Kierkegaard for the Information Age Analysing the Impact of Social Media on the Self and Selfhood

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Published Oct 11, 2021
Daniel Bennett

Abstract

The adoption of social media technologies as a ubiquitous means of self-expression in the twenty-first century has precipitated a multi-disciplinary academic discussion over whether the use of these technologies has a “positive” or “negative” impact on the individual self. The discipline of theology has also engaged in this discussion, asking critical questions about the impact of social media use on the self before God. Despite significantly predating twenty-first century technology, I argue that Søren Kierkegaard’s work exploring the impact of communication activities on philosophical and theological questions of self and selfhood contributes to this discussion. Drawing primarily on Kierkegaard’s texts, Sickness Unto Death (1849) and Two Ages (1846), I engage Kierkegaard’s work in an interdisciplinary conversation in order to offer a Kierkegaardian analysis of the impact of social media use on the self and selfhood. Therefore, the article aims to contribute to a broader theological debate concerning the “positive” or “negative” effects of social media use on the self.

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Keywords

Kierkegaard, Social Media, Selfhood, Theology, Communication

Section
Articles