Have you ever been catfished? Has the Internet opened up your social life, or has it enclosed you in a tight circle of people you already know? Adrian Chen examines social life and social media in this February 2013 essay from New Inquiry.
- Chen mentions the ideas of Zadie Smith and J.C.R. Lidlicker as his They Say. Does he agree—or argue—with either of them? With both? How do you know? Cite examples from the article to support your conclusion.
- Chen states that except for dating sites, there is a stigma attached to Internet acquaintances and “two strangers meeting online is still suspicious.” Do you agree? Why or why not?
- Chen establishes his authority by means of personal anecdotes. Do his disclosures enhance his credibility for you? Why or why not?
- According to Chen, Facebook makes it unlikely that people would have online interactions with anyone that they don’t already know by doing away with all anonymity on the internet. As he says, “No anonymity means no strangers.” He asserts further that Facebook itself encourages shallow interactions, such as “poking” and “the exchange of trivial information.” Would you say that this an accurate assessment of your own Facebook participation? Why or why not? Write an essay using your own experience as evidence and take a position supporting or refuting Chen’s assertions.