The internet has become an outlook for people to express and represent themselves. The article “Backpacks vs. Briefcases: Steps toward Rhetorical Analysis” by Laura Carroll shows how we can interpret these digital representations. I have chosen to analyze my Facebook profile according on the basis of this article. I never realized how specific my intentions were until I really rhetorically analyzed my profile.
The audience I intended my profile to be for is my friends that are primarily my age. I was a missionary kid in the Philippines so I intend my profile to allow my friends from high school to see what I’ve been up to and to just keep in touch with them. I rarely ever add adults because the material on my profile are only things that appeal to or relate to the youth. I never really thought about how my profile is only for my friends. I didn’t intentionally think to make a Facebook profile for my friends I made on just because. Now that I analyze it my profile really is just for my friends and to keep in touch.
The information I put on my profile is minimum. I only have it so people know what’s going on in my life. If you were to look at my “About” information I don’t have much. I don’t give a biography or if I’m in a relationship. It just says where I am currently in the world and my birthday. Also the news on my Timeline is only things friends post on my wall or big events in my life that I want people to know. I don’t update my status everyday or post things everyday, only when something significant happens.
When I really think about it my profile is only a representation of what I want people to think of me or see me as. Everything I post is intentionally meant to make people think a certain way about me. If you look at my profile you can tell that I like spending time with my friends and travelling and being outside. However it doesn’t really indicate who I am. It does not say that I grew up in California and moved to the Philippines when I was ten. It does not say that I can be shy at first but then ease up when I’m comfortable. It does not say that I actually like spending time alone a lot. My profile is what I want people to see me as. It does not give my whole story.
Rhetorical analysis applies to all of media. Media is developed and used for specific intentions. Facebook is a medium for people to express themselves the way the want to be viewed. I have this one friend who only has a Facebook profile to keep in touch with his girlfriend. I also have another friend who has a Facebook profile to meet girls online. There are many purposes people find in creating a profile. Mine is to keep in touch with my friends and show people what I’ve been up to in my life. Rhetorical analysis reveals the message and intentions of the media like Facebook profiles.