Which face do you put on Facebook?: Missed opportunities to gain social capital on Facebook
LE3 .A278 2009
Bachelor of Arts
Social networking websites have become an increasingly popular means for communication over the past few years. The purpose of these types of websites is to “use [these] networks to make friends, dates, and business connections” (Boyd and Donath 2004:71). Facebook.com, the most popular among these websites, is open to the public and allows users to connect with both offline and online acquaintances. Given the possibility to construct an identity by profile building and communicating with others through this website, this thesis focuses on whether or not there is tangible social capital to be gained through the use of Facebook or whether Facebook can be seen as a missed opportunity to gain social capital. After presenting a review of the relevant literature on this topic, this thesis will analyze Facebook based on themes such as the construction of the self in Facebook profiles, the upkeep of offline relationships in online communities, the fostering of new relationships in online communities, opportunities to gain social capital on social networking websites, impression management on Facebook, and privacy settings on Facebook.
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