Identity construction on Facebook: Digital empowerment in anchored relationships

Identity construction on Facebook: Digital empowerment in anchored relationships Early research on online self-presentation mostly focused on identity constructions in anonymous online environments. Such studies found that individuals tended to engage in role-play games and anti-normative behaviors in the online world. More recent studies have examined identity performance in less anonymous online settings such as Internet dating sites and reported different findings. The present study investigates identity construction on Facebook, a newly emerged nonymous online environment. Based on content analysis of 63 Facebook accounts, we find that the identities produced in this nonymous environment differ from those constructed in the anonymous online environments previously reported. Facebook users predominantly claim their identities implicitly rather than explicitly; they “show rather than tell” and stress group and consumer identities over personally narrated ones. The characteristics of such identities are described and the implications of this finding are discussed. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Computers in Human Behavior Elsevier

Identity construction on Facebook: Digital empowerment in anchored relationships

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Elsevier Ltd
ISSN
0747-5632
DOI
10.1016/j.chb.2008.02.012
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Early research on online self-presentation mostly focused on identity constructions in anonymous online environments. Such studies found that individuals tended to engage in role-play games and anti-normative behaviors in the online world. More recent studies have examined identity performance in less anonymous online settings such as Internet dating sites and reported different findings. The present study investigates identity construction on Facebook, a newly emerged nonymous online environment. Based on content analysis of 63 Facebook accounts, we find that the identities produced in this nonymous environment differ from those constructed in the anonymous online environments previously reported. Facebook users predominantly claim their identities implicitly rather than explicitly; they “show rather than tell” and stress group and consumer identities over personally narrated ones. The characteristics of such identities are described and the implications of this finding are discussed.

Journal

Computers in Human BehaviorElsevier

Published: Sep 1, 2008

References

  • Identity and the definition of the situation in a mass-mediated context
    Altheide, D.L.
  • Identifiability and self-presentation: Computer-mediated communication and intergroup interaction
    Douglas, K.M.; McGarty, C.
  • Managing impressions online: Self-presentation processes in the online dating environment
    Ellison, N.; Heino, R.; Gibbs, J.
  • Self-discrepancy theory
    Higgins, E.T.

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