From our class discussions this past week on Cooley’s Looking Glass Self and Mead’s Me and I, we have begun to question how Facebook and other social media platforms (e.g., Twitter) transform our sense of selves and identities. How does the digital sphere shift the “rules” of online impression and identity management, and thus, shape the way we view ourselves?
This is a question being posed by other sociologists as well. Nathan Jurgenson (University of Maryland) recently asked his students the same: Does Facebook emphasize Mead’s “Me” or the “I”?
The me cares what people think while the I cares about what it alone thinks.
The “Me” is what is learned in interaction with others and (more generally) with the environment: other people’s attitudes, once internalized in the self, constitute the Me… By contrast, ‘the “I” is the response of the individual to the attitude of the community’. The “I” acts creatively, though within the context of the me.
I ask you to think, respond, and discuss with your peers some of the following questions:
As our lives increasingly become enmeshed in both the physical and digital (or, technological) worlds, how has this transformed our selves? Are our online and physical selves split or separate entities? Should we even view the digital and physical worlds as separate any longer? Why or why not?
When we are required to respond to this discussion forum in an open, digital space and we know we are being evaluated for our contributions, are we engaging Mead’s “Me” or the “I”?
Are there consequences for contexting the world through the “Me” versus the “I” and vice versa?
Please post by 26 Oct, 9 PM.