Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Date Information

May 2019

Department

Philosophy

First Advisor

Michael Mulnix

Abstract

This paper aims to give a philosophical examination of social media and the threat it holds towards the moral development of children, specifically their level of respect. It is not maintained that these online platforms have the ability to changes adult’s current moral character. To support my claim, I will demonstrate social media’s prevalence and importance in order to establish its ability to have a widespread impact. Moreover, I will present Confucian and Kantian moral doctrines in order to establish respect’s importance. Subsequently, I will examine the nature of social media to exhibit how its means of communication make instances of disrespect more frequent and comfortable. Since, some may argue social media has the potential for Aristotelian virtue friendship, I have also provided a detailed analysis that demonstrates the contrary. I will also explicate further on the nature of social media, as well as human nature, to describe the impact that these platforms can have on individual’s psychological wellbeing. Specifically, social media can cause an increase in narcissistic behavior, and potentially a decrease in empathy, which are contradictory to the notion of respect. Lastly, I will present the concept of the virtual self in order to explain how these psychological consequences may come about. Through these pieces of supporting evidence, it is maintained that social media is negatively effecting the level of respect people have for one another as a society.

Included in

Philosophy Commons

COinS