« The Performance of Authenticity on Social Media »
This conference begins with a premise, that the self on social media is suspended between authenticity and performance. The dilemma, which may be an opportunity too, is that the « authentic » self must be performed—enacted, with forethought and even calculation. To stage manage oneself, then, is to violate a tenet of authenticity: that expression should be spontaneous and unrehearsed. The conference develops this contradiction, first, with reference to the performance of self in face-to-face life, in the context of twentieth-century consumer culture. A second, broader context is the modern emergence of the authenticity ideal itself, alongside the competing ideal of self-possession—treating oneself as an object to be worked on. The tension between, and the blending of, these two ideals is set in sharp relief on social media, owing to most platforms’ performative control. The result is calculated authenticity: Be true to yourself; it is to your strategic advantage.
Mardi 13 juin 2023
ENS Paris Saclay, Gif sur Yvette