these readings because they discussed a very real issue that resonates with anyone who has ever created an online profile. The Papacharissi article is particularly interesting because it takes a look at college students and the entire culture that surrounds social media. “New media, such as the World Wide Web, allow people the opportunity to present various forms of themselves to others at a distance. People are able to post only that information which presents a desired image. While people are purportedly presenting themselves, they are presenting a highly selective version of themselves” (Papacharissi 252). Now this fact is nothing new, however we all still fall victim to it. It is a matter of how we construct our online identities and how we then interpret the profiles of our peers. It is so easy to gain a false impression of an individual because although we understand that an online profile can be cast in any light the creator wants, we never know for sure when something is genuine or purposefully done. Just this weekend one of my best friends form home came to visit me. After a very long and exhausting walk, we both sat down on the couch with our laptops and began the daily check up on our various social media sites. At one point we were both on Facebook and I brought up how although I didn’t personally know her, one of my online friends seems like she was doing really well for herself while also maintaining a colorful social life. Now my friend happened to know this girl and right away explained to me that her Facebook may seem glamorous but in reality she was going through a very rough time. I clearly had no idea and merely assumed the best because I only had access to content that would lead to such a conclusion. This discussion reminds me of one of the first memes I ever came across, I think it describes this shift in self-representation perfectly.

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