Baym – New Relationships, New Selves

This week’s reading: “New Relationships, New Selves” was great in describing the dynamics of online relationships. What I found most intriguing is the fact that people have SNSs to maintain and develop their current relationships; however SNSs are also a principle force in creating new relationships. For example, when I first got Facebook i only had a handful of my friends, and now I’m able to discover, add, and see people who I’ve met before, have mutual friends with, or go to school and/or work with.

I like how the article focuses on identity and the different ways that people change or alter their personal information online. For example, most people choose the best photo of themselves for the profile picture – this is a prime way to showcase their physical appearance since friends, strangers, and acquaintances will focus on this picture and not on how the individual looks on a day-to-day basis.

I recommend reading this article: “Is Facebook Making Us Lonely?” (http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/05/is-facebook-making-us-lonely/308930/). It is an interesting perspective because it shows how social media is in fact making us less social. After reading the article, do you agree or disagree with the author’s main points? Are we becoming lonelier and less social, or is social media simply changing our social dynamics with one another?

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One thought on “Baym – New Relationships, New Selves

  1. That Atlantic article provides a thoughtful counterpoint to the Baym reading. For those who are interested, I suggest looking into the work of Sherry Turkle (who is interviewed in the article), particularly her recent book Reclaiming Conversation which examines the many ways social media actually inhibits our ability to connect with others.

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