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Madison Huerta

on 21 November 2014

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What is the The looking glass self?
It consists of 3 Elements:
find out....
We surveyed 100
boys and girls between
the ages of 18 and 21.
1. Social media is a way
college students imagine
their appearance to others.
One of the effects of posting is that others build an image of you, and that image contributes to your own image of yourself. As mentioned before, this effect is part of Charles Horton Cooley’s looking glass self theory.
When people post on any social media, they usually do not actively think about why they are posting or the details involved with posting. Much less do they think about the social implications involved with posting.
Do you consider your social media self to be an accurate representation of who you are in person?
Students use social media to imagine their appearance, yet more than half of them admitted that their social media self is only somewhat of an accurate representation of who they are in person
We wanted to know
how this idea is reflected through COLLEGE STUDENTS' use of SOCIAL MEDIA
Charles Horton Cooley's idea that "the self" emerges from an interactive social process.
1. How we imagine our appearance to other people .

2. How we imagine others are judging our appearance.

3. How we respond to their judgement.
2. How Students
imagine people are
judging them

We found students try to imagine how they will be judged before they post anything.
When asked approximately
how much time they spent posting pictures or statuses on social media...
35% of people said they spend about 2 minutes
35% said they spend about five minutes
20% said they spend 8 or more minutes.
This shows how students are putting conscience thought into what they post. They are taking the
time to imagine how others will perceive it and develop their desired image.

This correlates with Cooley's claim that
we attempt to gauge the responses of other individuals to our presentation of self.
We also asked
what factors mostly impact students' decisions to post pictures.
68% of students said it was the quality of the picture
78% said it was their appearance in the picture
85% said it was what they were doing in the picture
58% said it was who they are pictured with
It is surprising to see what factors students consider when posting. Many students choose the pictures they post in order to continue the development of the self-image they have created. Their main factors involve
Again students are imagining how others will see them before they post.
What is the main reason you post pictures or statuses?
The most popular answer to that survey question turned out to be "to inform others of your actions," while "for others to develop an image of you" was the unpopular answer. Even though the participants may not realize it, those who post because they want to inform others of what they are doing or to express their ideas and opinions are working on refining the looking glass self.
Posting at all, for whatever reason, is a representation of yourself. The appearance you imagine for yourself is what you display in your posts. From uploading pictures from a concert that you are attending, to posting a long rant/opinion or announcing your success at reaching a goal, and even when posting your woman crush on Wednesdays, you are laying out an image of yourself for everyone to see.
Not as many males took the survey in order to compare the results based on gender. However, there is a small but clear distinction that guys post more to express their ideas or opinions rather than to inform others or develop an image. Also, note how males post for others to develop an image of them more than to develop an image of themselves. The opposite occurs in females.
3. How students
Respond to judgment

55.56% of people reported sometimes
7% often
3% most of the time
55% of people reported only somewhat accurate
2% reported it's completely different from what they're actually like
Students take into account how others will regard the things they post on social media before they post it. However they rarely respond to judgement as long as they are developing their desired self.
When these students imagine their image through their social media posts, they are conscious that it might not be an accurate image of themselves. After all, they pick and choose what details to allow in their posts. The decision of what details to allow in their posts is a result of imagining their appearance. They tend to display an image that is accepted by their peers and representative of social groups they are a part of.
and this is
what we
(individuals were aloud to have more than one response in this question)
When asked: Do you ever remove a post because it didn't receive a certain number of like or comments?
32% of students answered sometimes
1% said often
2% said often
65% said never

These answers reflect that while approximately 1/3 of students have a sensitive reaction to their peers judgement, 2/3 do not. Most students don't care how many likes they get or how others feel about their post as long as they are contributing to the image they want to create.
When asked: Do you attempt to
appeal to others on social media
more so than you do in person?
In Conclusion:
Our survey showed that student's do imagine their appearance to others, but very briefly. It is not incredibly important to them on social media. They are more likely to imagine how others will judge their appearance. This is an impending thought whenever a post is made. Lastly, students consider others judgement but the majority don't respond to it on social media. They rarely remove a post or picture because it didn't receive a lot of attention.
Cooley's Looking Glass Self is very Relevant to students creating the desired image of themselves on social media. Interestingly, increasing technology and social media is having a large impact on the study of "the self."
The Social Psychology of a selfie:
This desire to create an alternate form of yourself on social media is motivated by popular culture, society, and our daily surroundings. It helps satisfy our need to fit in or belong.
Based on the graph, students primarily imagine their appearance to other people through their
what they do
. Their image relates to how they present themselves and is affected by their behavior on social media.
Next time you post a picture or status on social media, think about why and how you post. Maybe you too, have fallen into the idea of the looking glass self. Forming our self concept based on our social interactions is a part of our society and it isn't something that diminishes with time or the evolution of our culture.
Over half of the students surveyed said they appeal to others more on social media, than in person. This is a result of the leniency and freedom to be whoever you want to be on social media. With social media we are given the ability to represent ourselves however, even though it may not be the true representation of ourselves. This is how we develop ourselves through interaction; we represent ourselves as who we think we should be based on society.
By: Madison Huerta, Laura Lucio, and Katie Smidt
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