You Are What You Tweet: Identity and Social Media

Open—Spring

Online social media has provided new venues through which to share our thoughts, interests, and ideas—and tell the stories of our lives. Through posts, tweets, status updates, images, and videos, we immerse ourselves in the digital world and dissolve the boundaries between online and offline. How do we choose to present ourselves online? Are they accurate representations? How are the stories we tell online different from the ones we tell in person or write down? In addition, this course will examine what has been described as the “publicly-private and privately-public” nature of social media. With so many aspects of our lives made public, do we risk exposing ourselves? Is there such a thing as privacy online? Course readings will be drawn from both academic literature and popular journalism, with a focus on concepts of identity, self-presentation, social relationships, and privacy. Conference work will be closely integrated in the coursework; frequent online activity, including a multi-platform portfolio, will be a major component of the class.