Novelist, Christine Rosen, in her essay, “Virtual Friendship and the New Narcissism” ridicules the use of online social networking in today’s society. Rosen’s purpose is to convey the idea that, online social networking is a dangerous manipulative addiction of self expression that is frankly a waste of time for all of society and a way to segregate your friends. She adopts a bashing tone to appeal to similar feelings and experiences toward her readers. Rosen begins her essay by arguing that we manipulate our online self to display how we want to be seen.
Social web sites offer ways to fudge the truth about our identity (Rosen 321). Your online friend could pretend to be anyone, even pretend to be a women when in reality they are a man and vis versa. She criticizes the truthfulness of our self-portraits in order to address the fact that their is no point in viewing other online friends because someone’s profile could be completely inaccurate. Rosen uses logo here to convey a logical tone to her readers so they will support her argument. Rosen then moves to her next argument by implying that social web sites are a waste of time.
In the text it says, “Millions of college students check their Facebook pages several times every day and spend hours sending and receiving messages, making appointments, getting updates on their friends’ activities, and learning about people they might recently have met or heard about”(Rosen 321). She is saying that students spend too much time on their online social networking sites. Also to support this argument is the text it says, “Indeed, media coverage of social networking sites usually describes them as vast teenage playgrounds-or wastelands, depending on one’s perspective” (Rosen 323).
Her comparison to online networks as playgrounds or wastelands interprets that she believes online social networking is unproductive and useless. Rosen uses logos here to convey a comparative tone to her readers to help her get support on her argument. Rosen then shifts to her next argument by describing online social networking as a filing cabinet for friends. Online friendship is structured in such a way so that you can lifelessly manage your friends into a ranking system (Rosen 324).
She describes the online “friend” in order to support her belief about how inhumane and robotic the online networking systems is. Friends aren’t suppose to be segregated from each other. A friend is someone you should be able to lean on and be by their side when they need support, while all an online “friend” can do is send messages or change their profile picture. Rosen uses pathos here to convey a passionate tone to her readers to receive support from them. Rosen moves to her next argument by saying that all most all of your online friends aren’t real friends. The use of the word ‘friend’ on social networking sites is a dilution and a debasement, and surely no one with hundreds of MySpace or Facebook ‘friends’ is so confused as to believe those are all real friendships” (Rosen 325). Her comparison to the word “friend” with dilution shows that she thinks negatively about online networks such as Facebook. She is also saying that it is basically impossible to see or talk to all of these friends on a day to day basis. Rosen uses logos here by providing common sense thinking which gives a logical tone to her readers to agree with her.
Rosen then shifts to her next argument by providing research on social network users and the environment around them. “Researcher Rob Nyland at Brigham Young University recently surveyed 184 users of social networking sites and found that heavy users ‘feel less socially involved with the community around them’” (Rosen 327). Rosen is using this evidence to support her claim about it being addictive. This finding shows that it is so addictive that people stop getting involved with the community around them. They would rather be updating their status than going outside and actually doing something.
Rosen uses logos here to convey a knowledgeable tone to her readers to agree with her. Rosen then moves to her next argument by providing additional research on the negative correlation between social networking and romances. “Another recent study conducted by communications professor Quingwen Dong and colleagues at the University of the Pacific found that, ‘those who engaged in romantic communication over MySpace tend to have low levels of bot emotional intelligence and self-esteem’” (Rosen 327). This research shows that social networking can be dangerous to society because it is an unhealthy way to date compared to the traditional way.
Rosen uses logos here to convey a factual tone to her readers so they will support her argument. Rosen then shifts to her next argument by implementing that we are missing opportunities to better ourselves when we spend so much time on our online self networks. “In investing so much energy in to improving how we present ourselves online, are we missing chances to genuinely improve ourselves” (Rosen 327)? She questions the amount of time people spend on their user accounts in order to support her belief on how much time it takes up.
It gets social network users to question if it is worth all the time put in. Rosen uses pathos here to convey a second guess tone to her readers because it makes them think of all the other things they could be doing when they aren’t online changing their profiles. Rosen then closes to her final argument by questioning if we are losing something special when we communicate with a larger amount of people instead of a smaller circle of friends. “These virtual networks greatly expand our opportunities to meet others, but they might also result in our valuing less the capacity for genuine connection” (Rosen).
She is saying that quality in friends is important, but in today’s society it is easier to find quantity than quality because online social networking can connect us to tons of friends that we drifted from in the past. This could be potentially harmful to society because a deep bond with someone is an important part of life. The effects of not having this close connection could lead to future problems with society. Rosen uses logos here to convey an eye opening tone with her readers so they will support her argument.
Online social networking is the new age of self expression where people in society critique their own profile so it can be judged by others. Christine Rosen purpose is to convey the idea that, online social networking is a dangerous manipulative addiction of self expression that is frankly a waste of time for all of society and a way to segregate your friends. She uses a bashful tone in her essay “Virtual Friendship and the New Narcissism” to appeal to similar feelings for her audience to gain support from them. Works Cited Rosen, Christine. “Virtual Friendship and the New Narcissism. ” First Year Writing Ch11 p. 321.