Personality, Gender, and Age in the Language of Social Media

Anything and everything you post on the Internet is permanent and will never go away. For instance, even if you delete something, like a picture, it’s never really gone and can always be found with enough motivation and time. I know that whatever I write or post on Facebook is not private regardless of what I have set my privacy settings to, but the idea of people using my posts and asking whether I find it troubling is a loaded question. I don’t mind people using my Facebook posts for data-mining purposes as long as it’s anonymous, but I can’t help but wonder if it really is anonymous. I mean sure my name may not come up at first, but I have little confidence that if someone wanted to find out where the data came from, which pages and profiles, that the privacy measures taken are strong and secure enough that it couldn’t be done. I would obviously rather my posts not be used, but that’s not realistic in this day and age. I think that whether you like it or not, by putting things on the Internet, you’re subjecting your self to the threat and in a way allowing your posts and pictures to be taken and used.

In my opinion one big fault in the study, is the lack of discussion surrounding the different races and ethnicities of the participants. I think that while it does show the generalizations of guys and girls on Facebook, creating a collage showing the differences among races and cultures exemplifing the different terms for things and ways things are spoken and what not would only add another level to the study.

The article did make me think about my own Facebook “voice.” Looking back I realize that I do fall into many of the characterizations of a female in the study by using many of the popular words like “excited” and “yay.” However, it doesn’t make me think about my “voice” in a different way just stop and think about it for a moment.

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One thought on “Personality, Gender, and Age in the Language of Social Media

  1. Anna, overall, this is a very good post. However, I would have loved to see you elaborate on your last paragraph. You start to make a very interesting claim, but then “give up on it”. As a reader, I really wanted to know why you though the article didn’t achieve what it set out to do. If you want to restructure it, maybe you can disprove specific points the article makes using your thoughts and experiences you outlined in the rest of the essay. That is only a suggestion, but I think it may help engage the reader a little more.

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