First person: With Facebook, you can be all that you care to be

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“The Social Network” has everyone talking about the birth of Facebook, and that has inpired much discussion about what it has grown up to be.

When I look at my Facebook profile (as I did before, will soon after, and will certainly a few times before finishing this piece), I don’t necessarily like what I see. And that’s frustrating, seeing as I created this image of myself, an image that more people will view than I ever care to know.

Facebook is our consumer medium for self-actualization. It’s the wonder product on the 3 a.m. infomercial that we simply can’t live without.

It forces us — the more than 500 million Facebook users worldwide — to define ourselves by breaking down our existence into words, images, videos and hyperlinks. But defining ourselves was never meant to be that easy. This thing, this virtual organism meant to simplify our identity and bring us closer to our friends and family, usually leaves us with more questions than answers. (more…)