"In [Tricia] Wang’s theory, a network like Facebook, which enforces real name registration and consists of a person’s friends and family from time immemorial, encourages bounded use. It’s like the small town you never left, the grammar school class you couldn’t pass out of, the first dead-end job. It’s a network mired in past and present, and by its nature it enforces a limited sense of identity and expression.
By contrast, something like Tumblr encourages unbounded use. It allows you to experiment and play. It’s the big city, and each new tumblelog you create is like a new bar or neighborhood where you can try on a new self and see how it fits. In one instant you can be a pug lover, reblogging the best animated GIFs of the flat-faced dogs. In the next, you can dive deep into the Go Pro snowboarding community and post snaps from your latest run.
Hence Wang’s notion of the elastic self. Like rubber bands, when we step into Tumblr we can stretch and reshape ourselves into different configurations. Each new hat we try on stretches the rubber band just a little bit further, and over time it might evolve into a new configuration. This allows for remarkable opportunities to explore different potentials of self and self-expression."
oh i love it i love it i love it. i love it. yes. thank you tricia. thank you.
From An Xiao Mina’s The Social Ties That Unbind (via kenyatta)
I’m really big into talking about identity creation and the internet. This will be rumbling around my head for a while.
I love Tricia. My friends are so smart. This is spot on.
Good stuff from my friend T (who keeps a couple dozen Tumblrs as I do).
"What mainly goes up… is not the core network but the number of casual contacts that people track more passively"
The Social Brain Hypothesis (Dunbar, 1998) tested on Facebook, using generic behavioural closeness metrics (number of friends who people a) post on their wall, status updates or photos; or b) message/chat with), by the social network’s in-house sociologist Cameron Marlow.
from The Economist (26 Feb 2009): Social networks: Primates on Facebook
"How You Met Me: We describe the locations, relationships, and circumstances that contribute to formations of friendships that are represented on Facebook"
Adamic, L. A., Lento, T.M. and Fiore, A.T. (2012). How You Met Me. ICWSM’12 short paper.
full text pdf
According to their analysis of responses of more than 2.5 million posts to the popular Facebook meme, “Leave one memory of how you met me…” from July 2010 to Nov 2011, the team identify trends in the source of connections made on the social network.
A really excellent analysis.
Fantastic graph detailing differences in categories by age (a significant categorical difference). Majority of responses across all age groups - by a mile - is school, although this reduces in number as respondents get older. Work is next popular for respondents of all age groups except <18 years old, whose second most-frequent connection is “birth”, denoting a parent, sibling or other family member.
Only gender differences:
Men were 57% more likely to meet a friend through sports than women, while women were 34% more likely than men have befriended a neighbor.
As for future research, the authors propose:
There may also be some close ties, e.g. siblings and spouses, who play a disproportionate role in shaping individuals social networks in ways that have not been studied on a large scale.
Facebook is clearly therefore more about reinforcing existing relationships than forging new ones, echoing a recent comment at a lecture I gave from an undergraduate student, “if you want to make new friends, don’t go to Facebook. Go to a dating site.”
"the officer went to Facebook.com…Not only did it help him identify Chiles, it also showed that Chiles and Gartner listed each other as friends, suggesting Gartner had lied to police. Chiles’ ticket for public urination: $145. Gartner’s ticket for obstructing justice: $195."
Cop snares college pals in own Web - Chicago Tribune (3 August 2006)
This is one of the first reported incidents in which Facebook was used to identify a person who broke the law (picked up from this JCMC article from 2009. More recently, a Facebook photo was used as partial evidence to arrest a man for attempted murder.
"The use of social media is heading towards the convergence of our virtual and real selves."
Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, in the 2011 article, Sharing to the power of 2012 in The Economist
Facebook: “authentic” identity?
"…if you use Facebook, and your friends sign up for social applications, your name and details could appear in unexpected places"
Luluvise’s date-rating site shows where your Facebook data can end up
from The Guardian on 8 Feb 2012.
"Facebook is deeply integrated in users’ daily lives through specific routines and rituals. Users claimed to understand privacy issues, yet reported uploading large amounts of personal information. Risks to privacy invasion were ascribed more to others than to the self. However, users reporting privacy invasion were more likely to change privacy settings than those merely hearing about others’ privacy invasions. Results suggest that this lax attitude may be based on a combination of high gratification, usage patterns, and a psychological mechanism similar to third-person effect. Safer use of social network services would thus require changes in user attitude."
Here’s one about the same network four years later.
Debatin, B., Lovejoy, J.P., Horn, A-K, Hughes, B.N. (2009). Facebook and Online Privacy: Attitudes, Behaviors, and Unintended Consequences. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. Vol 15(1): 83-108.
why it was rated as having severe privacy flaws in a 2007 audit of websites by Privacy International:
concerns about data matching, data mining, transfers to other companies, and in particular Facebook’s curious policy that it “may also collect information about [its users] other sources, such as newspapers, blogs, instant messaging services, and other users of the Facebook service”
They suggest that users are motivated to share information based on three theoretical frameworks:
1) Uses and Gratifications Approach:
how people use media to fulfill their various needs, among them the three dimensions of (1) the need for diversion and entertainment, (2) the need for (para-social) relationships, and (3) the need for identity construction (Blumler & Katz, 1974; LaRose, Mastro, & Eastin 2001; Rosengren, Palmgreen, & Wenner, 1985)
2) Third Person Effect:
people expect mass media to have a greater effect on others than on themselves.
negative side effects are ascribed to others, while the positive effects are ascribed to oneself
3) Theory of Ritualized Media Use:
the use of Facebook is at least to some degree ritualized and (subcutaneously) built into its users’ daily life