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From Post to Profile                                                                                                 Paige De Rosa

Friday, 29 April 2005

Heyy its Paige!!! NEW XANGA!!! Propz me!!

Thursday, 02 February 2006

heyy im finally updating....umm.... today me and angela and isabel are going to barking dog for waffles!! yum... hehe... ok nothing else to say so wait six months for my next entry 

xoxo paige

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

I open up my computer and sign into the Bryn Mawr College internet network. I double-click on the Mozilla Firefox icon and my homepage pops into view. One finger glides across my mouse pad to click on my “most visited sites” dropdown box and clicks again on “Facebook: Paige De Rosa.” I immediately take note of a little red flag notifying me of a friend request – it’s a girl I just met in Debate today. I accept and acknowledgement of our bond is on my “newsfeed” for all those in my networks to see. I tag myself in a picture from this weekend, my hunter friends will like to see this, and write on my best buddy’s wall to plan a phone date. Then I chuckle for a bit as I watch a video posted on my wall by a fellow chemistry student celebrating the wonder that is the OWL online homework program. I add a new tab to my browser but leave Facebook open so I can “chat” with people through the site’s instant messaging service while I search googlescholar for articles pertinent to this essay.

The first lines of this paper are posts from a Xanga account I had during middle school. Xanga is a “blogging community” where individuals post their thoughts on just about anything. Facebook describes itself as a resource to “[help] you connect and share with the people in your life.” My personal journey from Xanga to Facebook is characteristic of many in my age group. The online teen social network culture has grown and evolved substantially over the last five years. The trend in older teen usage of online social networking websites has gone from self-expression to an interactive all-inclusive tool for managing and expanding social relationships. Just last evening, during a chemistry study party in my dorm, a fellow Bryn Mawr freshman Emily Garcia noted that “As I got older, myspace got more childish and people were driven more towards Facebook. I saw that older kids were using it instead.” As I have grown older, I have felt less of a pull towards the total self-expression (some may argue narcissism) involved in websites such as Myspace or Xanga where every aspect of your profile can be altered to your liking. A paper published in the journal New Media and Society, observed this transition as well: “While younger teenagers relish the opportunities to continuously recreate a highly decorated, stylistically elaborate identity, older teenagers favour a plain aesthetic that foregrounds their links to others, thus expressing a notion of identity lived through authentic relationships.” (Livingstone, 396).

Currently, older teens use the social networking websites to manage their friendships. According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, 91% of social networking website teen users use the sites to stay in touch with friends they see often and 82% of teens use the sites to remain in contact with friends they rarely see face to face. My personal usage today included making breakfast plans with a friend from my dorm and I am not alone: 72% of social networking teens use the sites to make plans with friends. Although my personal usage does not incorporate this element, 49% of online teens use social networking sites to make new friends.

Teenagers change their tastes in social networking as they grow older and subsequently social networking changes. As teenagers develop a different sense of themselves, they seek out and create environments that are consistent with their lifestyle. For example, if you head to the movies this weekend you might see the evolution of Facebook on the silver screen in “The Social Network.” Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, created the site for use among Harvard University students whose ages range from eighteen through the twenties. As the millions of young users evolve we are sure to see dynamic transitions in the domain of online social networking.


Works Consulted


Conversation with Emily Garcia. 28 September 2010. 10:50 pm.


DeRosa, Paige. “Blog Post.” 2005. <>


Lenhart, Amanda and Madden, Mary, “Social Networking Websites and Teens: An Overview,” Pew Internet & American Life Project, 2008.


Livingstone, Sonia. “Taking risky opportunities in youthful content creation: teenagers' use of

social networking sites for intimacy, privacy and self-expression.” New media & society 393-411, 2008.