A conversation with Donna Freitas, author and lecturer, and Christian Smith, Wm. R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Sociology, University of Notre Dame, on how social networks and virtual communities affect human identity.
“Human relations, and the self-image of the human being, have been profoundly affected by the Internet and by the ease with which images of other people can be summoned to the computer screen to become the objects of emotional attention. How should we conceptualize this change, and what is its effect on the psychic condition of those most given to constructing their world of interests and relationships through the screen? Is this change as damaging as many would have us believe, undermining our capacity for real relationships and placing a mere fantasy of relatedness in their stead? Or is it relatively harmless, as unproblematic as speaking to a friend on the telephone?”
Roger Scruton, The New Atlantis 2010