Facebook as Online Identity

Facebook is an online social networking service, whose name stems from the colloquial name for the book given to students at the start of the academic year by some university administrations in the United States to help students get to know each other. It was founded in February 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg with his college roommates and fellow Harvard University students. The website’s membership was initially limited by the founders to Harvard students, but was expanded to other colleges in the Boston area, the Ivy League, and Stanford University. It gradually added support for students at various other universities before opening to high school students, and eventually to anyone aged 13 and over.

Users must register before using the site, after which they may create a personal profile, add other users as friends, and exchange messages, including automatic notifications when they update their profile. Additionally, users may join common-interest user groups, organized by workplace, school or college, or other characteristics, and categorize their friends into lists such as “People From Work” or “Close Friends”. As of September 2012, Facebook has over one billion active users,of which 8.7% are fake.According to a May 2011 Consumer Reports survey, there are 7.5 million children under 13 with accounts and 5 million under 10, violating the site’s terms of service.

User Profiles:

Users can create profiles with photos, lists of personal interests, contact information, and other personal information. Users can communicate with friends and other users through private or public messages and a chat feature.

Social Impact:

Facebook has affected the social life and activity of people in various ways. With its availability on many mobile devices, Facebook allows users to continuously stay in touch with friends, relatives and other acquaintances wherever they are in the world, as long as there is access to the Internet. It can also unite people with common interests and/or beliefs through groups and other pages, and has been known to reunite lost family members and friends because of the widespread reach of its network.

Some argue that Facebook is beneficial to one’s social life because they can continuously stay in contact with their friends and relatives, while others say that it can cause increased antisocial tendencies because people are not directly communicating with each other. Some studies have named Facebook as a source of problems in relationships. Several news stories have suggested that using Facebook can lead to higher instances of divorce and infidelity.

Other interesting facts about Facebook:

http://mashable.com/category/facebook/

 

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Definition of ‘Social Networking Service’

When I think about ‘Online Identity’ I always think of Social Networking Service, particularly Facebook, Chatting Websites, Dating Websites and also Online Games.

A social networking service is a platform to build social networks or social relations among people who, for example, share interests, activities, backgrounds, or real-life connections. A social network service consists of a representation of each user (often a profile), his/her social links, and a variety of additional services. Most social network services are web-based and provide means for users to interact over the Internet, such as e-mail and instant messaging. Online community services are sometimes considered as a social network service, though in a broader sense, social network service usually means an individual-centered service whereas online community services are group-centered. Social networking sites allow users to share ideas, pictures, posts, activities, events, and interests with people in their network.

Definition of ‘Online Identity’

An online identity, internet identity, or internet persona is a social identity that an Internet user establishes in online communities and websites. It can also be considered as an actively constructed presentation of oneself. Although some people prefer to use their real names online, some internet users prefer to be anonymous, identifying themselves by means of pseudonyms, which reveal varying amounts of personally identifiable information. An online identity may even be determined by a user’s relationship to a certain social group they are a part of online. Some can even be deceptive about their identity.

In some online contexts, including Internet forums, MUDs, instant messaging, and massively multiplayer online games, users can represent themselves visually by choosing an avatar, an icon-sized graphic image. Avatars, digital representations of oneself or proxy that stands in for a person in virtual worlds, are how users express their online identity.

The concept of the personal self, and how this is influenced by emerging technologies, are a subject of research in fields such as psychology and sociology. The online disinhibition effect is a notable example, referring to a concept of unwise and uninhibited behavior on the internet, arising as a result of anonymity and audience gratification.

The social web, i.e. the usage of the web to support the social process, represents a space in which people have the possibility to express and expose their identity (Marcus, Machilek & Schütz 2006) in a social context. For instance people define explicitly their identity by creating user profiles in social network services such as Facebook and Asiantown.net or LinkedIn and online dating services.