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Electronic media, therefore, foster a broader, but also a shallower, sense of “US.” The effect of these boundary changes is both unifying and fractionating.
The forms of group identities and place-defined roles characteristic of modem societies are bypassed in both directions: Members of the whole society-and world are growing more alike, but members of particular families, neighborhoods, and traditional groups are growing more diverse…
New mobile devices represent a novel innovation in an otherwise slow-to-change realm of social interaction—face-to-face encounters.
The result is a shift from a social world in which much is ephemeral to one in which even the most trivial of passings is archival.
All of these Sherry Turkles have authored a new book, Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet, published November 30 by Simon & Schuster.
How is the presentation of the self influenced by a constantly networked world? Is the ”social” aspect of media equivalent to ”communitarian”?
Or are we dealing here with an altogther different kind of community, possibly one that is closer to that of ”communitas,” a temporary state of affairs that appear only during ”ritualized” encounters.
[While] printing creates smaller units of interaction at the expense of the oral community, it also bypasses the local community in the creation of larger political, spiritual, and intellectual units.
[At the same time] the current postmodern trend is toward integration of members of all groups into a relatively common sphere of experiential options-with a new recognition of the special needs and idiosyncrasies of individuals.Major conclusion: Each shift in communication is accompanied by a shifting sense of place, by a change in our perception of what George Herbert Mead (1934) called the “generalized other,” those others who seem significant enough for us to imagine how they may be imagining us.