This week’s McNeil (2011) reading suggested that social networking sites were the modern day diary. Over my years as a Facebook user I have noticed the way in which people are “writing and publishing serial chronicles of daily life” (McNeil, 2011, p.313) and how I, at times, also take part in documenting my daily routines. However, McNeil (2011) also notes that the 20th century introduced the common notion that a diary is “intensely personal and confessional, the sorts of secrets that should be hidden away under lock and key... meant only for the diarist’s eyes” (p.315). Looking back to the week 3 lecture, Van Luyn (2013) described the way in which it was common for people to portray a positive image, such as wealth, success, and happiness, through social networking sites which may mislead people into creating a false perception of us. With this in mind, I believe that social networking sites resemble a timeline of an individual’s daily activities and significant life events rather than a diary, as human nature persuades us to keep the deeper, personal aspects of our lives from the public’s view.
The urgency to keep private matters behind closed doors can be seen through the Facebook profiles of politicians Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott in the lead up to this year’s election. Although this is on a much larger scale than everyday people, it does reflect the way in which people will be more inclined to share the positives and how they will actively defend them self when they are challenged or sensitive information about them is shared. Both parties would share details of their government policies and the positive effects they will have on Australia, and rarely shared any negative aspects of their own policies. However, they would readily share the consequences of electing the opposite government into power. Facebook profiles are autobiographies, edited, updated and published on a daily basis; only ever displaying the details we decide will influence our readers to perceive us in the way that best suits us.
The following video clip mocks the way people use Facebook to document their daily activities: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0E8QkHwK1s
McNeill, L. (2011). Diary 2.0?: A genre moves from page to screen. In Language and New Media. (C.Rowe & E.L Wyss, Ed.). Creskill, NJ: Hampton Press Inc.
Van Luyn, A. (2013). BA1002: Our Space: Networks, Narrratives and The Making Of Place, Lecture 4: Narrative. [Notes] Retrieved from: http://learnjcu.edu.au