In terms of media and communication history, we are arguably in the midst of a social media paradigm. Well-known platforms like Twitter and Facebook have gone from being viewed as mere sites of teenage distraction to becoming embedded ICT infrastructure in mainstream organisations across the society, culture, and economy; such platforms, their uses, and their politics are increasingly entangled with everyday life, work, and relationships. For the past decade there has been a burgeoning interest in social media. This highly international Handbook addresses the most significant research themes, methodological approaches and debates in this field via substantial chapters specially commissioned from leading scholars coming from a range of disciplinary perspectives centered on but extending beyond the social sciences and humanities. Part One: Histories and Pre-Histories Part Two: Approaches and Methods Part Three: Technologies & Business Models Part Four: Practices & Problems Part Five: Social, Cultural & Economic Domains

Self-Representation in Social Media

Self-Representation in Social Media

Self-representation in social media
Jill Walker Rettberg

For millennia, humans have used media to represent ourselves. Children draw stick figures with a stick in the sand. Stone Age Australians blew ochre dust around their hands to leave marks in a cave. Vikings carved runes on sticks to tell the world their names. Our grandparents kept diaries hidden in drawers. Today we post selfies to Instagram or Snapchat and write updates on Facebook or Tumblr. With social media, ordinary people share their self-representations with a larger audience than ever before.

In this chapter, I will discuss three modes of self-representation in social media: visual, written and quantitative, building upon my book Seeing Ourselves through Technology: How We Use ...

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