When considering how freshman develop and assert their social identityduring the first half of the school year, one takes for granted the fact that theseinstances of self-assertion in the presence of others exists on a physical plane. Forstudents to have an idea of who another individual student is, the individual student
must cultivate this image with his daily activities and practices. Or at least, that’s
how it has been until recent years.Facebook, the universally accessible and interactive identity registry of theworld, allows individuals a different mechanism for self-presentation and socialinteraction so as to facilitate the assertion of self in any given social environment. Acommunity would of course have to be able to adequately accommodate thisalternative mechanism and Swarthmore
with its Wi-Fi outfitted campus and itslaptop-addicted populace
has allowed Facebook to supplement and perhapsundermine traditional avenues of self-presentation. This ethnography speaks to thishypothesis by detailing the online behavior and practices of a sample group of freshman students at Swarthmore.
I have and maintain a Facebook profile. This means that I entered into acontract with the company of Facebook. In exchange for the right to display theadvertisements of other companies on my computer screen, I was granted with anonline template to fill with my personal information, photos, and preferences so that I may have a profile. Facebook places my profile in a network of profiles of peoplewith whom by mutual agreement, we have agreed to view, interact, and