Top Four Paper: Sartre, Social Media, and Bad Faith: A New Perspective on Love

James Ewing Butler University
Faculty Sponsor(s): Kyle Furlane Butler University
In this paper, I will take up the existentialist philosophic tradition, specifically the work of Jean-Paul Sartre, to further explore the personal and social implications of social media use. I will examine two recent contributions to the subject, one from Michael Lopato and another from Joseph Jose, who discuss social media and Sartrean love. Lopato examines Sartre’s idea of the Look through social media, concluding that social media cannot facilitate loving relationships. Jose, while he superficially agrees with this conclusion, argues that love is not possible for Sartre in the first place, thus rendering Lopato’s argument severely misguided and redundant. I approach the question of love from a different perspective, namely Sartre’s concept of “bad faith.” From this point of view, I maintain that it is possible to use social media in good faith, or authentically, depending on a combination of what I call the user’s being-orientation and time-spent. With this conclusion in mind, and perhaps a more generous interpretation of Sartre’s conception of love, one can begin to rethink the possibility of love through social media use.
Competitive Paper--All Disciplines (includes an Oral Presentation)
Competitive Paper (includes an Oral Presentation)

When & Where

12:15 PM
Atherton Union Reilly Room