Scrolling a page in the social media nowadays is quite the same as meeting a person. Instead of saying «How are you?», you get a status and profile photo which replace an appearance. And if you have decided that this article is about follies of social networking, you are wrong. How Facebook helps to understand yourself? How you can use different platforms to create a story? Interested? Move on.
Text: Elizaveta Lamova
The phenomenon of social network
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter – nowadays it’s very rare to meet a person without an account in any of these services. It all started from a profile. Actually, creating one is a kind of forming your identity. There were small diaries in my childhood which you have to fill in. Banal questions – what is your favorite actress, food, sport, etc. – at first glance it’s easy, forcing you to think about it. You started to remember all films you’ve watched to find your favorite actress. And then, the next question in the diary was «why?» And you became a self explorer. The same thing happens in a social network. The process of self identification contains three main components: living experience, expression, and reflection. Writing your impressions post, getting «interested» in particular events, or posting pictures with a short caption – these examples are a will to show yourself in the way you want to, to make people hear and understand things about you. It turns out that we are making self-identification through these stories. This is a story of my experience and feelings and, at same time, it is also a story about others. Your «friends» also participate in creating their story, while it is placed into open, flexible platform. And what is important to mention – your own story will be fragmentary. To understand what kind of person you are, page visitors have to read all your post, look at your photos etc. This could be the influence of media, more precisely, hypertexts (texts with a lot of references). We could stop reading every second, so each paragraph should contain one thought. At least, it won’t heart writer. We getting information like this every day, so we shouldn’t be surprise that social media borrow these features.
To sum up, users create accounts in order to present themselves. They can choose what information to share. Actually, fake account is the best way to learn the person in a way he/she pretends to be. Anonymous are always create their stories detailed and believable.
All of us do love stories. Stories, that keep us holding breath until the end. We are fascinated by them, believe in them. Now imagine that you are a writer. You have to create characters. Think about it carefully, what kind of this person is, and make him alive by uploading… his Facebook page! Sounds strange? Perhaps. For example, you have an idea of making a short story, it could be everything you like: novel, tale, parable – it doesn’t matter. And then you start to tell a story using social media of your characters. It’s a perfect way to express the character. Our pages, actually, are inner monologue. Sharing some kind of information will make the character understandable to readers, but at the same time keep some secret. Because it is virtual world? Should we truly believe in it? Ingenious programmers are working to create a new reality, and that’s why a question appears: what reality is better? Nowadays we are offered a choice.
With the help of the website Storify.com, you could easily form a story. If you want to be popular, the story should be believable. Here, your imagination starts and the world building begins. The world building is a construction of imaginary world where rules are up to you. Recently, new types of films appeared. These films are the screening of a laptop, showing audience how the characters chat, talk to each other using Skype and so on. The world in such a film is becoming flat, it’s just a monitor of a computer. And this type of operating is really up to date.
Social media gives users a good start to develop your creativity, to finally figure out who you are and gives you a choice between two different realities. It’s up to you to decide.
Written using the material of SoMe Storytelling Hackathon Workshoppen by Ismet Bachtian.