Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Is Honesty the Best Policy?

So I was trying to think of things to write that would be more interesting and I realized, my blog is pretty freakin' boring. You know why? Because I don't really say everything I'm feeling or experiencing. I'm not saying I should include absolutely everything on mind, but I think I try to control my virtual identity too much.

While doing my thesis research, I've discovered that the women I'm interviewing have some interesting thoughts regarding their identities on social media. When asked if they represent their "true" selves on Facebook, each one has always answered "yes." However, one of my interviewees stated that she thinks that people represent their true selves online but they choose which aspects to represent and which to leave out. For example, this woman stated that she only chooses to display aspects of her personality and life that appear exciting, interesting, and nice. I feel like this on my blog.

I don't write about my super crappy days that reflect negatively on me. Sure I write about bad things that are out of my control, but not issues that may be my fault (struggling in my marriage, feeling like I'm failing in my academic pursuits, etc.). Therefore, I've come to the conclusion that maybe I should be a little more honest on here. The blogs I enjoy reading are often brutally honest, not ones that make the author's life appear perfectly put together. That being said, we'll see how this goes on my next blog post (which hopefully will come before three months!).

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Research Inspiration

One of the inspirations for my social media research is Jenny Ryan's The Virtual Campfire.

This site is the digital version of her thesis research:

Based on five years of participant-observation on the social networking sites MySpace, Facebook, and Tribe.net, The Virtual Campfire explores the increasingly blurred boundaries between human and machine, public and private, voyeurism and exhibitionism, the history of media and our digitized future. Woven throughout are the stories and experiences of those who engage with these sites regularly and ritualistically, the generation of "digital natives" whose tales attest to the often strange and uncomfortable ways online social networking sites have come to be embedded in the everyday lives of American youth.

Check it out: http://www.thevirtualcampfire.org/