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.

Facebook Profile

I remember when I first got my Facebook. I was in a hotel room somewhere during a tennis tournament and on a whim decided to get one out of boredom. Being the oldest child in my household, my parents didn’t really understand how it worked. However, both of my parents are lawyers and warned me many times of the negative effects social media can have on your future by telling me stories of people not getting jobs or into the college of their choice, or even being fired because of their social media page.

Going back through my posts, I realize that I used to be a lot more open on my Facebook. For example, if you go back to when I first got my Facebook four years ago, you’ll find a lot of weird posts about what I was doing and who I was with along with some pathetic ones about guys. Looking at some of the older posts now is like taking a walk down memory lane. It’s interesting seeing who I was friends with back then, who posted on my wall all the time, who I’m in pictures with and what an annoying middle school kid I was.

If you didn’t know me and began stalking my Facebook, starting from the very first post I ever made, the only thing you would really learn is that I play tennis, sang in talent shows in high school, hang out with my friends a lot, usually at a bonfire somewhere, and was really into posting every single thought I had in middle school. Then if you looked through my pictures you would realize that I don’t upload many, in fact my friends posted the majority of the photos on my page.

There is also a noticeable drop off in posts from my freshman year. I think at that point I became much more private and resistant to sharing everything online, so much that I’ve posted less than five times in the past year.

All of my posts are open to all of my friends and so one of my personal rules for Facebook is that if I don’t want my grandmother to know about it or if I don’t want to talk about it in person to people, then I shouldn’t post it. I have also learned never to post when I’m in an extreme emotion, like really happy, upset, angry, or sad, because whatever it is I want to post, I usually regret later on.

I honestly don’t think about what I want people to see on my Facebook or what I want them to know, just that I never want to have to explain something because it could be seen as inappropriate. One of the most important things to me is that I don’t want someone to see my Facebook and find out too much about me, just the basics like the different sports I play, that I sang throughout school, actually attend to school, that kind of stuff.

In general, Facebook for me is boring and not that interesting, just a way to keep in touch with people, which is why I don’t use it as much anymore.

The Shadow Scholar

Summary 1 addressing deans of Emory College:

Why do our students cheat? Is there a fundamental problem in our nation’s education system? In The Shadow Scholar, an article written by Ed Dante, a different viewpoint regarding cheating is brought into light; the view from the man who’s been writing the student’s papers. This man makes a salary of roughly $66,000 a year, more than most professors earn, by writing papers for students applying to college, already in college, applying for masters or doctoral programs, and more. So the question is this: why aren’t these students willing and able to write their own papers and how has this gone unnoticed for so long? The article makes you question the entire education system, because of this one man’s input from the other side. In short, he explains his story about how he’s written papers for students in all levels of the education system, has a salary higher than the actual professors, and explains why it is such a successful business to be in.  


Summary 2 addressing 13-year-old sibling/cousin:

It has become increasingly common for students to hire other people to write their school papers for them. In an article, The Shadow Scholar, a man who goes by Ed Dante, describes his view on it being the guy that writes the papers for the students. He includes the text messages he receives from the students filled with misspelled words asking for his help as well as descriptions of the different kinds of students that he gets messages from. He also talks about how he began writing when his classmates were too lazy to write their own papers and were willing to pay someone to do it, which is why he decided to get do it. Now, after writing papers for so long, he opens up about being the man who writes papers for students.


Summary 3 addressing public via twitter:

Why aren’t students writing their own essays? And why is he? Read what the man writing and selling them has to say: