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Friday, June 3, 2011

Facebook Friday: My Facebook Identity

So, I make it a habit to explore Facebook's privacy and account settings every few months and today I discovered something fantastic. You can download all of the content that you've posted on Facebook... ever. This means that all of those mobile pictures that you sent to facebook on your old phone can be downloaded easily to your computer in a matter of minutes. To do this simply go to Account Settings and click the button "Download Your Information". Let me tell you, its a riot. I've spent the better part of the evening going through ALL of my wall posts. Ever (except for some reason relationship statuses are not on there... odd... I guess the people at Facebook figure you don't want to remember all of the breakups you've had). Anyway, as I was reading through this history I noticed a shift in how I presented myself online.

(First Wall Post)
N. M. No one has been on your wall? Well I'll be the first then. And if I'm not the first just act like I'm the first one k? So I thought of you today cause I just got done reading one EXCITING chapter of BIO! I saw a picture of a flagella and IMMEDIATELY thought of u! haha..Aww pearson I miss ya buddy! How's school going for you so far?
September 2, 2006 at 6:18 pm

(First Status)
David Pearson is falling asleep...
September 7, 2006 at 11:05 am

(Favorite Wall Post)
S. N. DAVID! Just a friendly note to remind you not to kill youself, burn down a forest or have a friendly rondez-vous with a moose. 

P.S You are your roommates are NUTS!

November 8, 2006 at 4:16 pm

After perusing through my first year on Facebook I remembered how much I used to write notes. I had just come from Myspace and loved the note taking feature there. It seems strange that I never use that feature anymore. I guess its because I have a blog now... yeah, that's it. However, without this tool the medium changed. Facebook became a place, not to inform others of my thoughts and feelings, but rather a place to present an image of myself. It became, like Zuckerberg often describes Facebook, a "utility" for personal expression.

Anyway, time rolled on and I went on my mission. To Facebook I was pretty much dead. The only activity was a couple of photos tagged, a ton of birthday posts, and about a billion friend requests. Then...

David Pearsonis home.
July 8, 2009 at 5:31 pm 

While I was gone Facebook changed dramatically. They took the "is" off of statuses. It became a platform. They made the wall more conversational, so there are significantly less wall posts. These changes in the medium changed the message that I presented online. I monitored the content on my wall. I changed my privacy settings. It gets sparce from here. I had developed a filter on what content I published on Facebook for a couple of reasons. One, I was older, more responsible, and thought more about my e-identity. Two, Facebook opened to the public while I was gone. My parents were my friends. My Bishop was my friend. I saw that what I posted online directly impacted my real life. It was no longer a different person. The two worlds merged. 

Anyway, I came back to BYU and became a Media Arts major. I quickly realized that making films was not for me.

David Pearson uploaded a video to YouTube.
This is the short film that I made for my media arts application. It didn't turn out of cool as I wanted, but it still looks good.
 November 3, 2009 at 9:59 pm

David Pearson never knew what the weeding out process was until he started classes this semester.
January 8, 2010 at 6:15 pm

David Pearson is grateful for digital editting. Although it still took him 6+ hours to edit 4 and a half minutes of film.
February 4, 2010 at 5:12 pm

During that time I started dating the woman that would later turn into my wife. I'm going to digress and show of some of the clever statuses from this time of my life.

David Pearson Thanks J M for the great night!
January 23, 2010 at 2:30 am

David Pearson is lucky. Thought everyone should know.
February 11, 2010 at 1:10 am

David Pearson She said YES!
April 13, 2010 at 11:12 pm

David Pearson "Hold on, I'm still fontasizing." - J M while adjusting fonts for our announcements.
May 1, 2010 at 4:09 pm

David Pearson Announcements. Check. License. Check. Beautiful bride to be. Check.
July 1, 2010 at 12:00 pm

July 6, 2010 at 8:56 pm

Somewhere during that time I realized that I like people far to much to make films. I want to study them. However, I also love the media. That's when it hit me. Social Media. It is the perfect combination of Media/Man interaction. It allows me to focus on media while looking at how it impacts both individuals and cultures.


As I've thought about this post for almost three weeks I've realized that Zuckerberg is right. Facebook is a utility, not in the sense that it can help build a house or fix an engine (although I suppose it can). Rather it helps users communicate who they want to be. Zuckerberg once said that he wants there to be only one identity. There is not the person you are at work and the person you are at home and the person you are online. There is only one of you. This choice is not, however, just to present an accurate persona of yourself online. This choice is to use utilities and tools found online to shape the person you are offline. Facebook, and other social networks, allow people around the world to define who they want to be. This process has contributed to the democratization of the world in cultures' eyes. If a person is able to choose his or her identity then he or she can change the world around them. So yes, you only have one identity. However, it is up to us to decide on what it is. 

What has your experience with Facebook been? How has your Internet identity changed?

1 comment:

  1. hmm... I think my "internet identity" has changed MUCH since myspace. Youve probably noticed I dont blog the same way AT ALL. Ive realized that I do not like everyone and their mom reading my personal feelings (which were often expressed very darkly)and trying to interpret them via poems. I wouldnt mind writing like that again. It was quite fun and a good stress reliever. But can you imagine all the moms that would come after me "are you okay" "you know you can talk to me sweetie" hahaha. Plus I dont really have anymore of that teenage angst. I cant really say I have much of an identity anymore. Not any that I try to uphold anyway. I just try not to post things that would be too offensive to other people. I dont think many people really even care about keeping up with me unless I post something interesting.