The Facebook Project: Performance and Construction of Digital Identity

In recent years an impressive number of youth have taken to joining popular online social networking service (SNS) websites. One of the most famous and prosperous of these within the US college student community is Facebook functions as a purposed network of identities, deposited expressions, and interactive media that make for a meaningful digital space that has become interlaced into the day-to-day lives of most students. The Facebook ecology facilitates an emergent, intricate, and robust arena of interactions and representations that serve to mediate the construction of identity.

How is it then, that participants perform—and thus construct—their identities on This paper begins to answer this question within the folds of an intriguing, if not elaborate exploration. It reviews pertinent background information on Facebook, as well as its social relevancy, and highlights some of the applicable psychological and sociological theories on identity, starting with Erving Goffman’s dramaturgical approach. Several salient, mediating elements of digital architecture are discussed, including anonymity, disembodiment, virtual space, temporal context, interface and metaphors, and their correspondent relation to Facebook. The literature review includes a concise analysis of much of the material already available on Facebook and should bring readers up to speed with the perspective employed for the research questions in this work. …

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