Self-presentation on social network sites is often discussed either positively for its promotion of transparency and sharing or negatively for its encouragement of narcissism and self-branding. The present article takes into account the “torture of now-time,” that is, the horror vacui of the postmodern subject, and reads the excessive sharing of every moment as a flight from the self and toward the “homeland” of the network. With a nod to Paul Ricoeur's concept of narrative time, Siegfried Kracauer's description of photography as the mere recording of the material, and Zygmunt Bauman's take on identity in “liquid modernity,” this article argues that the episodic, visual, and immediate rather than narrative, verbal, and retrospective form of self-presentation online does not necessarily lead to increased self-reflection but provides the working basis for the algorithmic production of user profiles and networks.
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February 1, 2017
Roberto Simanowski; Instant Selves: Algorithmic Autobiographies on Social Network Sites. New German Critique 1 February 2017; 44 (1 (130)): 205–216. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/0094033X-3705766
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