Facelessness has severe implications for both the

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Facelessness has severe implications for both the victim and the perpetrator, since it takes away the possibility of feeling empathy for either sides. Marche here extrapolates the current situation of social media use to its worst possible end: a world without compassion and empathy, made possible by social media use. He seems to image a world where everything solely happens online and no one sees any physical human beings. A survey under more than 2000 adults concluded a similar negative message. Even though we may ‘friend’ more people by means of Facebook, we have fewer real friends than 30 years ago (Potter). This may be true, but how do these two ‘truths’ relate to each other? Matthew Brashears, the head researcher of this survey, of course sees a certain causality, and structured his research along the lines of a story of decline ’ (Stone 160). The New Yorker published an article - actually more nuanced than its title “How Facebook Makes Us Unhappy suggest arguing that Facebook
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3 contributes to a general feeling of unhappiness (Konnikova). I n “‘‘They Are Happier and Having Better Lives than I Am’’: The Impact of Using Facebook on Perceptions of Others’ Lives”, sociologists from the Utah Valley University proposed that looking at happy pictures of your Facebook friends posted on the platform actually makes you unhappy (Chou and Edge 119). In combining social media networks, friends and (un)happiness, this last article makes it negative spiral complete. These examples represent a rather grim depiction of the present and more importantly, for the future. The ‘age of anxiety’ McLuhan saw in 196 4 seems to have never been truer. The use of social media has severe implications for our abilities for empathy; it has negative influence on our physical social network and the displayed (and perceived) happiness of others makes us even unhappier. The idea has culminated that the effects of social network media are mostly negative for yourself and your relationships. These researchers and critics make bold predictions about the future, based on the current situation. Alexander Galloway has pointed out: ‘The Internet is deceptive. Critics love to exclaim that “everything has changed!”’ (Galloway, Protocol 58). What seems to have changed in recent years is that social media has merely a negative influence on the life of its users. But McLuhan has inadvertently pointed out that people have always been afraid of technological developments and an evolving media landscape. By contrast, this thesis seeks to show a wide variety of interaction between humans and computers. It analyzes novels and films that deal with the cultural representation of social networks and Internet use. Following a broadly chronological sequence, this thesis starts out with Look At Me (2001) by Jennifer Egan. Standing at the birth of social networking media, her novel imagines a site with profiles, which narrativizes the lives of a select group of people. The platform is named Ordinary People; an online space
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