Is Social Media Platforms To Restrictive?

This week in FYS142, our class had to read two articles that both touch upon ones presented self on media surfaces like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and many other educational surfaces that school systems use. The first article is “Digital Identities: Six Key Selves of Networked Publics,” written by Bonnie Stewart. Stewart’s blogs are very analytic and it seems as though she goes through a great deal of research before posting a blog on her domain. This specific article Stewart goes over the six key selves in regards to people and their social media platforms.

The second piece that we had to read was two sections in a book by Audrey Watters called “Claim Your Domain- And Own Your Online Presence.” The intro of Watters book was more on a personal note bringing up a memory of hers when her mother had given her a manila envelope that packaged a group of meaningful works that were completed during her time in school. What is truly interesting about her intro is the fact that she had the ability to compare and contrast this manila envelope to students and their online activities involving educational surfaces and media platforms.

One statement that is relevant to both articles is if media surfaces give users full personalization over their platforms. Do you believe that on your social media surfaces, the platforms give you the opportunity to personalize everything that you would want it to be? According to Watters, social media platforms do not allow everyone to personalize there pages because of the templated self. The templated self is described as the choices that social media platforms make for you when personalizing the account. Some examples include: gender choice, changing the title in your name, changing last names, and even changing the username that was originally given. This is why claiming your own domain is more beneficial in terms of personalization. When claiming your own domain the personalization opportunities are much greater. There are no enclosed questions about what gender you are and there are no preordained templates that constrain our digital identity. Domains give the user the chance to present their preferences to the world on a much larger scale with more personalized touches.

Even though I only touched on one contrast between domains and social media platforms, there are many more that can be added. There are positives and drawbacks to every choice that a user makes when choosing their preferences; however, the benefits that come from ones domain overcome all the competitors in terms of users presenting themselves on social media.

Watters. A. (2015, October 30). Claim Your Domain- And Own Your Online Presence. Retrieved from

4 thoughts on “Is Social Media Platforms To Restrictive?

    1. At the same time, how do most people use Twitter? Are they looking at individual profiles or just their feed? Same with most of these platforms. Having one’s own website is one way to differentiate oneself. Plus you can often embed other social media into and across these platform.

  1. Are there some benefits to uniformity, or the templated self? There is some comfort and ease in use with some of the functionality, look, and feel of some of these platforms. This can help with managing expectations of users, as well. If Twitter is so uniform across each account, is it the content that helps shape one’s identity in that realm?

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