Social e:Lanier’s book
Read and responded to Lanier’s ten arguments for deleting social media. You’ve moved through 2000+ years of rhetorical theory, and you have produced and analyzed different argumentation methods.
At this point, we’ve come to the 20th and 21st centuries. Contemporary research about argumentation often focuses on argument as much broader than public, political, and judicial texts. Instead, scholars today often focus on how we are persuaded by popular and mass media.
This would include social media. Scholars today argue that social media is as relevant as a form of communication like any other. Just like we’ve studied speeches, essays, letters, and literature, they would also argue that we can also study Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Slack, Tik Tok, Snapchat, Tumblr, and Reddit. Social media is communication.
Consider, then, these definitions of rhetoric (remember, rhetoric = persuasion/argumentation) from 20th and 21st-century scholars and substitute “rhetoric” for “social media”.
“Rhetoric is that which creates an informed appetite for the good.” (Richard Weaver, 1948)
“Rhetoric is rooted in an essential function of language itself, a function that is wholly realistic and continually born anew: the use of language as a symbolic means of inducing cooperation in being that by nature respond to symbols” (Kenneth Burke, 1950).
“Rhetoric is the art of discovering warrantable beliefs and improving those beliefs in shared discourse… the art of probing what we believe we ought to believe, rather than proving what is true according to abstract methods” (Wayne Booth, 1964).
“Rhetoric is a mode of altering reality, not by the direct application of energy to objects, but by the creation of discourse which changes reality through the mediation of thought and action” (Lloyd Bitzer, 1968).
“We should not neglect rhetoric’s importance, as if it were simply a formal superstructure or technique exterior to the essential activity. Rhetoric is something decisive in society… [T]here are no politics, there is no society without rhetoric, without the force of rhetoric” (Jacques Derrida, 1990).
“Rhetoric is the art, practice, and study of [all] human communication” (Andrea Lunsford, 1995).
“Rhetoric appears as the connective tissue peculiar to civil society and to its proper
Pick one quotation from those below and replace “rhetoric” with “social media.” Considering these quotations, how does Lanier’s book hold up when viewed through contemporary scholarship?
Develop your response using 1 outside source in a response of approximately 250 – 500 words. If you’re struggling to develop your discussion, you may find guidance on this page useful: Writing Toolkit: Developing Your Discussions.