Japanese vs. American Facebook/日本人とアメリカ人のFacebook使い方


Facebook: Japanese vs. American Style

In America, it is common to post every little thing on Facebook.

This morning I ate a spectacular banana, and wrote myself a reminder to post about that banana on Facebook (it was a great banana).

Crazy university photos, trips to Las Vegas, that rock that looks like Brad Pitt – everything goes on Facebook. Cute selfies on the profile pic, you and your 5 closest friends on the cover photo, and a photo documentation of your cat’s daily life are essential Facebook staples.

However, Japanese people tend to post a lot less in general than Americans. Like the social site mixi.jp, Japanese Facebook profile pics are usually an obscured photo of the person, a cute animal, or the person with a group of friends. My friends don’t often put up many photos of themselves on Facebook, rather, other people tag them in photos. Why not?

Japanese people prefer anonymity online more than Americans do. Japanese media will often blur out faces, or not show faces, even with regards to celebrities. Japanese people appear to be more wary of the repercussions of posting their photos online than Americans. Of course, not all Americans post crazy pics that everyone on Facebook can see, but they still tend to post crazier photos and post photos that show their faces. Japanese people are sometimes even uncomfortable with sharing their real names online. When you meet an American, it’s customary to become Facebook friends fairly quickly, even if you don’t know the person, by clicking on Friend Request and waiting for them to accept. It’s even faster due to cell phones. When you meet a Japanese person, however, it’s customary to ask their permission before you send the Friend Request. Some people might see it as rude to simply send the request, since you are little more than acquaintances. It’s best to ask in person, but you can also send a short message asking them to become your friend. Recently, however, more and more Japanese students just send me the request, without asking. They must have caught onto the American Facebook way.

How do you feel about sharing photos on Facebook? Do you use your own photo or do you use animals or whatever instead? Are there other cultural differences you notice?










Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s