Social Media And Barthes Cultural Myths Social Essay

Length: 2 pages Sources: 1 Subject: Education - Computers Type: Essay Paper: #5620617 Related Topics: Social Networking, Twitter, Social Influences On Behavior, Social Aspects
Excerpt from Essay :

Social Media and Barthes Cultural Myths

Social Media and Barthes' Cultural Myths

While social media services undeniably bring individuals together, they also have created a new type of cultural understanding of words. They have created a subset of individuals, who, as users of social media, conceptualize words themselves differently than individuals who are not social media users. Using Barthes' definition, social media itself can be seen as the setting of a cultural myth. It is a vast network wherein signifiers, which outside the myth are associated with their own rich set of signifieds, are given new interpretations (Barthes 1957/1972). That is, these concepts, which outside the myth are imbued with connotative meanings, within the myth are set at a distance from those meanings and given a related, though slightly different, set of signified concepts. In particular, the concept of "friend" within the social media myth gains its own, new, mythic signified interpretations. These interpretations are then set up as normal, within the culture and the myth (Barthes 1957/1972). A Facebook "friend" is a very specific social construct, a construct that exists only within...


Outside social media, when one refers to one's friend, one generally pictures a person, thus the signifier evokes a sign to which it is related. Within social media, however, one may not know one's friends physically (Orr, Sisic, Ross, Simmering, Arsenault, & Orr 2009). One may not have a sign to relate to. The words "Facebook friend" can simply be a signifier for another set of signifiers, such as the friend's screen name. Social relationships become relationships between sets of letters and numbers rather than between people. One associates the idea of one's friend not with the visual image of that individual, but with their screen presence, and the words with which they use to present themselves (Orr et al. 2009). There is, then, a culture created for which "friend" is a signifier…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Barthes, R. (1972). Mythologies. (A. Lavers, Trans.). New York: Noonday Press. (Original work published 1957).

Kujath, C. (2011). Facebook and MySpace: Complement or Substitute for Face-to-Face

Interaction? Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 14(1-2), 75-78

Orr, E., Sisic, M., Ross, C., Simmering, M, Arsenault, J., Orr, R. (2009). The Influence of Shyness on the Use of Facebook in an Undergraduate Sample. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 12(3), 337-340

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