The Many Faces of Facebook: Experiencing Social Media as Performance, Exhibition, and Personal Archive Conference Proceeding uri icon



  • The ever-growing importance of social media means that an increasing amount of people’s activity and lives are visible online. In this study, we draw from Goffman’s theatrical metaphor and Hogan’s exhibition approach to explore how people manage their personal collection of social media data over time. A qualitative study of thirteen participants was conducted to reveal their day-to-day decision-making about producing and curating digital traces on Facebook. Their goals and strategies showed that people experience the Facebook platform as consisting of three different functional regions: a performance region for managing recent data and impression management, an exhibition region for longer term presentation of self-image, and a personal region for archiving meaningful parts of life. Further, users’ need for presenting and archiving data in these three regions is mediated by temporality. These findings trigger a discussion of how to design social media that support these dynamic and sometimes conflicting needs.

publication date

  • January 1, 2013

Full Author List

  • Zhao X; Salehi N; Naranjit S; Alwaalan S; Voida S; Cosley D

Other Profiles

Additional Document Info

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