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I have a friend who sometimes removes comments from his Facebook posts that are slightly off-topic or detracting from the point of his post where the post is intended to boost his reputation and kudos in a certain topic.

It's not egotistical or egocentric or really narcissistic as it can be seen as a valid thing to do, but it's in contrast to what others do, and allow conversations to flow freely and even go off-topic and don't remove any comments unless of course they are offensive or insulting.

So, what would be the word to call this person, someone who is overly self-conscious about and overly nurtures and maintains their online presence/image/persona?

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+1 I know exactly what you're talking about. It's a phenomenon that only exists on the net because of how easily one can edit their image (like deleting unflattering posts). –  Ataraxia Apr 18 '13 at 0:08
    
I would call such a person image-conscious. –  onomatomaniak Apr 18 '13 at 9:18
    
self-conscious sounds more apt and less insulting. they are self conscious of their image online and how they portray themselves –  RhysW Apr 18 '13 at 10:38
    
Thanks, and that is certainly correct, but self-conscious is a little broad. Image-conscious might be OK, but I'm trying to find a word that doesn't just concatenate two words together. A more definitive single word, maybe a noun even. –  Neo Apr 19 '13 at 22:13

4 Answers 4

up vote 2 down vote accepted

There is the concept of Online Identity Management which describes exactly this activity, but there's no convenient adjective resulting from it.

Image-conscious is possibly kinder than most of the other words that come to mind, or even image-obsessed or maybe just vain.

But this management and presentation of public image is practically the same thing as is practised routinely now by public figures like celebrities or politicians, and in those spheres is generally known as "image management" or "impression management", or if you're more cynical, PR (Public Relations) or "spin".

So you could turn to the political language that describes these things, and choose words like stage-managed, self-aggrandizing, propagandizing and so on.

Probably best to avoid the phrase sexed-up though.

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Yep. I'd go with vain. –  Matt Эллен Apr 18 '13 at 15:25

Try an online control freak — or, if you don’t mind neologisms, a webomaniac or a personaholic.

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I was looking for a more official word, that doesn't necessarily have to have an Internet context. A word that could be associated with someone who is equally careful about their persona/image in the real world, like distancing themselves from certain people because of their opinions just because other people may view it unfavourably, even though they themselves may not. –  Neo Apr 17 '13 at 16:05
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@Neo As good a question as this is, I don't think there is a legitimate word for it. This is a relatively obscure phenomenon, that isn't really spoken of often enough to warrant its own word. –  Ataraxia Apr 18 '13 at 0:07
    
Self-editing perhaps? –  Mynamite Apr 18 '13 at 0:25

Thanks to njd's answer above, I was able to navigate Wikipedia and find other good candidates for a suitable word or description stemming from impression management.

Erving Goffman has numerous mentions on various Wikipedia pages and creates a sociological concept that hijacks the use of the word dramaturgy (takes it from the stage into real life).

Some relevant pages I found are one about maintaining face, one about self-image maintenance, one about self-monitoring and one about ingratiation.

From these, I can derive a number of possible candidates for the right word: 'impression manager', 'self-image maintainer', 'face maintainer', 'self-monitorer', and 'ingratiator'.

'Dramaturgist' would've been good, but it has a different meaning related to the original meaning of 'dramaturgy'. And 'facist' is definitely a no-no! :)

'Ingratiator' seems to be my favourite as it is a single word and it comprises self-presentation, which is closely associated with impression management, which is exactly what my friend is doing on Facebook.

He's an ingratiator!

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The activity you asked about is sometimes described as curating one's online presence / image.

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