Does This Profile Picture Make Me Look Fat? Facebook and the Presentation of Self

Tim March


With over 800 million users worldwide, the popular online social networking service, Facebook, has become a cultural phenomenon. This working research paper examines one aspect of Facebook: the presentation of self. Using information collected through face-to-face interviews with two participants, one male and one female, I investigate the reasons why and how these participants alter their online self-images. This research project hypothesizes that professional users project a controlled image to those who view their profile. They limit and remove undesirable information from their Facebook accounts. Such practices indicate these educated users are aware of the negative consequences they might encounter if they were to post all information, especially that which they consider of low quality, on Facebook. The research project acknowledges the need to conduct more interviews and further research to test and verify its hypothesis.


Facebook; presentation of self; privacy maintenance; stigmatization

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Copyright (c) 2012 Tim March


This journal is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 Unported License.


ISSN 1923-1334 (Online)

University of Victoria