Author

Ryan Rinn

Date of Award

Spring 2004

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Rhetoric & Comm Studies

Abstract

This project examines the relationship between technology and the self. Based largely on Gergen's (1991, 2000) descriptions of technological immersion and the saturated self, I discuss the ways that modem technologies have come to be a part of self-construction. Survey and focus group data from 63 university students are used to examine types of technological use, talk about technological experience, and self-construction. This paper describes the contradictory ways participants talk about technology, and defines nine themes of self emergence in participant discussion: 1) connection, 2) over-connection, 3) ease/laziness, 4) multitasking, 5) profile stalking, 6) loss of physical presence, 7) empowerment, 8) privacy, and 9) 'real' communication. Themes interrelate showing a web of negotiations of self as seen in the talk of participants.

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