Life on the Screen

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Symposium:


Presentation Title:

  • Life on the Screen

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Abstract:

  • On the Internet people are able to inhabit multiple worlds and explore multiple aspects of the self. For individuals, online life can serve as a sort of moratorium or “time-out”, a time of experimentation that facilitates the development of identity. For organizations, virtual communities offer a place for experimenting, parallel play, an environment for working through new ideas. Although many speak about a movement from a psychoanalytic to a computer culture, the reality is more complex. Our need for a practical philosophy of self-knowledge, one that does not shy away from issues of multiplicity, complexity, and ambivalence, has never been greater as we struggle to make meaning from our lives on the screen. It is fashionable to think that we have passed from a psychoanalytic culture to a computer culture – that we no longer need to think in terms of Freudian slips but rather of information processing errors. But the reality is more complex. It is time to rethink our relationship to the computer culture and psychoanalytic culture as a proudly held joint citizenship.