Virtual Friendship and the New Narcissism
Social networking sites — in widespread use only since 2002 — are changing the shape of relationships for millions of Americans. But how are those changes affecting our understanding and experience of friendship and our sense of personal identity? What happens in personal and social life when we are increasingly connected by weak (and conveniently abandoned) ties? Citing numerous studies by social scientists, Christine Rosen asks: “Does this technology, with its constant demands to collect (friends and status), and perform (by marketing ourselves), in some ways undermine our ability to attain what it promises—a surer sense of who we are and where we belong?”
This article was originally published in The New Atlantis, Summer 2007. Read by Ken Myers. 50 minutes.