How a timeline of information is enough to know you

Graphic Jennifer Kwan

Think back to when you first created your Facebook page. Now think of all the information that has accumulated over the years. There’s your basic information: hometown, date of birth, work and education, relationship status. But then there’s the extras. Events, birthdays, break-ups, job promotions,Christmas with the folks, pictures of the kitty. Facebook literally has a timeline of your life—but what does that mean for us? Well, we at The Concordian wanted to run an experiment. Get two strangers to add each other on Facebook and have one write a biography of the other person to see how accurate or inaccurate it would be. Do we share too much of ourselves on Facebook? Is it possible to write a full biography of a complete stranger? Concordia students Candice Yee and Camilo Gonima tried it out. Here is Candice Yee’s biography of Gonima, followed by his reaction.

Graphic Jennifer Kwan

Camilo Gonima was born August 2, 1991 in Cúcuta, Colombia. Before attending Concordia University, he studied at the Universidad de Ibague and the Universidad Autonoma de Occidente Cali, both located in Colombia. He is attending Concordia as an exchange student for one semester. Moving from a place of year-round tropical weather to Montreal’s harsh winters will be a difficult transition, and Gonima has never seen snow. He speaks four languages: English, Spanish, Finnish and Euskera. In terms of religion, he is a follower of “Papitas fritas,” meaning “French fries” in Spanish.

Since arriving in Montreal, he has taken photos of everyday scenes in the city. Gonima’s preferred subject matter is strangers; he photographs buskers in the metro and Montrealers on the streets. More recently, he documented Montreal’s annual Zombie Walk. In addition to photography, Gonima enjoys making films. He produces documentaries, as well as 2-D and 3-D animated shorts. He likes watching Spanish martial arts and drama movies.

Earlier this year, he took part in a 30-day drawing challenge, eight of which he managed to complete. Gonima’s friends are also involved in the visual arts. His friend, As Ray, is involved in animation and cartooning. Another friend, Laura Londoño, featured Gonima as a character in her comic book.  Moreover, a few of Gonima’s favourite visual artists include Felipe Bedoya, Ordure Bizarre and Laura Laine. Their work shares a similar whimsical, cartoon style. Gonima is also interested in journalism, and runs a personal blog. He is currently a member of Concordia’s Journalism Student Association.

In terms of music, Gonima has a diverse taste. He listens to electronic, indie groups such as Foster the People, The XX, MGMT, Daft Punk and Crystal Castles. Alternately, he enjoys Spanish artists Cadaveria COL, Horizontes Ignorados and Juan Mazista. For partying, Gonima likes to rave to Dubstep and Knife Party.

In addition to his artistic interests, Gonima enjoys sports. He played ultimate frisbee in Colombia for the RYU Ultimate Club, and goes on jogs. However, he is a soccer fan at heart. Jason Moledzki and Wilder Madina are two of his favourite soccer players.

Socially, Gonima balances time with his family and partying with friends in Colombia. He values spending time with his grandmother, Leonor Giraldo de Gonima, and his dad, Jorge Gonima. He is well connected, and has 1,518 Facebook friends from his hometown and Montreal. His friends see him as an easy going guy, and a jokester. They play pool, drink, play video games and go paintballing together.

Reaction from Camilo:

I guess Candice had it hard. Everything on my Facebook is in Spanish and so I was surprised by how accurate she was with so many things. I don’t really keep track of everything I post on Facebook and sometimes a lot of it is just trash. So I was really excited to see what she was going to find. Because of the language barrier, Candice apparently went through my pictures which apparently say a lot more than I thought. Aside from the evident things like my birthday, I was surprised that she found out my interest in photography—particularly that I like to take pictures of strangers. Something I never thought was that obvious. She knew I was into soccer, something I only spoke about when Colombia qualified for the World Cup. Candice was also able to name my current favorite soccer player and my ultimate frisbee team name back in Colombia.  She also noticed things about my friends. Two of my friends are artists and Candice went as far as describing their artistic styles.

She believed my Facebook lie of how many languages I speak. Also, years ago I put my religion views as ‘French fries’ and never changed it.  Besides that, Candice did a good job at capturing me.


With files from Sabrina Giancioppi  



Related Posts