Meditations (Web)Church

A year (and a bit) in the life of NewSpring's first Web pastor

The narcissism of online community?

with 4 comments

From Nicholas Carr

“The great paradox of “social networking” is that it uses narcissism as the glue for “community.” Being online means being alone, and being in an online community means being alone together. The community is purely symbolic, a pixellated simulation conjured up by software to feed the modern self’s bottomless hunger. Hunger for what? For verification of its existence? No, not even that. For verification that it has a role to play.

Via JT via Andrew Sullivan



Written by NickCharalambous

April 21, 2009 at 9:38 am

Posted in ruminations

4 Responses

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  1. […] thousand visits? At that rate, Andrew Sullivan and Glenn Reynolds, who average around 4.3 million The narcissism of online community? – 04/21/2009 From Nicholas Carr “The great paradox of “social […]

  2. Hmm, honestly think this is another example of someone holding the social interactions offilne in such a rosy-sweet high regard that they put all the bad elements of what it could be and then say that is only what happens online.

    The “bottomless hunger” is part of human behavior where ever it exists – online or off. People are hungry for purpose, significance, acceptance and attention – duh right? Of course that would be online as much as it has all its flavors and diversities offline.

    Saying any of this is specifically only online is just short sighted in my opinion and shows a lack of experience with the medium.

    Tony Steward

    April 21, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    • I think you’re spot on. All human interaction, in whatever medium, can be oriented around a value system that is positive or negative. But I wonder whether social media rewards aren’t structured in a way that can foster an unhealthy self-focus?


      April 21, 2009 at 4:38 pm

  3. There is a point that social networking (unless you work at it) is all about me me me, there are lots of people who use things like, twitter, facebook, blogs etc just to throw stuff out, and hope for some comments. I’m sure we’ve all been guilty of it.

    Though I do think it’s the same in online as offline community… sometimes people try to build relationships just to fill a hole they have… and not to actually build any community etc.

    Nathan Edwards

    April 21, 2009 at 4:47 pm

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