Reading Blog 9 – October 2, 2015

“Virtual Friendship and The New Narcissism” (p. 172-188) by Christine Rosen from “The Digital Divide: Arguments for and Against Facebook, Google, Texting, and the Age of Social Networking.”

In her essay, Christine Rosen has strong opinions about the evolution of social networking. The very first thing that Rosen discusses are self portraits, and how they aren’t exactly true representations of ourselves. Self portraits aren’t genuine depictions of a person. Instead, they can be what a person wants to be seen as. She compares self portraits to a person’s online social media profile. Our social media profiles are always looking to attract networks and connections. Rosen suggests that users always want to put out the best versions of themselves online, though it might not be what they are like in reality. In addition to that, users who are so concerned with their online image will post any sort of information about themselves on their social media profile. Rosen poses concerns about this because users’ information is getting exposed to anyone online – both strangers and friends. Because we are so wrapped up in our online image, we disregard certain issues of privacy, which can lead to concerns regarding our safety. Additionally, Rosen also critiques the kinds of relationship that are made through social networks. She argues that people with social media profiles aren’t genuinely friends with everyone on their Facebook friend list. She urges her reader to think about the kinds of connections they make online, and whether or not they are deep and authentic. Overall, Rosen is critiquing the influence of the online profile on a social media user, and how it can cause repercussions in other areas of the user’s life. 

Links:

  1. “Social Media, Pretend Friends, and the Lie of Social Intimacy” – http://www.convinceandconvert.com/social-media-tools/social-media-pretend-friends-and-the-lie-of-false-intimacy/
  2. “Is Social Media Sabotaging Real Communication?” – http://www.forbes.com/sites/susantardanico/2012/04/30/is-social-media-sabotaging-real-communication/
  3. “The Social Media Effect: Are You Really Who You Portray Online?” – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/r-kay-green/the-social-media-effect-a_b_3721029.html

Discussion Questions:

  1. What are some ways that social media can create genuine connection between users?
  2. What would be the motivation to create a different online persona? Is it due to insecurity, or just because each person chooses to share only a small part of themselves?
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