A Facebook biography is a form of identity mask. People can hide their defects what they do while others and deceive others about their real identity true self. Traditionally, people make friends with others who are around them. Nowadays, people send friend requests to random people on Facebook or get connected use available through other networks to increase their number of friends. Others might make befriend friends with those people they interact with online. Many friend requests are sent after making contacts in other areas of the Web online websites. However, most people rarely interact with the majority of their Facebook friends, thereby creating a dormant archive of relationships. Despite this, most people want to portray certain traits through their bios. The Facebook bios of celebrities and professionals are frequently searched. In his article Reflections in the Facebook Mirror, Aimee Lee Ball argues that Facebook users hide their identity through well-crafted bios.
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Using Facebook to hide Identity
The need to hide information about oneself is motivated by the increased possibilities of revealing oneself to large groups of people. People hide their identities so they can be liked more. Facebook increases opportunities for communication and influences how like other types of communicative such as the phone and email are used. It is difficult to describe oneself in a few words as required in Facebook; this is the reason professionals some people with a long list of credentials find it stressful difficult to describe themselves. Many people want their biographies to be simple but to reflect their skills and abilities as much as possible approachability. They want to look accomplished, but not boastful. There are professionals who expose a lot of information in order to ensure themselves open and sincere. Most of them have taken professions that are characterized by too much fraud and insincerity. Moreover, people do not want to limit their access by being on the other side of the political or religious division. They will go to great extent to hide their religious and political affiliation. Sometimes, they will make complex depiction of themselves. Regarding religion, Facebook users will make descriptions that make them look normal and acceptable. People rarely state that they are atheist. Others, who present themselves as atheists, have something else to compensate this weak point.
Some Facebook users do not like the idea of filling in their bio-data especially because they will be required to get out of their comfort zones. Consequently, they will give haphazard descriptions in the ‘religion’ and ‘politics’ sections. Disgruntlement towards Facebook bios may stem from a desire to keep some aspects private, and the need to escape bias (Boyd & Ellison, 2007). Most descriptions are radical and are a sign of protest to the inclusion of these fields in the identity information. In the religion section, a description such as “I have given up on God and now just worship Oprah” may be protesting at the self-promoting attitudes that people have as they post their information. Facebook bios are a sign of self-adulation and self-satisfaction. Most people do not change their bios after changing their habits, due to things such as relocation. Others may not be experts at stating that what hobbies they actually have. But their association with a hobby reveals innermost desire to become or to achieve. Some professionals reveal more than aspirations; they go to great lengths to show that they did something unique such as attending Yale University or working for Bain & Company. They feverishly flood their profiles with events, achievements and projects. Still, some Facebook users prepare their bio in a self-exploration manner. For instance, they may want to test their marketing and branding skills. Self-exploration can be taken in the form of fun. Individuals will play with words in order to appear as jovial and open-minded. Identity formation through a Facebook profile is arguably a rational process of self-deception. Some professionals hire individuals to manage their profiles and increase obscurity through writing and vocabulary (Zúñiga, Jung & Venezuela, 2012). However, most of the Facebook users use well-crafted words to show that they are interesting and creative. Others may give detailed descriptions in an attempt to show non-allegiance to common beliefs and associations. These people tend to deceive themselves. For example, a friend of mine is obsessed with the idea of achieving fame through the use of social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. She uses Photoshop on all of photo to make her look prettier and those photos made her over ten thousand “friends” and “followers”. But “friending” people online is not a substitute for real friendship in real life. She doesn’t have many friends in school and the friends she got left her behind because her self-importance of being famous on the social media platforms. But eventually their mask will pull off at a certain point and people will find out who they really are. Depending on individuals, preparing a Facebook bio can be a threat as well as an opportunity. It needs to be brief and may consume hours to make it short and satisfactory. Those who succeed in writing a good bio tend to think of the process as a copywriting exercise. Individuals who see opportunities in writing a bio tend to think of it as an introduction of them on the social network. They think that the bio is the merit for an audience to evaluate them and to decide whether they are worth their time. It is a rare chance for them to make a big impression.
Many Facebook bios intend to show what a person does, rather than what a person is. Therefore, such bios comprise on actions and thus have resume-like descriptions of individuals. For instance, a classmate of mine who always posts photo of his designer clothes, luxuries and expensive food on Facebook or Instagram to make other people on the social media platform to think he is wealthy to gratify his vanity. But in real life, he always borrows money from other people and something he does not pay them back. The approach has also been incorporated in the portrayal of character. Rather than stating that, individuals have certain traits such as creativity or sociability, the bio references specific projects or activities that demonstrate those traits. There are people/professionals who help their friends or clients to prepare an appealing Facebook bio (Boyd & Ellison, 2007). They tend to have three main ingredients: wit, focus, and evidence of polish. Wit means there’s a governing intellect behind the style while polish means there’s an element of authenticity. The things such people keep in secret, are like they do not define themselves as much as they are exposed to the public (Boyd & Crawford, 2012). Firstly, people succeed in deceiving others through their attractive bios that do not reflect their true identities. Secondly, no one is willing to expose the questionable individuals who hide their real identities to deceive and are engaged in crime and misdemeanor. In particular, stalkers are rarely exposed. Facebook users tend to block the friends and strangers with questionable character or background to restrain their access to their profiles. However, they do not do enough to help others for escaping the stalkers, rapists and cons. In addition, many questionable individuals have tailored some keywords to attract the audience. Keywords are used by many Facebook users to specify that what individuals they are. As most social media bios are searchable to some extent, individuals tend to state specific positions or qualities so that they can be found easily. Many Facebook users cannot be measured on the basis of their self-evaluation. Most of the people cannot adequately state their level of competence in their respective positions. It is critical to evaluate them on a person-to-person basis or through their friends and former clients. Professionals also introduce new styles to personal descriptions so that they can appear creative and adventurous to explore. They want to raise their value proposition. Followers cannot determine the value a professional has unless they try his services. However, many professionals do not reveal cases or challenges that threaten, or may have threatened, to keep them out of business. They will not expose such hobbies that are uniquely theirs. Measuring someone through his own impression in person is achievable. A face-to-face meeting can reveal whether the person is familiar with their profession or not. The discussion of their hobbies and interests can be involved in the meeting. Facebook users who have stated their real interests in their profiles will also give much detail about it. Frequent dealings with a person can reveal whether he has a fully rounded personality or if merely deceives people through their profiles (Boyd & Crawford, 2012). For example, people who appear disorganized in their Facebook bio or profile are likely to be disorganized in real life. The intention of determining the real identity of a professional is to verify his identity and level of professionalism. If individuals are found, for example, to have different hobbies, their competence can be put in questioned. Facebook profiles should be changed if progress warrants it. While some people are evaluated by others in their timeline, taking care of some supporters may have their own personal interests.
A Facebook biography is a form of identity mask that people can wear to deceive others about their real identity. Facebook bios are a sign of self-adulation and self-satisfaction. Identity formation through a Facebook profile is arguably a rational process of self-deception. Most of the Facebook users cannot be measured on the basis of their self-evaluation as they have perfection in the art of deceiving others. Measuring someone through their own impression in person is achievable. In future, Facebook users may describe themselves in more complex terms than today; this may grow out because of the need unique and distinct appearance from others in an increasingly populous planet.
Boyd, D. and K. Crawford. (2012) “Critical Questions for Big Data: Provocations for a cultural, technological, and scholarly phenomenon.” Information, Communication and Society: 662-679.
Boyd, D. M. and N. Ellison. (2007)”Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship .” Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication: 210-230.
Zúñiga, H. G., N. Jung and S. Venezuela. (2012)”Social Media Use for News and Individuals’ Social Capital, Civic Engagement and Political Participation.” Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication: 319-336.
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