High School Facebook Friends and Erving Goffman

I got facebook friended today by someone else from my really large high school that I really don’t remember. We have 52 friends in common, of whom I really remember (beyond the name) about 2/3 and was for real friends (at the time) with about 3/13.

I accepted friendship.

I say that it’s because denying felt mean, but I think it’s really because I kind of like showing off my life right now because I think it’s pretty great. I also like looking at other people’s profiles and figuring out who they were and who they are and if they’re just doing the same thing I’m doing.

A sociologist I really like, Erving Goffman, wrote some stuff about this fancy thing called the dramaturgical effect, which I like applying to facebook. Basically, it’s this idea that an office worker might look busier than they really are when a supervisor walks by, or that a really shy and modest character might wear a promiscuous dress to the popular kids’ party to fit in. How you act on the “front stage” (what other people see) differs from what’s going on “back stage” (when nobody’s watching), but both construct your identity. More on dramaturgy here.

I always wonder if my front stage is what I think it is, but either way, I like people seeing it, I think.

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