our digital culture of narcissism

You may also like...

6 Responses

  1. dontdropbombs says:

    I believe that it’s true that “attempting to quit or never start Facebook is a difficult challenge” for many, especially when it serves a function that’s otherwise unfulfilled for its user.
    For instance, facebook is fine and good, but it’s still never occured to me to use it. Not using it is no more difficult than not eating at a particular restaurant which doesn’t have a location that’s convenient for me. I already have a social network that exists through meeting face-to-face, talking by telephone, and writing by e-mail and letters. If I were to use Facebook, it would likely be a pleasant experience. *But*, it would be like having a perfectly functional Toyota and then acquiring a Honda in addition to the Toyota. Especially if the Honda has a pretty soft-blue and white hur to it.

    Lasch (dear god, I remember that book taking me eons to get through) would probably also say that I document myself in other forms, like performing in public, printing written words, and sometimes writing e-mail messages that copy more than one person.

    Still, doesn’t validating ones existence by documentation also goes far beyond just the digital culture of narcissism- isn’t it as old as the first cave paintings?

  2. kiyallsmith says:

    Your post has the gears cranking in my brain. In particular regarding Goffman– is the digital culture compressing the space of the backstage, or is it just presenting another front stage? And either way, how does the digital culture impact our backstage behavior? In the non-digital format–what about the popularity of scrapbooking? Thanks for a great post!


  3. nathanjurgenson says:

    Keri – “how does the digital culture impact our backstage behavior?”

    thanks for reading! your comment gets directly at what i was going for but didn’t spit out that well…

    we like to think that our digital documentation (e.g., Facebook) is our own god-like creation (which is similar to what ‘avatar’ means), but what i want to submit is that the influence flows both ways. we are also created by and subservient to our own documentation. our material-world selves might, to some degree, be the avatars of our documented, simulated selves online (akin to Baudrillard’s theoretical move arguing that simulations come to dominate what they once signified). ~nathan

  1. 5th October 2009

    […] the further intrusion of capitalism into increasingly intimate aspects of our selves and lives, and (2-micro) the documentation of one’s location is a new task of performing the self and identity, fueling […]

  2. 3rd March 2010

    […] intersection of social theory and the changing nature of the Internet (e.g., using Marx, Bourdieu, Goffman, Bauman, DeBord and so on). In a chapter of the new third edition of the McDonaldization Reader […]

  3. 7th May 2010

    […] talking points on Sociology Lens over the past year. Consider Nathan Jurgenson’s posts, our digital culture of narcissism and facebook, youtube, twitter: mass exhibitionism online, as well as my own recent post, The Queer […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *