Posts Tagged ‘ profile ’

Facebook, how could you?

Dear Facebook,

You think you know me. You think you know what is best for me. You think you know what I want. What are you basing this on?…my activities and interests, the things I make up in my profile, the things I link to in my status? Isn’t that a bit naive of you? Did you ask me what I want, what I need? No….you just decided for yourself, didn’t you.

Why do I continue to put up with this? What people must think of me sticking it out with you…the things they must be saying behind my back.

It’s not just me, you know. People are angry…I have Friends who are angry…and they are voicing their opinions of this recent change of yours, which, I must say, seems to be having a negative affect on your community. Some are taking it quite personally. I hope you really did do your research…I hope you thought this one out….

Yes, the little things are what we miss but, if you think about it, those little things speak volumes about the level of control you are taking from the users making up your environment. What if we want to arrange the order of the information we choose to provide about ourselves – are you going to let us have that option? Some people have decided not to play your little game, opting to remove the persona that once existed on his or her profile. Is that what you want – a bunch of faceless nodes in your network that rebel against the restrictive and formulaic design?

I’m sorry to have to take this tone with you. Things had been going well… You must know that I speak out of concern….out of….

I’m sorry, I just can’t continue with this conversation until I know that you are really listening.

Are you there Facebook?


Character catalogue

How well do our FB profile photos represent us? What can we learn about our selves by examining the pictures we choose to display? How might we archive our FB selves?

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I’ve tried to choose profile pics that relate to aspects of my current Fbook self. Now I can see how these might represent different developmental stages of my FB self journey. At the beginning, I chose a more recent photo that I felt would give a good “first impression” and one that was easily recognizable, straight to the point. Thinking about the upcoming struggle I foresaw with balancing my multiple selves and multiple networks, the first profile pic was the closest match to my “general” self. Other profiles pics convey nostalgic phases, connecting with people from the past, and then transform to images that represent the here and now, working and balancing roles of artist and academic.


I always knew the day would come

I always knew the day would come. I just didn’t know what the exact circumstances would be. More and more I could see how it might become a necessity for my career aspirations, particularly since those aspirations concern critical observations of networked culture. Yet the pull towards abstaining from this social network remained stronger than any desire to join.

Once I made the final decision to join (rather I should say final, final, final decision since I had progressed to this point a few times in the past), I began to anticipate ground rules for myself. I have a severe procrastination problem that I have been receiving treatment for over the past several years. This condition, combined with double-digit hours spent daily in front of the screen, can lead to behaviors that ultimately conflict with any personal sense of accomplishment.

I also found myself spending a great deal of time working on my profile before making it public. Was this merely a form of procrastination that stemmed from my inner resistance to physically hit the ‘join’ button? Was I wanting to be ‘cool’ with the specific interests I listed? Honestly speaking, if it were not for the Manifesto of this project, I would do as others have and not list any of my personal information…but, I have said I would reveal everything. Well, let’s be clear, I will only publish my virtual addresses and will not tell readers how they can physically locate me within the city of Vancouver (yes, I am aware that anyone can piece things together about my routine from my profile and that anything is possible using the internet so if you want to go to all that work, be my guest).

I actually felt anxious when I clicked the button. Maybe it was that ‘cold feet’ feeling people describe before they get married. I think I was also mentally preparing for all the ‘I told you sos’ that would come my way. To repeat, I never said never….it just had to be done under the right circumstances. Eventually it hit me...if I feel there is a lack of self-awareness about our personal interactions with social networks, then I must not only write or make artwork about it, I must reflect on the actual individual experience. I must clarify that  I am not merely referring to the act of using Facebook to document one’s reflections of everyday life, rather I am talking about a deeper understanding of how we are participating and contributing to those reflections within Facebook. Not only an acknowledgment of how we use the tools set up for us in this network and the content we post, but an ontological investigation into this act that has become a ritual of contemporary digital culture. Ontological, meaning how we know and experience ourselves and our being, within this expansive virtual network.

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