Is the grass any greener? Pervasive awareness, social media, and well-being

Speaker  Keith Hampton

Affiliation  Rutgers University

Host  Harold Javid

Duration  00:59:19

Date recorded  15 July 2014

Social media, we have been promised, supports the well-being of individuals and society. It has been said that it offers new opportunities for democratic participation, that it supports collective action and gives individuals a voice. Social capital, once lost through the dormancy of ties, hidden as a result of infrequent contact, has been made visible through the persistent and pervasive nature of social media. Yet, it is often said that these technologies do not live up to their hype, that they contribute to social isolation, stress, and disengagement. This presentation argues that community on and offline is being reorganized as a result of digital technologies that afford and constrain engagement. Evidence from a series of empirical studies explains how digital technologies are related to social capital, deliberation, caring, and the joy that we sometimes get from the awareness that we are all missing out.

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