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Muchnick, R. Buirski, P. (2016). Social Media as Organizing But Not Transforming Self-Experience. Int. J. Psychoanal. Self Psychol., 11(2):142-151.

(2016). International Journal of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology, 11(2):142-151

Social Media as Organizing But Not Transforming Self-Experience

Risa Muchnick, Psy.D. and Peter Buirski, Ph.D., ABPP

Much sociological and psychological research has been done on excessive or “addictive” Internet use, with increased attention paid to the use of social media sites in particular. This article attempts to understand the addictive engagement with social media from the perspective of self psychology and intersubjective systems theory. This article proposes that social media shares various characteristics with selfobject experience, thus making its use attractive to those longing for missing selfobject experience or the correction of painful self-experience from the past. We will discuss how selfobject experience transforms; outline the way in which social media mimics selfobject experience; examine how such characteristics are alluring to those craving selfobject experience; and explore how the unique interaction between the user and the site affects whether the site contributes to transforming, growth-promoting selfobject experience or becomes a form of self-experience that organizes but fails to transform.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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