HomePHAVISMINDA Journalvol. 11 no. 1 (2012)


Dennis Paul P. Guevarra



It is widely believed that we have gradually advanced to the point of a more mature acquaintance with online social networking sites (SNSs) which form, inform, and shape altogether the architectural backdrop of our everyday communication routines. What remains of this intimate acquaintance with SNSs is a series of images, sounds, digital texts, optical indexes of digitized meditations and exchanges; their power draws on registers of visual and psychic experience than those organized around embodied sensory experience. SNSs are changing the forms, dynamics, scope, scale of agency and social relationships, thus challenging the most significant ‘container’ of meaning that modern philosophy has ever invented— the conscious human self. Within this increasing complexity of contemporary social life brought about by information multiplicity and virtuality, I intend to rearticulate the imperiled concepts of ‘self’ and ‘community’. This paper is acutely conscious of the irrevocability, broad dispersion, and centrality of SNSs (like Facebook) as they have now become the organizing principle of our contemporary social existence. Danah Boyd, a prolific scholar in the geography of technology, defines SNSs as

web-based services that allow individuals to (1) construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, (2) articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection and (3) view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system. (Boyd and Ellison 2007)