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Reflections in the Facebook Mirror

How many times in life must we engage in self-description? Let us count the ways: There’s the anxiety of college applications. The ignominy of dating. The embroidery of a C.V. sent to prospective employers. And, of course, there is Facebook.

The profile page of every Facebook acolyte has an enticing little Info tab, presenting the opportunity to demonstrate wit or wisdom, bravado or timidity, personal agenda or professional bona fides. A few categories are suggested by default — Likes and Dislikes, Favorite Quotations — but there’s a big yawning hole in the section labeled Bio. There’s no pull-down menu: the format is fill in the blank, every man for himself.


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