Behind the Screen

To me, social media, such as Facebook, is important for the fact that I enjoy connecting with friends, family and acquaintances.   I also love checking up what is new with my favourite celebrities through groups, events and pages.  I do, however, keep my profile very private to those that are not a Facebook friend.  To those who are, I do not post my age, address or what my relationship status is.  To me, that stuff is personal. 

The article by Sherry Turkle was very interesting on why people are so attached to social media.  In her TEDtalk, she explains that people use social media because we get so much attention and feed back from almost everyone, we are always able to speak our minds and that we are never alone.  As pathetic as that sounds, she is right! It is like a subconscious thought, and it took me awhile to actually accept that fact.  After “creeping” my own profile, I noticed that I had uploaded multiple photos throughout the years of myself which I believe I look good in, in hoping that other people would agree.  Lets face it, we all do it! 

Everyone feels slightly more confident through the internet, which makes it a lot easier to talk to people.  The problem with that, is that we are not acting like our true selves.  Turkle states that “when we communicate on our digital devices, we learn different habits”.  These different habits occur through social media but when face-to-face with the same person, responses will differ. 

Demetri Matin comedic thoughts on Myself were hilarious, yet true.  I have never had a Myspace, but Facebook is very similar to Myspace, therefore I can relate.  Personally,  I am very smart and safe when it comes to social media.  Because of the photos and information that I provide my Facebook friends with, I would certainly not feel comfortable with strangers looking at my profile.  I have recently gone through my contact list, which was well over a 1000, and realized that I did not even know atleast 100 of those people.  Lets get real, 1000 is a big number, and I know I do not comfortably know that many people. So I deleted or “de-friended” them off of my profile, which was quite settling.    

Lets hear some comments folks! 

Are you guilty of presenting yourself through social media differently than through real life? Do you feel more confident beside a screen? If so, why? Is it safe to meet people through social media?


Demetri Martin explains social media on The Daily Show—demetri-martin/clip141030#clip141030

 Cyberspace and Identity Sherry Turkle Contemporary Sociology Vol. 28, No. 6 (Nov., 1999), pp. 643-648

Sherry Turkle. The Flight From Conversation. New York Times Sunday Review. April 21, 2012

Places we don’t want to go: Sherry Turkle at TED2012



6 thoughts on “Behind the Screen

  1. tialow

    Hi! In answer to your questions, I find that I am pretty much the same person through social media and real life! Though I do feel more confident behind a screen sometimes. I often find myself emailing or texting or using social media to communicate because I like that I have time to think about what I can say and that I can edit it if I want to! And, I do not think it is entirely safe to meet people through social media. I think we should all be careful with who we trust and not give personal information to someone we do not know and trust!

  2. rp10ap

    It is good to know that other individuals are taking the necessary steps to ensure that their Facebook page for instance is secured within the public. You and many others have proceeded to perform ‘spring-cleaning’ on Facebook whereby you are deleting friends that you may not have contact with, and I think I should perform a similar action because the reality it is almost near impossible to keep in contact with over 1,000 friends. I also find it a bit disturbing that based on some people’s social media activities that are evident on my Facebook timeline, individuals can essentially display their entire life in a nutshell.

  3. rw08ty

    Meeting people through social media can be a great tool to create your social network. I think individuals must be very careful of what is considered a good social media to meet people. For example , Linkedin can be a great tools to meet professionals but I would be more hesitant to meet individuals via twitter or Facebook because to me it does not seem as trusted and professional as Linkedin .On the other, I am a shy person when it comes to meeting people in face-to-face interaction , but I feel more comfortable to have discussions and chat to people online and I think this is because of English being my second language. I am more comfortable typing and making sure what I say makes sense and not worried people will understand what I am actually saying verbally.

  4. db09rd

    I think it is human nature to feel more confident when you are not face to face with another individual. As a hockey player I can think of a perfect example of this false confidence that has nothing to do with social media. In hockey, when a ref steps between two players, there is a instant boost of confidence to the player that was “scared” until he had protection. The computer acts as a ref in this sense. People know they will not instantly have to deal with thew consequences of their actions so they feel free to say what they want. These same people will take back their previous comments when they have to talk face to face with the person. Personally I try to present myself as who I am in real life on social media outlets. I have enough experience with social media to know that my comments will be seen be others and if those people have a problem with what I have said they will talk to me in person. I think this natural confidence when you think you are protected by something will never change.

  5. Andrea Pilkington

    I like everything that you have discussed here. The sooner we begin to accept the real uses and ramifications of social media, the better we can begin to understand why we use it. I as well keep personal information or “implicating” information private and do not disclose any of this on any of my social networking profiles.

    I think many people among myself, if not all users of social media, are guilty of presenting themselves differently online than in real life. I don’t necessarily think this is a negative thing, I just believe that this is inevitable. Online profiles are in fact an extension of our lives, but it’s a digital extension – there is no physicality to it. this in itself means right away we present ourselves differently because we can only express or present ourselves within the limits of the digital interface.

    I do not feel more confident behind a screen per say, but i feel people gain confidence from the acknowledgement that comes from other users, and i believe that online communication alleviates some of the social pressures some people may experience or generally feel more at ease while communicating through online media.


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