I am a member of various social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Though these platforms all have similar purposes, I use them each differently and vary the way I present myself accordingly. As much as I try to honestly portray the person I really am, I know that my online profiles are bias and probably over exaggerated. This is especially true when it comes to my Facebook profile – a page accessible to my one thousand plus “friends” and family members. For me, Facebook is a space for sharing the highlights of my life, not necessarily my day to day struggles and triumphs. My Facebook profile is full of happy pictures of me from parties and family vacations. (In reality, I am not much of a party girl and find the most comfort at home in bed with a good read or Netflix.) I rarely use Facebook to share posts or update my status, however will occasionally brag about major life accomplishments and share milestones on my Facebook profile. For example, this past December I posted “Emory University class of 2018!!!” This makes for a very unbalanced profile. No stranger could possibly know the real me based on my Facebook page – they might get a sense of my style based on the clothes I sport in photos, the types of people who I associate with, and where I have traveled on vacation, however, one’s personality is much more complex. I’d like to think that I reveal my personality through my tweets and through face to face interactions with others. Though I prefer to use Twitter and Instagram over Facebook, I am unwilling to delete my Facebook profile or stop ‘maintaining’ it since so many people use Facebook to network and stealthily stalk one another. Scrolling through an acquaintance or stranger’s recent Facebook photos and posts is an easy yet unreliable way to make a judgment about someone you do not know well in person. By dropping Facebook, strangers would assume I am weird and unsocial, and therefore my Facebook page remains to act as a façade to the true me.
As I said before, I use my Twitter account as a space to express myself and reveal my personality. While I post “big news” on Facebook, I tend to reserve more trivial status updates for my Twitter account, which provides a more intimate venue with stricter privacy settings. I personally know all of my followers on Twitter and feel comfortable talking to them as I would my friends. Twitter is a quick and easy way to share a funny quote your professor included in his lecture, show off the cool new shoes you bought this weekend, or rant about the hours of homework you have due tomorrow. Unlike Facebook, I don’t have to worry about older relatives or potential employers scrutinizing my page when it comes to Twitter.
I also frequently use Instagram, another of many social media sites. Instagram lets me share photos with friends whom I allow access and express myself artistically. It differs from Facebook and Twitter since it is completely picture based and allows users to edit their photography with a multitude of special effects. My photos on Instagram more accurately represent me than those on Facebook. My Instagram page is made up of photos from my school, of my dog, with my friends, in my backyard, etc. These pictures are of things that are important to me and realistically reflect my day to day life.