Craigslist Ads: 23
edition of 23
7 1/2" x 5" x 5/16" (19.1cm x 12.7cm x 0.8cm)
Introduction text written in the book:
The Internet—what a place!
Everyday, thousands of men, (gay, bi and straight), visit Craigslist.com in
search of love, sex, cocaine, hand jobs, circle jerks, and CBT (cock and ball
The personal ad section of the site is simple to use. Simply enter a title
for the ad you’d like to post, your age and neighborhood, and a description
of the services you are seeking or offering. In addition to the services,
the ad poster often includes a personal description that includes height,
weight, body build, and race. Occasionally, the poster will request that the
replier be of a certain description as well—“please be taller
than me, in shape, and hung”. Finally, there is the option to include
an online pic that appears at the bottom of the ad, which more often than
not, is a pic of a penis.
My interest in online identity brought me to Craigslist’s personal ads.
This specific section of the site perfectly exhibits the psychological definition
of an Internet user: an anonymous individual who is honest, uninhibited, and
While looking at the various ads, I couldn’t help but wonder: could
I be one of these guys? I began to collect various ads that did not include
any pics nor physical descriptors, except those that actually matched my own
physical description. I also narrowed the age field to men under 28 and popular
neighborhoods of New York City.
Within these pages are several of my interpretations of the poster’s
identity. I thought, “if that was me, and I were to put a genuine picture
of myself online, what would it look like”. Because the poster chose
to be anonymous, there’s an uneasy sensation for you and me that perhaps,
it really could be me. The individuals touch upon several ideas of physical
beauty, sexual experience, drug use, and racism, that when juxtaposed with
my image, construct a curious identity as to who I am. The final question
is then pointed at you, in which I ask—could it be you, too?