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Facebook identities : constructing virtual selves in an online world

by Rhodes, Erin


Each day we make many decisions about how we want to look and act in order to maintain our identity and present ourselves to society in the best possible light. Some individuals rebel against social norms while others follow them to the extreme. Our notions of self are influenced by society and how we desire to be perceived by society. This study focuses on the presentation of self in digital media, specifically on the online social network Facebook. I analyze how individuals construct their Facebook identity and why they present themselves in particular ways. Since users’ identities are known both offline and online by their audience they are unlikely to present a false-self to their “friends.” By interviewing 11 volunteers, I found that participants in this study mainly displayed information about themselves through pictures. Further, participants presented a virtual self through either carefully set privacy settings, not allowing friends to see tagged photos and consciously presenting themselves with certain viewers in mind. Given this, users are omitting information about their real selves in order to appear as their hoped-for self that they can only obtain through their virtual self. By looking at how individuals present themselves on Facebook and their choices about how they do so, we may better understand the relationship between identity and social norms and the significance of self presentation in virtual space and social interaction.


Includes bibliographical references.

Title self-submitted as: Facebook identities : creating virtual selves in an online world

Administrative Notes

Title self-submitted as: Facebook identities : creating virtual selves in an online world

Copyright restrictions apply.
Colorado College
Digital Origin
born digital
46 pages
Senior Thesis -- Colorado College
Thesis Advisor
Wong, Sandi
Degree Name
Degree Type
Bachelor of Arts
Degree Grantor
Colorado College
Date Issued