Social Media and Living Well

Social Media and Living Well

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Description

What is well-being? Is it a stable income, comfortable home, and time shared with family and friends? Is it clean drinking water and freedom from political oppression? Is it finding Aristotle's Golden Mean by living a life of reason and moderation? Scholars have sought to define well-being for centuries, teasing out nuances among Aristotle's writings and posing new theories of their own. With each major technological shift this question of well-being arises with new purpose, spurring scholars to re-examine the challenge of living the good life in light of significantly altered conditions. Social media comprise the latest technological shift, and in this book leading scholars in the philosophy and communication disciplines bring together their knowledge and expertise in an attempt to define what well-being means in this perpetually connected environment. From its blog prototype in the mid-to-late-2000s to its microblogging reality of today, users have been both invigorated and perplexed by social media's seemingly near-instant propagation. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and LinkedIn have been hailed as everything from revolutionary to personally and societally destructive. In an exploration of the role social media play in affecting well-being, whether among individuals or society as a whole, this book offers something unique among academic tomes, an opening essay by an executive in the social media industry who shares his observations of the ways in which social communication conventions have changed since the introduction of social media. His essay is followed by an interdisciplinary academic exploration of the potential contributions and detractions of social media to well-being. Authors investigate social media's potential influence on friendship, and on individuals' physical, emotional, social, economic, and political needs. They consider the morality of online deception, how memes and the very structure of the internet inhibit rational social discourse, and how social media facilitate our living a very public life, whether through consent or coercion. Social media networks serve as gathering places for the exchange of information, inspiration, and support, but whether these exchanges are helpful or harmful to well-being is a question whose answer is necessary to living a good life.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 156 pages
  • 157.48 x 236.22 x 17.78mm | 362.87g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 1 Tables, unspecified; 7 Halftones, black and white
  • 0739189271
  • 9780739189276

About Berrin A. Beasley

Berrin A. Beasley is associate professor of communication at the University of North Florida. Mitchell Haney is associate professor of philosophy and co-director of the Florida Blue Center for Ethics at the University of North Florida.show more

Review quote

Beasley and Haney gather philosophers, communication scholars, and a corporate executive to discuss the impact of social media on well-being, broadly defined. The opening essays paint a dark picture, suggesting that social media corrode social bonds; encourage manic and unbridled emotional outbursts; devalue human friendships; and encourage deception. Later essays offer similar concerns, perhaps best summed up by a pair of statements in chapter 9: 'social media [are] generally a second-best way of interacting with others' and 'engaging in social media while attempting to live a certain kind of [good] life comes with specific cautions.' ...An accessible read, the book is intended to provoke audiences into considering the impact of their digital social presence...Summing Up: ... Graduate students, researchers, professionals, general readers. CHOICE We all want to live the good life, but living well starts to look different when we increasingly live through our devices and on our screens. What counts as being a happy and ethical person in the age of social media? How is a technologically mediated community or marketplace ethically different from those we inhabit face to face? Is an online deception is really a lie? Do internet memes create new stereotypes that undermine our ability to respect other members of society? Does a community of online friends and followers change the very nature of friendship? In Social Media and Living Well, Beasley and Haney collect nine thought-provoking attempts to consider questions like these. Policy makers, students of philosophy, and those who work in technology and media will all benefit from the opportunity this accessible and compact volume provides to learn how to think more clearly about our place in the digital world and about how to live with character when we increasingly have only 140 characters to work with. -- Robert Barnard, University of Mississippishow more

Table of contents

1 The Social Media Paradox, Ken Gilroy 2 Eudaimonia or Eudaim[a]nia: Finding the Golden Mean in Social Media Use, Katherine Brittain Richardson 3 Friendship on Facebook, Paul Bloomfield 4 The Duplicity of Online Behavior, Joseph Ulatowski 5 For Better or For Worse: Social Media's Influence on Individual Well-being, Pamela A. Zeiser and Berrin A. Beasley 6 Memes and the Community of Sanity, Mitchell R. Haney 7 Living Well with a Foot in Each World, Deni Elliott and Frederick R. Carlson 8 Serving the Market or the Marketplace? The Business and Ethics of Social Media, Alan B. Albarran and Mitchell R. Haney 9 Perspectives from China: Social Media and Living Well in a Chinese Context, Sarah Matticeshow more