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? The Facebook IMPRESSION BY ALI MACDONALD Arts & Humanities


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Table of Contents  

Language  

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Body Image  

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How does Language Vary within Society?

“Selfies” and Over-editing: How Correlative are They?

Social Status  

Spoiling the Social Status

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In Conclusion…

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Word Search

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Map

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Quotes

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Works Cited


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Language The way humans communicate that offers insight into where we are from, how we were raised, and what we are feeling. Language is a system of symbols and sounds that when combined or inflected differently, tell someone something.


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The way humans communicate varies within the largest of societies and the smallest of communities. There is a distinct, sometimes impenetrable language barrier between a Japanese girl and a friend, perhaps her same age and height, from Germany (assuming that neither of them have studied each other’s native tongue). In the same way these girls from opposite sides of the globe have difficulty communicating, the Boston-grown adult may have trouble communicating his thoughts to someone who grew up in a more suburban region of Massachusetts. Both people grew up in the same small state of the same nation, however the minor regional difference sets them apart.

When examining the use of language over the social network Facebook.com, one will find that someone’s use of it defines them greatly as a person. Without first peeking at someone’s photos, likes, relationship status, or religion, a curious onlooker may find out a lot about a person based on their comments, captions, and status updates. Someone’s young age may be revealed by their excessive usage of emoticons and misspelled everyday words. The same way poor spelling skills may reveal someone’s age, it can also reveal a full grown adult’s maturity level. Spelling, tied with grammar, is an area of Facebook highly criticized by one’s “friends.” Many Facebook users fuss an awful lot when their old high school sweetheart mistakenly uses “where” instead of “wear” in an angrily worded comment. Perhaps it is because they feel more confident behind a computer screen—this is the root of almost all social media arguments. The computer screen feels, to too many, like a mask. However, the reality of the situation is that if someone chooses to write a hateful Facebook status about a widely-enjoyed concept (for example, “Harry Potter was the least original idea for a book series—I could’ve thought of everything in those novels on my own!”) they should expect backlash. Furthermore, the backlash will probably be more hastily-worded, as the arguers are too behind the safety of their computer monitor. The reason the computer monitor poses such an issue in society is that it changes who people are in the real world. Facebook, specifically, has a way of changing who we really are and naturally so, for unless we are giving a speech in an auditorium, we are not typically broadcasting our ideas. Facebook is a medium through which people broadcast themselves, but may not realize just how much they are doing so because they cannot see anyone’s faces or reactions when they post something for the public to view. Therefore, when commenting, crafting captions or creating statuses on Facebook it is important to remember that the audience is as large as the number of friends you have on the site (or more, depending on how public your account is).


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Body Image The way that someone feels about their physical appearance when faced with a mirror, or in everyday life. Body image is how confident we are in how aesthetically pleasing our body is in the eyes of others.


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When we meet someone for the first time, we typically get a general sense for his or her level of self-esteem. However, much more about someone’s confidence is revealed through the photos they post to Facebook. In the same way females are judged in the real world for wearing “too obvious makeup” or having “too obviously dyed hair” it is without a doubt that when someone “too obviously edited their profile picture”—over-saturating the hue, blurring out flaws or whitening teeth—it accompanied by criticism from hateful viewers. An increasingly prominent issue in today’s society is the misrepresentation of oneself over Facebook. However, misrepresenting oneself often represents someone’s self-confidence. In the same way that hiding flaws in your Facebook photos can reveal aspects of body image, being overconfident can lead to critcism as well. Guys are often mocked if every single one of their profile pictures is a shirtless mirror picture they snapped on their own cell phone. The reason behind the judgments on either end of the spectrum on Facebook is because in the real world, we are judged the same way—the only difference is that it may take a longer, more natural period of time to form an opinion about someone else’s body image. On Facebook, after a few clicks of a mouse, one can make assumptions (whether they are false or not) about how someone feels about themselves. The issue that lies within our ability to quickly judge someone’s confidence level through Facebook is that it is through Facebook, and not through getting to know them personally. Such a distinction is what raises the question of: “What’s more important; how I come off in person or in real life?” Facebook is without a doubt a representation of ourselves. If it becomes a misrepresentation, it is because of something in the user’s life: they may over-edit and “misrepresent” themselves, but they are only masking their appearance. They reveal aspects of their body image, as well as culture (maybe in one particular user’s school it is extremely popular to tint every one of your photos a different color of the rainbow).


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Social Status One’s position in society. Social status has less to do with what someone does in life and more to do with how the rest of society ranks what they do in life through a hierarchal system.


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After talking to someone new for five minutes, you gain some insight into their lives–how cold they are feeling at the moment, how much warmer they think it is in their hometown, their name and what language they speak. After looking at their Facebook profile for five minutes, you can learn (assuming they update their page with plentiful and relevant information) what religion they practice, their relationship status, political views, family members, favorite bands, sexual orientation, and almost anything else known to man. The conflict with this is that we can tell if we disagree with someone on something before even getting to know them—in which case, you learn why they take certain standpoints. Aside from finding out the facts about someone, a Facebook profile tells us someone’s social status. In a sense, it not only reveals which college or high school someone attended, but what role they played there. One can usually tell if someone is involved in Greek life, is on a sports team, or if they scored a fancy internship after graduation. Facebook photos reveal what people’s friends are like. When you meet someone for the first time, you have no insight as to what the people they spend their time with are like. You don’t know whether their popular or strange and that has always been the beauty of the first impression: getting a clean slate with a new person, who may get to know you in a way different from how someone else got to know you. The Facebook profile destroys anyone’s chances at a new start. Whether we like it or not, someone’s social status is spoiled by their Facebook. Deciding whether or not you like someone based off of their Facebook information seems shallow. Aside from the cases, however, where you find hateful and ignorant comments constantly beside their icon.


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+ The invention of Facebook changed much about today’s society. Its popularity is also very telling of our current generation’s values and the ever-controversial debate of whether or not technology is harmful or helpful. It sounds hasty and shallow to believe that judging someone off of an online profile is completely fair, however given the time period and the large presence of Facebook in particular, it is logical to draw conclusions based off of a profile that is designed to reveal so much about someone. Nowadays, everything is photographed and we have the means to share our opinions with the world with the click of a button and it is wonderful, but certainly compromises the validity of the classic, face-to-face “first impression.” Our character is not just slowly and eventually discovered by others through real life behaviors. Instead, people decide more efficiently but often times less accurately on their opinion of you by typing your name into a little white search bar and pressing “enter.”


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BODY CHAT COMMENT CYBERBULLY DISLIKE

FRIEND NORMATIVITY GROUP POKE IMAGE POPULARITY LANGUAGE PROFILE LIKE


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Facebook’s global presence…


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Works Cited  

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/wait-but-why/annoying-facebook-behavior_b_4081038.html

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http://rantchic.com/2013/11/07/the-20-pictures-girls-need-to-stop-posting-in-social-media/? utm_medium=referral&utm_source=Outbrain&utm_term=Title3

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http://www.glamourmagazine.co.uk/news/fashion/2013/10/11/are-we-over-selfies-survey-reveals-selfiesmost-annoying

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http://www.businessinsider.com/photoshop-fantasy-instagram-selfies-make-over-2013-11 http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2386823,00.asp

https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTYYbLLocQEOvmFBO6g6XOuwW0jOja71Sm0WUv2yqgfZXabKZv

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http://smu.edu/fsl/images/campus/All%20Greek%202.jpg

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http://fc03.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2011/019/9/2/i__m_a_loner_being_sad_at_love__by_jojoloverforeverd35drx8.jpg

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http://www.bestcollegesonline.com/blog/2012/05/22/the-10-most-legendary-prep-schools-in-america/


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The Facebook Impression