chapter  7
Social media and the care of the self
ByGanaele Langlois
Pages 15

The past few years have been marked by the rise of a new critique of corporate social media. Focused on software, networks and algorithms, this critique examines how specific articulations of the technical, the economic, and the psycho-social radically redefine and ultimately short-circuit processes of self-production and self-exploration. Indeed, from Stiegler’s exploration of technical deindividuation through the mining of the psyche within informational and semio-capitalist contexts, to software studies’ investigation of the non-human, automated shaping of conditions of existence, we are currently seeing the emergence of a new political economy of the psycho-social. Through such analyses, we see that corporate social media radically intervenes in the processes through which we make sense of ourselves and others, and through which we develop both intra-psychic and inter-psychic bonds. In this chapter, the author examines how Foucault’s exploration of the care of the self can open the door to a reconceptualization social platforms. The author argues that while much has been done in terms of envisioning and designing alternative social networks that answer to important political questions such as freedom from surveillance and guarantee of anonymity, the question of sociality and the building of reflective spaces of where one can engage in an ethics of becoming to oneself, to the world and to others has been somewhat under-explored. In turn, this chapter asks how we can envision software-based practices for the care of the self.