Wednesday, April 1, 2015

As developed through her Instagram, ____________ uses this social media platform to convey her adventurous and multifaceted persona.  At first glance, ________'s biography demonstrates her academic drive as it states, "Stanford Class of 2018".  However, this bio does not fully capture her interests and personality.  Through pictures and videos, it is easy to recognize _______'s love for dancing.  She is on a dance team at the school and blends this influence with her other interests like global health in her photo from the Stanford Dance Marathon.  No two photos of _____'s are the same.  She is seen hanging with kangaroos, paddle boarding, and enjoying the Palo Alto sun with her friends to name a few photos.  Through her Instagram, she displays a very joyful and adaptable personality.


_____ (ß blank space baby) conveys an air of light-hearted professionalism on her Facebook profile. Clearly intelligent, _____ frequently posts (never using profanities) about how her pre-med major poses a surmountable challenge. Not afraid to show her light-hearted side, _____ shares comedic photos and memes to her friends on Facebook. _____ doesn't just devote her time to trivialities, and often reposts messages from charitable organisations and interest groups. _______ has an eclectic range of artistic interests, from classical music to our very own Taylor Swift. 

—'s Facebook profile portrays someone who is very social yet private. His wall is populated with pictures of outings and trips. Yet all of this content is posted by his friends. Except for their posts and pictures, he barely has any activity on the account at all. The "About" section of his profile is sparse and he has "liked" relatively few pages. — either doesn't use Facebook very much or prefers not to have a significant online persona. However, the content he has posted (primarily profile/cover pictures) presents his more social side. Almost all of his profile and cover pictures feature him and his friends. Further, the same groups of individuals appear in multiple pictures, suggesting a close knit group of friends. The profile also promotes the image of someone who is very passionate about sports, as many of the pictures feature his Rugby team and many of the pages he follows belong to athletes.  

The image that _____is trying to get across to the readers of her blog is presented immediately. It is not obscure or in the depths of the blog, but rather in the title of the blog itself. Right beneath the title, she included the line "enlightenment and entertainment by the dumb teenager for the dumb teenager". Automatically people should have a basic idea of what to expect. This is a teenage girl who acknowledges the adult perception of teenagers and decides to go with it. Clearly, she is not a dumb teenager, as presented by the blog. She is a teenager though, which she goes through some lengths to show. She presents the two sides of herself: the social teenager and the deep thinker. She is a college student—a Stanford one at that—and that is really the balance students want to maintain. For example, she has a post about her thoughts while reading Pride and Prejudice. This is a book that is common enough that if she talked about reading it, she would not come off as pretentious, but it is still a literary classic. In the ramble, she balances between some genuine, analytical thoughts and then some very "teenager-like" thoughts—the summary section at the bottom namely. It creates the "ideal" balance of a teenager and a student that people expect. 

Profile Analysis

In his presence on Facebook, with 160 hometown friends, at least 110 college friends, and over 500 total friends looking on, _________ cleverly uses his profile to represent his standing as a potentially professional stage performer. In preparation for such a public career, it is easy to see why ________ would so cleverly market himself from the start in such an appealing way. From his photos to his interests, _______ comes off as just the friendly, but slightly ambiguous performer one would look for. His cover photo, depicting him taking control of the stage in full costume, is just one of many performance pictures he showcases on his profile. These include him playing parts such as a king, a gentleman, and the infamous Stefon from Saturday Night Live. His profile picture is also evidence of his competence, depicting ______ in front of a large star, putting in the minds of those watching, how he may one day be the star. His additional information is short and to the point, but his TV show and film preferences are extensive and fun to see. _______ tells us only the basic information we need to know as future fans and is using incredible foresight to predict what he will want the public to know in the future. Each bright and cheerful picture reminds us of his presence and potential and his concise information reminds us he is a celebrity waiting to happen.

Kayla Guillory
Stanford University | Class of 2018
B.S. Candidate | Mechanical Engineering

__________ uses social media to express her personality and interests. Most of her Facebook photos are of her with friends and family—I noticed that she is rarely by herself in any of them. This gives me the impression that she is family and friend oriented. Also, other people made most of the posts on her wall. With 759 friends, I get the impression that she is selective in who she allows to view her personal profile. Furthermore, she uses photos, likes, and posts to describe who she is rather than explicitly stating it in her "about" section. With respect to her interests, she is a member of groups that have to do with social issues, such as marriage equality and teacher rights.  Also, several of the movies, music, books, etc. that she likes are similar to those that are commonly liked by people her age, which makes it easier to relate to her. _________ does not share personal details on social media; instead, she tells the viewer more about herself through photos and posts, and allows the viewer to interpret them as they wish. _________decides what she wants her Facebook friends to know about her, and with that, she creatively uses her profile to make the statement: "This is me."

Profile Analysis

         " 's profile demonstrates himself as a quiet, talented, and cultured student. Immediately, one can tell this by his Twitter profile picture, where he is speaking at his high school graduation. Someone looking at a cursory glance can tell he is a high-achieving student. In his description, he even says "I'm a quiet guy." His retweets include new music from Kendrick Llamar, Kanye and more music from the R &B/ rap scene. He also shows interests in basketball through retweets of SportsCenter posts about basketball players. He also shows visual rhetoric through he's tweet of his acapella group at Stanford performing some holiday songs. Most noticeably, he demonstrates that he especially is passionate about black rights and equality. He retweets political comments about the Ferguson riots and police brutality, as well as showing support for the Stanford69 protests. "­                     "  does not tweet his own messages often, but when he does it's to post something he really finds interesting and important. With this Twitter profile, I see that "           " is a humble and intelligent student who is interested in equal rights and social change. 

Annalee Monroe
Stanford University
Class of 2018

Swaggy P

Note: "it" will be used as the gender unspecific pronoun. 

Using pictures as its primary medium, Swaggy P presents its persona as quite an outgoing character; the only pictures you will find of it without people are its profile pictures. Otherwise, Swaggy P's omnipresent photographs of itself at all varieties of sports events provides reasoning for the possibility that it not only revels in school spirit and the support of Stanford's athletes, but also enjoys performing for large crowds. Additionally, its photos with dorm friends on weekend night outings, dressed either in rally gear or in fashionable/chic outfits, coupled with its lack of Facebook posts and comments, suggests that it loves socializing more in person and relies on social media simply for keeping its social image updated. Based on Swaggy P's Facebook profile, its friends can only gather its latest social appearance, however, cannot necessarily glean its day-to-day progress or lower-level activity. 

Writing Exercise

Sabrina* utilizes vibrant photos and endearing captions in order to convey a sense of light-heartedness about life, which seems to match the idea that people on social media focus on the moments they think not only themselves will enjoy but that other people will want to see. Sabrina maintains this socially accepted sense of self-identity as the idealistic girl next door, who enjoys nature, friends, and family. This performance is expressed through many nature photos that are not taken with an iPhone, meaning there was effort to put them onto this social media site. The nature photos are often accompanied by uplifting sayings, which may be posted for the benefit of others. These captions include "capturing moments of beauty" and "roses and sunshine, the best way to start a day." With these postings, Sabrina seems to be conforming to the performance norm of accompanying a visually pleasing photo with an equally pleasing caption. The performance would be shattered if Sabrina posted captions about how awful her life was or how she may truly feel with these photos. In this way, Sabrina is conforming to a social media norm. Sabrina also expresses light-heartedness through the posts that she has of her friends, both here at college and at home. These photos appear to be well-picked moments that resemble happiness between the friends. The text with these photos becomes particularly important, as the caption that accompanies it shows her closeness with the people in the photo. The uniqueness of each caption that accompanies these photos is highly important. Goffman mentioned that part of performance can be making one person feel special, so for example, if one expressed gratitude to one person and did so to 50 others in the same manner in front of that person, that expression of gratitude would lose meaning. Sabrina seems to either unconsciously or consciously understand society's demand to make such expressions unique on public sites, for each person receives a caption, some shorter or longer than others, that allows for differentiation. These include "couldn't ask for better dates than these two" with two friends and "home is where the heart is" with her parents. Therefore, in these photos, Sabrina seems to highly conform to what society dictates should be presented on social media sites, presenting a positive image that is expressed in the form of visually pleasing photos and positive captions.  

*not real name 

Mystery Profile

____'s overarching claim throughout her Facebook profile is that she is a hardworking student at an elite university who has taken on a large course load. She makes textual claims through her posts, two of which read: "When I started college, I had a lot of hopes and dreams. Now that I am on my third quarter, my only two dreams are to be able to draw a perfect hexagon in Organic Chemistry and a nice bracket in Linear Algebra," and, simply put: "College is hard." These textual claims argue to ____'s audience, her Facebook friends, that she is respectable and ambitious for taking on such a demanding workload, though she may struggle. In her Freshman Year photo album, entitled, "Stanford: Year One," ____ shares photos of her studying with friends, photos within her dorm, and photos of classic Stanford landmarks such as Memorial Church. These are all visual claims that promote the "elite college student" image of ____ that she argues in her posts.


____ further extends this argument by promoting her interests in science fiction literature. She shares links to blog posts about one particular series, "Eragon," including two entitled "19 Signs You're Still Obsessed With Eragon" and "Reboot the Eragon/Inheritance Cycle Film Franchise." She consistently tags her friend Carolyn Kravitz in these public posts, which suggests that ____ is not ashamed to make public her passion for this particular series. Though not all of her Facebook friends may have the same interest, her making her interactions surrounding Eragon with Carolyn public rather than private is an argument for her unabashed, headstrong, nerdi-ness. :)

_____'s Facebook profile is an embodiment of what he wants people to know about him- his music and his friends. He identifies himself first and foremost as a trumpet player and is part of the National Youth Orchestra of the USA. His first three most recent profile pictures show him holding or playing a trumpet. However, this theme is not a recent one. Trumpet profile pictures date all the way back to 2010. The majority of posts and pictures on his timeline revolve around going to events where trumpets are played, include him with fellow musician friends, or involve famous trumpet players. Many of his likes and interests are about trumpets. Apart from living the trumpet life, _____ also identifies as a Stanford student. He uses a picture of Stanford as his cover photo and is tagged in many photos across campus with Stanford friends and attending Stanford events. He shows Donner pride and like most of us, wants to convey the message to friends back home that he is happy and loves college and continues to play the trumpet. Also he really really likes the color orange. 
Through social media, Felicia presents herself as a friendly and loving person that experiences every day as an adventure. This is evidenced through her Instagram pictures that are mostly with her friends and family. In her posts she always has a big smile on her face, and her captions reflect the happiness that she exhibits in her photos. For example, some of Felicia's captions include, "i luv u to the moon and back and back again" and "these babes make any day great." It is clear that she is representing herself as a person who cares deeply for her friends. Not only is Felicia caring, but she is also daring. Many of her posts take place in impressive locations such as Disney, Lake Tahoe, Germany, Half Moon Bay, Hawaii, and many more. These exotic places give off the impression that Felicia is adventurous and takes advantage of the exciting opportunities that she is presented with. Felicia presents herself as a person who appreciates life to the fullest through her love for her friends, as well as her adventurous lifestyle.

First Week Meeting 2

Looking at ____'s Facebook profile, it is easy to categorize him as many things. Based on the events he has attended, his profile pictures, and also pictures he is tagged in I can assume that he is an young Indian male, who is involved in a cultural community, and also fairly popular with other students at Stanford. He likes the sport cricket as seen by multiple videos on his page advertising the sport, and also a profile picture of a picture from a cricket game. He promoted attendance of RHYTHMS, which was an event hosted by Stanford Sanskriti. These two things imply that he is knowledgable about Indian culture. Cricket is a sport that is not super popular in America, but very popular in India. His pictures also have tags with one of the leaders of Stanford Sanskriti so it is easy to assume he is part of that organization and not another one that participated in RHYTHMS. On that same note, he has very many pictures of himself taken by a variety of other people. The people in the pictures are fairly happy, so it is easy to assume that he is well liked among those happy people.