Facebook Profiles

From our research we constructed based on the teachers’ concerns an at-risk portrait, a healthy media literate portrait and then one that we considered to be an actual use or actual portrait.

Nancy represents what the teachers imagine as the positive aspects of children’s use of social media: the media-literate, digital citizen. Note how Nancy uses Facebook to communicate with friends and relatives, for school purposes, to share causes that are important to her, and to develop her interests and perspectives in social issues and global news.


Kenzie is a composite of the teachers’ responses that were more heavily weighted toward negative consequences of Facebook use. Note how Kenzie engages in content and visuals that educators and parents traditionally deem “inappropriate” (i.e., profane language and gestures) and superficial (focus on appearance features).


The portrait of Mia is based on actual children’s use of Facebook. This profile includes regular, humorous comments that seem to reflect an extension of Mia’s everyday identity.

miaIn addition, this infographic explains our findings.