Draft Course Themes

Since the beginning of the course, we’ve been brainstorming potential themes. Thank you for your contributions! Here is the list of 8 that we’ll use for now. The list will be finalized along with the reading list after you have completed your Journal Article Evaluations.

Common Themes that have Emerged

1.Self-concept and self-presentation (e.g., what is the authentic self? how “real” or accurate is what people put online?)

2.Self-esteem and social comparison (e.g., how does other’s feedback affect the Self? how does what others put online affect how people feel about themselves?)

3.Motivation (e.g., what motivates people to use social media? how does social media promote/affect collective action?)

4.Personality (e.g., what are the personality traits of different social media users? can social media use influence people’s personality?)

5.Development (e.g., how does what people “author” about themselves on social media impact their Self over time? How might social media impact the Self of people who are growing up with it from birth?)

6.Relationships (e.g., does social media such as Tindr change or mirror dating culture? how does broadcasting aspects of relationships on social media affect the Self-actors in that relationship? does the ubiquity of social media change the way we interact with each other? if online vs face to face first impressions differ, does that impact the relationship? what aspects of Self lead to/affected by one-sided relationships like following celebrities on Twitter?)

Big Topics that may continue to come up (so let’s keep them in play)

7.Public/Private self with respect to ethics and privacy (e.g., does engaging in social media blur the line between public (self) and private (self)? should everything online be considered public behaviour? privacy issues? — could also bring in careers/professionalism here) 

8.Culture (e.g., is social media changing cultural narratives? if there are cross-cultural differences between social media users/engagement patterns, does that reflect different Self or lead to changes in Self or both?)

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