The Networked Self is something that effects anyone who is a user of any social media. Perhaps without realising, we all use different forms of social media in different ways when we express our identities. How we view how other people use various social media can also have a huge influence on how we present ourselves. I never thought much about how I behave differently depending on what social network I’m using, which is something I found quite interesting.
Of all the types of social networks that I use, I definitely use Instagram the most. Although I’m not a very frequent poster (a photo every few weeks), I tend to be quite particular about what I post. Like most who use Instagram, I only post the “good” parts of my life; for example if I’ve just been on holiday or been out with friends. This is all information that I am happy to share on a larger scale, among the 500 or so followers that I have, who I definitely don’t know on a very personal level.
If I’m not on Instagram, I’m probably using Snapchat. My Snapchat is on a much smaller scale, having about 30 or so “friends”, most of which are close friends or people I went to school with. I don’t post much on Snapchat publicly, but when I’m talking to people on it i’m much less particular about what I post, perhaps showing my more natural or relaxed side of things. I feel more comfortable on Snapchat as I have a much smaller “audience” and it is at a much more personal scale.
Upon examining these two social networks, it made me realise the different networks of people I have around me at all times. When I have a larger network like on Instagram, I’m more specific with what I share. With smaller networks, like Snapchat, or individual messaging like WhatsApp, I feel less conscious of what I’m sharing, as its on a much smaller, more private and personal scale.
Does your network determine how and what you share?