Intimacy and Friendship on Facebook

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2013-03-22
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

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'I'll Facebook you!' We utter these words so casually, yet they signify subtle changes in the nature of intimacy. Facebook has become richly woven through everyday life. It is our default medium for transforming new acquaintances into hopefully more intimate friendships. In a previous age, certain social relationships would 'slip away'; now Facebook allows us to capture them in virtual space. We sustain intimate bonds on the move and over great distances of space and time. Yet, we assemble a collage of different personae, each offering a different kind of intimacy, each a potential danger. Intimacy on Facebook theorises the impact of Facebook on our social ties and identities through the lens of intimacy. Drawing on in-depth qualitative research, Lambert argues that Facebook is intensifying the social labour needed to sustain and protect interpersonal intimacy, contributing to a state of 'intensive intimacy'. He addresses central questions regarding public intimacy: Does publishing our intimacies enrich our interpersonal lives or is it indicative of a more narcissistic, confessional culture? Facebook demands a novel, dynamic understanding intimacy in a world where the contours of privacy are eroding.

Author Biography

Alex Lambert is a new media researcher and writer based at the University of Melbourne.

Table of Contents

1. Discovering Intimacy on Facebook
2. Frameworks: Privacy, Performance, Social Capacity
3. Methodology
4. The Performance of Connection
5. Distant Intimacy
6. Prosthetic Intimacy
7. When Insecurity Looms
8. Negotiating Intimacy

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