Social Media and Barthes Cultural Essay

Pages: 2 (711 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Education - Computers

SAMPLE EXCERPT . . .

More important, though, are the signified meanings associated with the word "friend," both in and outside the social media sphere. Outside social media, a friend is one with whom one has a personal relationship, with whom one shares confidences due to established trust. Within social media, this is not the case. One can be "Facebook friends" with individuals one has never met. At the same time one can share deeply personal confidences with Twitter friends one has no personal trust with, due to the anonymity of the internet (Kujath 2011). Thus, "friend" takes on a completely different set of signified interpretations. A friend becomes both someone one has no relationship with, but has listed on one's friend's list, as well as someone one can speak intimately to without first establishing trust. Yet within the culture of social media, this dichotomy is considered normal. Both opposing concepts can be held at once, and both are considered "friends." The myth has created a new reality which defines the signifier "friend" in ways different than the definitions outside the construct of the myth.

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Social media as a whole divorces the individual from the physical world, and the ways in which words are related to their meanings within it. Individuals are able to be friends with people that have never met, nor will ever meet, and become deeply personally involved without the process of trust building traditionally associated with friendship. It is, then, it's own type of mythic set of signifiers and signifieds, which are derived, but distanced, from those that exist outside the myth (Barthes 1957/1972). There is an unspoken code used, redefining the terms without ever explicitly stating it, in the knowledge that individuals within the culture of social media will understand the system within which they are participating.

Works Cited

Barthes, R. (1972). Mythologies. (A. Lavers, Trans.). New York: Noonday Press. (Original work published 1957).

Kujath, C. (2011). Facebook and MySpace: Complement or Substitute for Face-to-Face

Interaction? Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 14(1-2), 75-78

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Orr, E., Sisic, M., Ross, C., Simmering, M, Arsenault, J., Orr, R. (2009). The Influence of Shyness on the Use… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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