Comments on Chapter 8 of “Alone Together”

I find particularly intriguing the idea that online connectivity offers extensive possibilities for experimenting with identity (p. 152) via a kind of a social moratorium. The author goes back to this line of thought near the end of the chapter (p. 168) when she speaks of a new state of the self, namely “itself”, a mode of existence characterized by uniformly treating all virtual creations as objects remaining at a certain distance.

This circle of ideas unfortunately remains undeveloped, at least in this chapter. The author focuses on various case studies, which, when summarized does not seem to support any clearly stated theoretical framework. The main question that arises then is: what exactly is the function of the snippets of “theory” (usually one or two isolated sentences scattered at seemingly arbitrary places) in relation to the whole book’s concept? I hope that will become clearer after further reading.

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