Self-Authorship and Social Media

I’m beginning to believe that I am the most pessimistic person on the interwebs…. What should have been a fairly straightforward assignment (posting an example of “self-authorship” on social media) has turned into an impossible task. Is this partially due to my limited knowledge of social media? Yes. Is this also due to my limited understanding of self-authorship? Surely. But, in my inadequate understanding there seems to be something inherently problematic about the notion of self-authorship in relation to these forms of social media. Specifically, if the concept of self-authorship itself implies a sort of disavowal of external social forces in shaping subjectivity, leading to a conception of “the real you,” is it not problematic that posting to these sites first necessitates an awareness of an audience? It can be argued, of course, that any form of expression, no matter how banal, assumes the existence of an “other,” but with social media this awareness is central and ever-present. The immediacy of feedback and the sheer number of observers, then, undoubtedly shapes the nature of the expression leaving the concept of self-authorship a hollow one. That said, here’s a fun example of a comedy collective doing some great work!


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