Facebook and the Opposite of Solipsism

Solipsism is the view or theory that self is the only object of real knowledge, or the only thing that really exists.

(Thanks, Dungeons & Dragons, for teaching me this at a young age, by depicting a group of adventurers called the “Sign of One” who believe that each of them, individually, have the power to shape the universe with their minds. That’s a “Signer” in the illustration above.)

Criticisms of Facebook include the notion that it encourages users to be self-absorbed, or to surround themselves with like-minded people who reiterate similar opinions, like what happened in the George W. Bush administration. In that sense, maybe Facebook is turning us into solipsists.

But I’m inclined to think Facebook promotes the opposite of solipsism — whatever that is. As you grow accustomed to putting every passing thought, announcement, and photo online for your friends to witness and validate, you start to feel like nothing in your life really exists until it’s been reflected by an Other.


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One Response to Facebook and the Opposite of Solipsism

  1. Jessa

    Disagree! I think Facebook is all about mimesis. But I only think that because I’m persuaded (mimetically?) by this blog post: http://mediastudies2point0.blogspot.com/2007/09/myspace-and-legendary-psychasthenia.html.
    Facebook users are like caterpillars eating each other because they are so impossible to distinguish from each other and mud. Thus the demise of your hopes of having others as some sort of contrast to your own (FB-induced, of course) banality.

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