Brandon Ambrosino is a writer focusing on the intersection of religion, culture and technology. His pieces have appeared in The New York Times, Boston Globe, The Atlantic, The Economist, Politico, The Wilson Quarterly, Smithsonian Magazine, Globe and Mail, Playboy, and the BBC, among other outlets. He is a graduate student at Villanova University.
"Social Media and the Concept of Now"
We become nostalgic for the present, as Frederic Jameson has noted, when “we draw back from our immersion in the here and now … and grasp it as a kind of thing.” But is it really possible to thing-ify the present? Doesn’t the present become un-presented the moment we try to grasp it at all? Yet our culture has increasingly come to believe that the present is experienced only by grasping it — in a status, in a live feed, in a photograph. As Nathan Jurgenson argues, social media “forces us to view our present as increasingly a potentially documented past.” How has social media altered our understanding of the present? What effect does this new understanding have on our sense of self and community? This talk will briefly explore these questions with an eye toward theology and ethics.