Friday, 23 August 2013

Facebook: Who Is Real and What Is Online?

Facebook: Who Is Real and What Is Online?

(Image 1)

The idea for Facebook has accelerated beyond simply a place to keep in touch with people. With the use of the ‘wall’, users are able to create or record their lives for their ‘friends’ to view and share. This feature is what could be described as a narrative. 
An important aspect which was discussed in the lecture was that of self-narratives. The idea that ‘self-narratives, like maps are constructs for a particular purpose and context’ is an almost exact example of a Facebook profile.  Users can create an exact replication of their lives online if they wish or they can dictate what is posted or uploaded to create what they want the world to see. However, it may not be a true reflection of their lives or personality. A narrative does not necessarily infer that it must be truthful or have some notion of truth to it. 
Further evidence of this use of Facebook as a narrative was provided in the readings by McNeill (2012). His idea that users and their profile online narratives are collaborative works is vital in understanding how Facebook and internet profiles operate.
This idea of self-narratives finds support in several articles online. In her article entitled Re-integrating the Self Narrative, Jenny Davis (2011) touches upon the point of a self selective and edited wall and profile by the user. Although with all the perceived issues with self managed images online, Davis does argue that it still is a reflection of our true selves and in fact may be seen as a different type of insight into people’s lives and personality’s, if only from their perceived view point. 
Facebook is not a true and completely correct view of someone’s life and personality. However, it may give a deeper and greater insight into people’s real lives than ever before. 

  • Davis, J. (2011). Re-integrating the self-narrative. The Society Pages. Retrieved from: 
  • Van Luyn, A. (2013). BA1002: Our Space: Networks, Narratives, and the Making of Place, Week 4 Notes (PowerPoint). Retrieved from:
  • McNeill, L. (2012). There is no “I” in network: Social Networking Sites and Posthuman Auto/Biography. Biographical Research Centre.
  • Chatwin, B. (1987). The Songlines. Jonathan Cape Ltd


  • Retrieved from: 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Logan,

    I found this a very interesting blog to read as I agree with the way you have stated that we can essentially be whoever we want to be online; whether or not the persona we choose is the real us or not.
    I also believe, however, that our personas and profiles are not only created by us on Facebook, but through a sequence of people who share and comment on our activities, likes and general posts. Much like in the Aboriginal Songlines, where the "Dreaming tracks lay over the land as 'ways' of communication between the most far-flung tribes" (Chatwin, 1987).
    Like this, we are able to use Facebook as a tool to communicate to many communities of different people and create our online story through the way they interpret our profiles and posts.


    Chatwin, B. (1985). Chapter 3 in The Songlines. Australian aborigines – Social life and customs. Jonathan Cape Limited, London.