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Elizabeth Koenig. Creating Identity in a Digital Age: The Facebook Addiction. What is Facebook?. www.facebook.com “Social Utility”. You're Studying That?. I love Facebook Others love Facebook, too. 6.8% of global Internet users visit Facebook (Alexa 2008)

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Elizabeth koenig l.jpg

Elizabeth Koenig

Creating Identity in a Digital Age: The Facebook Addiction


What is facebook l.jpg
What is Facebook?

  • www.facebook.com

  • “Social Utility”


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You're Studying That?

  • I love Facebook

  • Others love Facebook, too


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6.8% of global Internet users visit Facebook (Alexa 2008)

average usage time of 20 minutes (Facebook 2007).

Usage Statistics

  • 70 million active users(Facebook 2007).

  • average of 200,000 new users every day (Facebook 2007).

  • sixth most trafficked website in the world (Facebook 2007).


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Questions

  • What is the attraction to Facebook?

  • How do Facebook users construct their online identities?


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Methods

  • Snowball Sampling

    • Profile page analysis

    • Interviews


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Limitations

  • Privacy Restrictions

  • Personal Bias


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Analysis

  • Forms of Capital (Bourdieu)

  • Looking-Glass Self (Cooley)


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Forms of Capital (Bourdieu)

  • Cultural Capital

    • cultural connections that represent you

    • why do you like what you like?


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Social Capital

  • The connections you have with others

    • Benefits (on a large scale):

      • Better health

      • Lower crime rates

      • Community commitment


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Forms of Capital and Profiles

  • Use Cultural Capital to fill out profile

  • Profile is used to gain Social Capital


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Example

“I think in a way I kind of create the person that I would want to present my self through, like knowing, for instance, if someone was to look at it [my profile] I would want them to see me the way I wanted everyone to see me. Like, I put myself on there as the best way that I can. And I put things on there that I want people to know about me. Opposed to like, things that are true but I don’t care if anyone knows. Like for my interests, I have lots of interests, but I keep them as ones that I want people to know I’m interested in.”


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Social Capital and “Weak Ties”

  • Communication Tool

  • “Weak Ties”

    • Social connection that requires little effort

    • Good /Bad “Computer Veil”


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Positive Example

“it’s kind of like being at a party, without the awkward part, like, you can talk to anyone you want to talk to and if you feel uncomfortable talking to them you can poke them, and so, it’s a really good way to feel like you’re part of a community without actually having any awkward parts of being part of a community.”


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Negative Example

“I feel that a lot has been lost with the way we communicate now, like through email, electronically, because I feel like a lot of the things that people say they wouldn’t have the audacity to say if they were talking on the phone or face to face, so I feel like communication has been degraded in a way through depending on the computer so much, making it less genuine... “


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Looking-Glass Self (Cooley)

Self Assessment in Three Parts:


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Through the Facebook Looking-Glass

  • Read another users profile

  • Read their own profile judging it through the “eyes” of the other

  • Judging themselves/their profile in reaction


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Example

“sometimes I’ll go and look at groups of people I’m with, and [think] like, what people from home think about me and my friends here, and what people here may think about me and my friends at home.”



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How do users construct their online identities?

  • Users display their Cultural Capital on profile pages to create their online identities.


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Why do so many people like Facebook so much?

  • Users gain Social Capital

  • Users can use the looking-glass self to evaluate their identities


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Photo Credits

  • http://bp2.blogger.com/_2ph2upGQFUg/Rp8jW2feSEI/AAAAAAAAACg/77pmfUKBY0A/s1600-h/29_3_facebook.jpg

  • http://www.collegeotr.com/images/blogs/d6f4650b38a21721af80d15b4c8ef44b.jpg

  • http://www.kerching.tv/facebook.gif

  • http://www.profilepounder.com/pics/comments/online_friends/onlineFriends24%5B1%5D.gif

  • http://www.studentsshopper.com/images/halloween/facebook.jpg

  • www.cartoonstock.com/directory/f/facebook.asp

  • http://www.nmubaseball.net/uscho/ch-halloween.jpg

  • http://images.theglobeandmail.com/archives/RTGAM/images/20070612/wlfacebook12/facebook_500big.jpg


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The End

  • Hey Thanks!

    • Dr. Ben Feinberg

    • Dr. Laura Vance

    • All who contributed to my data

    • Jes Wooten

    • My friends


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