Philosophy and Social Media 1: I Tweet, Therefore I Am

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  • For hundreds of millions of people, sharing content across a range of social media services is a familiar part of life. Yet little is known about how social media is impacting us on a psychological level. A wealth of commentators are exploring how social media is refiguring forms of economic activity, reshaping our institutions, and transforming our social and organizational practices. We are still learning about how social media impacts on our sense of personal identity.
  • Philosophy and Social Media 1: I Tweet, Therefore I Am

    1. 1. PHILOSOPHYAND SOCIAL MEDIA
    2. 2. Social media is booming!Facebook Statistics 2012• Facebook has one billion monthly active users• There are over one billion Facebook posts per day• There are 3.2 billion likes/comments per day• There are 250 million photos uploaded each dayTwitter Statistics 2012• There are over 470 million Twitter accounts• Twitter is growing at a rate of 11 accounts per second• 32 percent of all Internet users are using Twitter
    3. 3. Course descriptionSocial media is driving a ‘gift shift’ through our societies that is impacting onbusiness, politics, personal and social identity in important ways.Three phases to the shift:• Gift shift 1.0: the 80s-90s hacker/open source movement• Gift shift 2.0: the rise of social media• Gift shift 3.0: the collaborative consumption/sharing movement
    4. 4. Course materialsOnline reading materials will be circulated on Twitter using #philsocial
    5. 5. What is social media?Kaplan and Haenlein define social media as: Web 2-based user-generated content.They identify six types of social media:1. Collaborative projects (e.g. Wikipedia)2. Blogs and microblogs (e.g. Tumblr, Twitter)3. Social networking sites (e.g. Facebook)4. Content communities (e.g. Youtube, TripAdvisor)5. Virtual game worlds (e.g. World of Warcraft)6. Virtual social worlds (e.g. Second Life)
    6. 6. What is a prosumer?• Term ‘prosumer’ was coined by futurologist Alvin Toffler in The Third Wave (1980).Toffler predicted that consumers would become active to help personally improve ordesign the goods and services of the marketplace• Don Tapscott & Anthony Williams (Wikinomics (2006)) use the term ‘prosumer’ toencompass product hackers, bedroom DJs and remix artists, SecondLife contentcreators, and user-generated media• Prosumers: producer/consumers of user-generated online content
    7. 7. What is a prosumer?For hundreds of millions of people, sharing content on social media is a familiarpart of life. Yet little is known about how social media is impacting on us on apsychological level. We are still learning about how social media impacts on oursense of personal identity.
    8. 8. The prosumer experiencePeggy Orenstein, ‘I Tweet, Therefore I Am’ (New York Times Online)1. ‘Each Twitter post seemed a tacit referendum onwho I am, or at least who I believe myself to be’2. ’I learned to be “on” all the time, whetherstanding behind that woman at the supermarketwho sneaked three extra items into the expresscheck-out lane (you know who you are) ordespairing over human rights abuses againstwomen in Guatemala’.
    9. 9. Introducing: Michel FoucaultMichel Foucault (1926-1984)Philosopher of power and ‘subjectivation’ (processes of self-formation)
    10. 10. Panopticon as ‘machine’ of control‘[The Panopticon] induce[s] in the inmate a state of conscious and permanentvisibility that assures the automatic functioning of power’ (Foucault, DP, 201).The sense of an implicit tribunal: we shape our behaviour in response.
    11. 11. Social media: a virtual Panopticon
    12. 12. Social media: a virtual PanopticonPeggy Orenstein, ‘I Tweet, Therefore I Am’ (New York Times Online)1. ‘Each Twitter post seemed a tacit referendum onwho I am, or at least who I believe myself to be.’• ’[T]he Panopticon induce[s] in the inmate a state ofconscious and permanent visibility…’
    13. 13. Social media: a virtual Panopticon• The result? We play to the crowd.• Creative self-affirmation. The humourist becomes a prankster; the controversialistan iconoclast; the salesperson a guru; the activist a revolutionary...
    14. 14. Social media: a virtual Panopticon
    15. 15. PHILOSOPHYAND SOCIAL MEDIA
    16. 16. The prosumer experiencePeggy Orenstein, ‘I Tweet, Therefore I Am’ (New York Times Online)1. ‘Each Twitter post seemed a tacit referendum onwho I am, or at least who I believe myself to be’2. ’I learned to be “on” all the time, whetherstanding behind that woman at the supermarketwho sneaked three extra items into the expresscheck-out lane (you know who you are) ordespairing over human rights abuses againstwomen in Guatemala’.
    17. 17. Call of the crowd• We feel obliged to keep the share cycle going. We hear the call of the crowd.
    18. 18. Call of the crowd• Prosumers feel obliged to produce product/entertainment for others toconsume. They hear the call of the crowd.
    19. 19. Call of the crowd• Tribal values: the sense of belonging to an online tribe - a community of peopleunited by common values and interests
    20. 20. Call of the crowd• Tribal values: a sense of belonging to an online tribe - a community of peopleunited by common values and interests
    21. 21. The Potlatch ceremonyThe Potlatch – a gift giving ceremony• A chief or leader would gather their tribe together and present them with a massivegift of food, blankets, furs, weapons, canoes, and crafts.• Gifters seek reputational status. The more they give, the greater the prestige
    22. 22. Social media: a virtual Potlatch• Add your gifts to the common pool• On social media, we play a reputationgame that hinges on the question:• ‘Who can give the greatest gifts?’
    23. 23. Social media: a virtual Potlatch• Gift-giving should be empowering• If it depletes you, you are doing it wrong
    24. 24. Find your tribe• Different social media sites attract different crowds: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter…
    25. 25. The prismatic self
    26. 26. The prismatic self• Social media creates a prismatic self, where segmentsof identity are cultivated in distinction from one anotherSherry Turkle, Alone Together (2011)• Audrey: experiments in self-expression‘Each day Audrey expresses herself through a groupof virtual personae. There are Facebook and ItalianMySpace profiles; there are avatars in virtualworlds, some chat rooms, and a handful of onlinegames. Identity involves negotiating between all ofthese and the physical Audrey’ .Turkle, Alone Together, 194.
    27. 27. The prismatic selfNomadism: exploration of different identities and experiences• Sites support aspects of self: Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter…
    28. 28. In sum: the prosumer experience1. On social media, we post and share in public• Affirm your authentic potential. Give the best of what you can be. Never forget thatyou are engaging in a performance, but take it seriously - it reflects on you.
    29. 29. In sum: the prosumer experience2. Different sites have different crowds with different expectations of value• Find the crowd that enables you to be who you are, with whom you can be at yourbest. Creatively affirm your authentic person and give it to your tribe.
    30. 30. PHILOSOPHYAND SOCIAL MEDIA

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