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From “Is” to the (News) World: How Facebook Jeopardized Its Life-Diary Nature and Occupied the Network

Stefano Calzati, Roberto Simanowski


This article focuses on self-narratives and identity construction in the context of social networking sites (SNSs). It does so by discussing the findings of a research that had at its core a practice-based module titled “Facebook and Autobiography”, which was designed and taught at a major Hong Kong University. Through a cyber autoethnographic approach, which aligns to the methodological orientation of the second wave in narratology studies, the research explores how the infrastructure of Facebook affects the processes of self-narration in comparison with traditional written dairies. Contrary to previous studies, the interviews with students-participants and the analysis of their Facebook’s profiles suggest that the retrieval on Facebook of even small self-narratives is impaired by the fact that the platform has abandoned its life-diary orientation in favour of a news-based business model where the posthuman connotation of profiles prevails.


cyber autoethnography, Facebook, narrative, posthuman identity, self.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7358/ijtl-2019-001-casi

International Journal of Transmedia Literacy (IJTL)
Registered by Tribunale di Milano (22/10/2014 n. 328)
Online ISSN 2465-2261 - Print ISSN 2465-227X

Editor in Chief: Matteo Ciastellardi
Managing Editor: Giovanna Di Rosario
Managing Committee: Matteo Andreozzi, Stefano Calzati, Ugo Eccli, Cristina Miranda de Almeida.

Board Committee: Alan Albarran (University of North Texas, United States), Rogério Barbosa Da Silva (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil), Giovanni Baule (Politecnico di Milano, Italy), Laura Borràs Castanyer (Universitat de Barcelona, Spain), Derrick de Kerckhove (Politecnico di Milano, Italy), Henry Jenkins (University of Southern California, United States), Marsha Kinder (University of Southern California, United States), Raine Koskimaa (University of Jyväskylä, Finland), George Landow (Brown University, United States), Paul Levinson (Fordham University, United States), Asún López-Varela (Universidad Complutense, Spain), Lev Manovich (City University of New York, United States), Nick Montfort (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States), Marcos Novak (UCLA - University of California, Los Angeles, United States), Massimo Parodi (Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy), Bruce W. Powe (York University, Canada), Kate Pullinger (Bath Spa University, United Kingdom), Marie-Laure Ryan (Indipendent Scholar), Alexandra Saemmer (Université Paris 8, France), Carlos Scolari (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain), Susana Tosca (IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark), Alessandro Zinna (Université Toulouse II, France)

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