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Facebook Autobiography Excerpts

alesnick's picture

Dear Students,

Please post your excerpts in the comment section right below (within this forum). Thanks!


abenjamin's picture

Facebook Autobiography Excerpt

I sometimes think how my Facebook persona might differ from my “real” life persona. Would I say that in person? Do I really like that photo? When I started out on Facebook, I felt slightly uncomfortable posting anything and for a while it all felt a bit forced. But as time has gone by and as Facebook has become such a natural part of my social life, I have worked hard to make my virtual persona as much like my “real” persona. I don’t want to feel as though I’m trying to fit in or trying to be something or someone I’m not. Just like I wouldn’t want that in my real life, I don’t want that for my Facebook life. As I have grown more comfortable with using the site, so have I tried to naturally intertwine it with who I am.

Abby Sweeney 's picture

Facebook Story

“ Hey, so I tried to add you to the group page last night, but I couldn’t find you on Facebook…?” Faced with this statement in high school—usually phrased as a lingering question awaiting explanation —I knew I was expected to blush, perhaps embarrassed by this person’s snafu, and clarify that my Facebook profile was just particularly challenging to find. “I use my middle name”, “I use my dog’s name,” or “I have super secret settings so my mom/sister/college/employer can’t see” would all fall into the category of “normal” responses to this question. After all, isn’t learning how to hide things from authority figures and certain groups of friends one of the key skills we learn in high school? My answer to this frequent question, however, was none of the aforementioned responses. “I don’t have Facebook,” I would say. In response to the ensuing “oh,” “what?” and “why?” of my friends and peers, I tried to quickly and painlessly end the moment of awkward silence with a face of reassuring confidence or a joke. Smiling, I would make fun of my own tech skills by saying that “I just don’t get it!” Sure enough, giggles were shared and the moment would pass in whichever club meeting, group project, or team practice I was participating. Everything returned to normal. Didn’t it? Looking at a face of confusion or politely denying a person’s offer to “explain Facebook” to me, however, I typically felt as though my peers’ perceptions of me had changed ever so slightly. Hiding select things online from select groups of people? Totally normal. Hiding your entire life from everyone? Totally weird.

leamirella's picture

All of this gave you the

All of this gave you the power to carefully create an image of yourself: a Facebookvpersona. I was hooked. Social networking became a way for me to attain what I had always wanted: a golden ticket to becoming part of the “in” crowd. Since everyone was constantly logged on, I knew they were watching me. I had to perform.

I posted notes with quotes from angst-y rock songs to show off the “blackness of my heart”, and status updates that reflected my teenage mood swings. I put up photos of underage drinking at bars that I had gotten into (with the ever so classy description: “Hell yeah, I didn’t get ID’ed”) along with other photos of me nonchalantly smoking cigarettes, because I was too “cool” for the law. (Apparently) There were dozens of photos I had taken of myself – different angles, different lighting, different locations – that revealed the amount of weight I had lost and my excitement at seeing my bones. Oh, and the infamous “status change” where I decided to announce my new found bisexuality to the world. I wanted so badly to present an image of badassery and rebellion: Facebook served as the perfect tool to reach my goal of projecting a “BAMF” image of myself. Although I still went to school with my too-short skirt, my heavily lined eyes, and a look of indifference on my face (I practiced in the mirror), I had to document and provide proof of the “cool” things that did.

stanner's picture

Facebook - no, I don't have one.

...I decided to delete my Facebook.  I knew that I could always reactivate it, and I was pretty sure that I would some time.  But I wanted a break because I felt like my Facebook identity was not fulfilling – it wasn’t serving any constructive purpose.  I was wasting time trying to make myself look as “cool” as possible (whatever that meant five years ago), and trying to figure out how “cool” other people were.  It was all fake and it just felt so empty and pointless.  If I had hundreds of friends on Facebook, why were the only people I was chatting with people I speak to everyday anyway, either over the phone or in school?  With just a few clicks around the security tab, my profile was deleted.

            I didn’t really think about the fact that I didn’t have a Facebook for a while after that.  As I mentioned, culturally Facebook wasn’t such a big thing for me.  Many of my peers also didn’t have Facebooks.  We found other ways to waste our time instead, and I quickly moved on.


There are plenty of times when not having a Facebook is inconvenient.  From little things like “Like us on Facebook and get 25% off!” to bigger things like knowing what’s going on and being involved with things, especially on campus.  But to me, it is more worth it not to have a Facebook and to spend time focusing on real relationships with people I really care about in a more private and genuine way.

Besan Abu Radwan's picture

Facebook and I are quite the team

It was on April 29th, 2007 when I first joined Facebook, thus housing me for about five years now. It is amazing how well documented the journey is from my awkward tween self, into my, yet again awkward, young adult persona. My profile page is dedicated to the photos, notes, quotes, and statuses that are proof of the transition of my personality from one time another. From when I took pictures of my favorite celebrity and used them as my profile pictures, to ‘artsy’ pictures I took in front of the bathroom mirror. There is no doubt that Facebook documented a lot of important moments. However, my time on Facebook has not been a linear and continuous one; it has been ravaged by many breaks ranging from de-activating my profile for a day and going up to a year.

hweinstein's picture

This is your brain on high school

I’m not sure if it was just my age, or if Facebook was actually just out of hand, but my

whole profile quickly became some grand platform for visual self-expression. There were all

these apps that my friends had, and I would choose my favorite and customize my page with all

sorts of “flair” and “bumper stickers”. I believe there was a virtual fish tank involved at one

point, but I forgot to feed it. Outside of Facebook, my friend and I would have photo shoots. I

posted albums full of “dramatic” shots of sunsets, trees, eyelashes, and faces obscured with

shadow. We took these pictures because we liked doing it, I think, but we just had to put them

on Facebook. Maybe we were proud of the pictures. Maybe the pictures made us cool or

something. I can’t say for sure.

I had all these rules for my own Facebook behavior. For example, I was not allowed

to use “chat speak” because I was definitely too cool for that. However, capital letters were

unnecessary. Don’t ask me why, but my statuses could only be written out of song lyrics.

Additionally, in an effort to show a genuine unadulterated image of myself, I would never untag

myself from a photo, no matter how terrible I looked. This was a rule because I did not want

to spend my time obsessing about how I looked, and also because I thought it was brave. I

thought it would make me look like I’m not obsessed with my image. Everything is so circular

in high school.

jwang's picture

Facebook Autobiography Excerpt

Before I got my Facebook account I already had a RenRen account and a Kaixin account. They are both imitation of Facebook and are quite similar except Kaixin’s target users are office workers while RenRen’s are students. I got both accounts in 2008 after I got into high school. I found them randomly on the Internet and registered because I had nothing to do that day. I logged into my Kaixin account only once or twice since there was nobody I knew on it. I did not check RenRen 20 times a day at that time. In 2008, Social Networking Sites in China were still new to the majority and not many people used it.

So for a long time, the only thing I have in RenRen is a profile picture and some description about myself. I still use the same profile picture today, and my Facebook profile picture has also been the same one even though I started using them three years ago. It may be because what my mom and dad have been always telling me: do not put too much personal information about myself, but more importantly I think it’s because of the way I see the social networking sites and how I use them. Unlike some people writing posts about everything happening in their lives, I do not post actively much. I have seen some people’s entire homepages and just by the homepages I have an idea about their living habits, their relationship with family and friends, their life goals and plans. I do not want to show everything about my life to everyone on the internet, so I do not post much.

One interesting thing I noticed about my Facebook and RenRen is that although it is the same person, me, on Social Networking sites with similar function, what they show to other people about me can be remarkably different.

Facebook is more about posting photos and writing status of original contents while RenRen is more about sharing information. Of course, there are information about Starbucks and concerts on Facebook, but at least my Facebook explicitly reveals much more information about myself and my real life than my RenRen does. I have been more like an observer both in real life and on the internet. I read other people’s walls and learn what they are thinking and doing while I do not post much myself. Except my profile photo, I never uploaded a picture of myself. Through out these years, Facebook’s biggest meaning to me was helping me find my friends in other parts of the word who I haven’t spoken to in years. SNS made this kind of contact much less awkward than sending emails or making phone calls. That is the same for both Facebook and RenRen. However, on my Facebook, there are my photos of lantern night, mayday and some other random occasions. I did not upload myself, but I was tagged. It is the same for information like I worked in the Bryn Mawr Dining Service and became roommates with my roommate in August 2011. There is always someone around me reminding me to put even more information on Facebook. On the other hand, I feel safer in RenRen about my personal information. I do not have to provide information about where I work. Most of the time, the things on my wall are about the movie I just saw or photos took by someone else in a foreign country. This makes me feel more comfortable on RenRen than on Facebook, especially when RenRen is in my native language. Of course, people can still know a lot about me from RenRen if they collect information from every reply I wrote and everything I shared, but at least it takes a little more time than finding out about these on Facebook.

mzhang's picture

Excerpt of Facebook Auto

I am not sensitive to technological changes Facebook has made in recent years and every time I return to Facebook after a school break, I may find new and unfamiliar functions. I find those updates interesting and irrelevant since I won't use them at most of the time. To conclude, my life has been extended by Facebook for true but not been changed that much. I consider my international student identity and the Chinese version facebook's monopoly in mainland China as the main reasons. 

The Chinese version Facebook serves the same purpose as Facebook does which is to build one's own individual profile, connects people who know each other and to share personal news updates together. The privacy settings, group sticker functions or online games and ads are also very similar to Facebook. I made a statement that I can live without a Facebook account because I have my Chinese version one. The life without an account in these social networking websites is hard to imagine. I would say that life would still be going on and stay wonderful but it would just be a little bit inconvenient for instant communications or information exchanges because at least, people in our generation have already been used to those websites' interactions. There is no doubt that various problems were brought in at the same time, such as privacy concerns. However, the convenience and efficiency of social networking should also be highlighted. I would recommend websites such as Facebook to people who have not registered yet and I believe taking charge of different "selves" under various situations and experiments of privacy settings are helpful to our lives in the sense that we can learn to distinguish and manage what are the important aspects in our lives and what are not.

mfarbo's picture

Facebook Autobiography Excerpt

There is a psychological aspect to Facebook though. There is something thrilling and exhilarating about knowing that you have 500 friends or that ten people liked your status or you have two new friend requests and that three people commented on your profile picture. Yes these are all just random numbers but people live for this. Who doesn’t like logging in and seeing a little red bubble with some numbers in it? I know I do. People (including me) tweak status updates and pick profile pictures that they like in order to get a reaction. After all, Facebook is all about having this virtual personality. Sure I’ll delete the pictures I get tagged in and don’t like and yes I might delete a status that no one commented on or liked. I’m not necessarily changing who I am; I’m just trying to take away the parts of myself that I don’t like. 

Recently, Facebook has been updating and changing formats and layouts which I’m not in favor of. I personally am a creature of habit and am not very open to change. I didn’t update to the newest format of Facebook timeline until it automatically updated it for me on the last possible day. I also find it strange that as a user, I can choose who I want to see certain things and that I can group my friends into categories. I understand this may be a safety feature (especially for those who have lots and lots of friends) but I only accept friend requests from people I know personally as to avoid “creepers.” This being said, I have my profile set to what I believe to be the highest safety standards. When people try to find me they may find my page but they’ll only be able to see my current profile picture, my cover photo, and that I am a female. They also won’t have the option to add me as a friend. In order to add me as a friend, they must message me and then I’ll friend request them. My Facebook page doesn’t appear when you Google my name. I like having my personal information protected like this because it makes me feel safer/less likely to become a victim of internet scams or bullying. I’m also very reluctant to share personal information therefore I only have my sex, my education, and my birthday without the year. Again, this makes me feel safer and more apt to avoid being a victim of bullying. 

dcenteio's picture

Excerpt from "Princess Diaries"

... I do not think someone could browse my Facebook page and know exactly who I am because in reality I am only showing them a side of myself I want them to see. I would consider myself a private person in terms of expressing deeper emotions. I have no issue with showing positive emotions such as excitement, contentment, relaxation, love, cheerfulness, humor, pride, playfulness and determination but I do have issues in showing more negative emotions such as disappointment, pain, hurt, stress, doubt, and embarrassment. Facebook is not a place I gravitate towards when I’m feeling down or in the dump. I refuse to post statuses or songs when I’m having a bad day or relationship problems either with my boyfriend or with other close friendships because that part of me is more personal and private and truthfully only a selected amount of people get to see. So I keep my Facebook light and superficial and choose to solely show the good.

My relationship with Facebook has changed tremendously throughout the years. Initially it was a super close relationship where people could say I was obsessed and hours of my time would be spent on Facebook daily. I had mastered everything Facebook had to offer. I knew exactly how to “Facebook stalk” my boyfriend and check on everything he did and I also knew so many details and situations happening to people I just barely interacted with. I saw different sides of people I went to church with, which were very eye opening and surprising findings. I also NEVER forgot a birthday! I knew when just about every one of my more distant Facebook friends and family members had an upcoming birthday and I was able to comment and send good vibes and wishes their way...

Julie Mazz's picture

Facebook was definitely a

Facebook was definitely a part of my everyday life by 2008, and it stayed open on the computer as I finished homework, wrote articles for the school paper, and worked on my college applications. My wall was filled with funny posts from friends, questions about homework assignments, and pictures from regattas. Even back as a lowly sophomore, I was popular on the rowing team because I would post the gorgeous photos my dad would take at each of our races. I loved that upperclassmen would comment on the photos, and I bet that almost everyone on the team had one of my dad’s overhead shots of the boats coming down the river as their profile picture at some point. By fall 2008, I was a senior co-captain on the team, and we immediately set up a Facebook group as an easy way to send out information to all of our teammates. Facebook was also stressful during senior year, as people would excitedly post about all the schools they got in to, although I was guilty of that as well.

During the transition to college, having a Facebook was unbelievably helpful. I got to (virtually) meet my roommate before we moved in to Bryn Mawr, and plan out everything we would bring. Once I was settled in for the year, Facebook was definitely a great way to keep in touch with people and see what they’re up to, but I think it’s also a great way to figure out who your true friends are. I don’t really post on my closest friends’ timelines, or wish them “Happy birthday!” because I can do it in person, via Skype, or on the phone. With my closest friends, I can update them about my life and hear their stories by text or a real conversation, rather than posting short messages on their profile along with 50 “Happy birthday!” messages from people they won’t ever talk to again. 

emmagulley's picture

facebook autobiography

Facebook started to really be A Big Thing during my freshman year of high school.  At that time, Facebook users had to register for their accounts using a .edu email address.  I went to the Marymount School of New York, which is a private, independent, all-girl’s school in the Catholic tradition in New York City.   We had been in school for less than two weeks when Ms. Erskine, the Dean of Upper School Students, called Class IX into the computer lab one morning.  We fidgeted with our blue cord skirts and sat in the room’s swivel chairs, all backlit by rows of iMacs.  Ms. Erskine told us that it had come to the attention of the school’s IT department that a number of us had signed up for Facebook accounts using our Marymount email addresses, and that we should delete our accounts immediately.  She told us that our email accounts were to be used for academic purposes only, that we were selfishly risking our school’s server to unwanted hackers and viruses, and, finally, that we were much too young to have Facebook accounts and that they weren’t safe and we should use AIM to talk to each other at night if we wanted to.  Someone in the grade figured out how to reroute the emails, and the trick passed through the teahouse like whispered wildfire.  But Facebookgeddon, as we would come to call it, taught me three things:  1) That it was cool to have a facebook—so cool that we all assumed risks of detention and reprimanding; 2) That this website is really just for our generation; and, 3) That if we had an account, we ought to keep that account a secret. 

What happened on facebook stayed on facebook. 

For the time being. 

maddybeckmann's picture

Facebook Autobiography

I made my first Facebook on August 24th 2008.  As I look back now it is weird to see all the old pictures and statuses I thought were “cool”.  With the new addition of Facebook timeline I can see my whole Facebook history, my first relationships and breakups, when I became friends with my best friends in high school, what parties I attended, things that I can not remember off of the top of my head Facebook has kindly archived for me and all my “friends” to see.

It was the beginning of my Sophomore year in high school and after attending an all girls catholic school my freshman year I switched to a smaller co-ed school.  As I remember it, my friends from my old girls school wanted me to “be social” as they put it. Make friends and maybe even meet boys for all of us.  My friends helped me get started and just like that I had my very own Facebook account with all of 5 friends. Quickly those five friends became 10, 50, 100, 200, 500!  It was amazing how many friends I had!  Some that I had not talked to for years and some that came over to my house each week and all were considered friends.  As my friend list grew so did my group of friends at my new school.  We focused on making the profile picture look perfect and all the other photo’s I was tagged in had to look just right or they were untagged.   It was much like creating the perfect version of myself online.  Not long after my immersion into the new Facebook world I started dating.  Now that I look back on my timeline I can see when we were “Facebook official” and when out relationship ended and the new began.  Facebook continued to be a part of my everyday life spending hours at night chatting with multiple friends.  My Junior year I began to realize a different role that Facebook could play in my life.  As a founder of a non-profit and a coordinator for a community service program at school I realized how I could use the reach of Facebook to communicate information about various passions of mine. Coat-A-Kid, my non profit, found new donors and was and still is able to spread our information and news to people we know from all over the country in just a second.  Facebook plays a huge part in my community service work. Facebook became less and less about me and more about how I could use it to make a difference. 

dephillips's picture

An Excerpt from a Yellow Autobiography

The third of July in the year 2008 marked the beginning of my Facebook identity when I was the ripe age of 16. I came into the Facebook universe as a long yellow haired high school junior with the name Danyellow because I felt like it preserved my privacy by using a nickname. Taking the title Danyellow also allowed me to rebel against the social norm I was joining and conforming to with the creation of a Facebook account by directly expressing my individuality through my name. Ensuring that I represented myself as an individual on a social network that everyone I knew had joined was of up most importance to me at the time. Facebook was a place to connect and share experiences with my peers, but it was also a place where I had to stand out. This idea of being an individual in the very social arena of Facebook has remained a constant theme throughout my use of Facebook and the personal changes I have experienced along the way.

With the birth of Danyellow Phillips, an introduction to the world of Facebook had to be arranged, and I did this by writing an About Me that I have not changed to this day. I introduced myself with an attempt at poetic humor that revealed some of my deepest embarrassments and simplest desires in a way I hoped would make people laugh and show them how much of an individual I really was. In an indirect way the entire community of Facebook learned that I was self-conscious of the color of my skin and the way I blushed unwillingly when I revealed, “I once was called tomato face as my super hero name.” I also decided to make my favorite flower, black eyed susans, and my deep hearted desire to have a puppy common knowledge. Why I chose those specific tidbits to share is still somewhat unknown to me, but looking back now I wonder if I wanted to let people know that I was not high strung and did not take myself too seriously. Today I acknowledge that simplicity is beautiful and being able to let simple common day things like a black eyed susan lighten up your day is a gift that makes happiness accessible. I also believe that the less seriously you take yourself the more understandable your intricacies as an individual become to yourself personally. These beliefs that I consider important today found themselves in a somewhat less developed and less understood version within my 16 year old description of myself. Unknowingly, my attempt to establish myself as an interesting individual on Facebook allowed me to explore who I was becoming and how I wanted to be perceived.