Mediated Intimacy


The word intimate, a state, I particularly have mixed feelings about.
it originates from late latin from the word intimare/intimat ‘made Know’. most recent definitions would include: to be closely acquainted; familiar, private and personal or a very close friend.
we often want to feel connected to people and even more often than that we would relish in the idea of being even “supernaturally” linked to that one. other times we wouldn’t want the world to see us in certain states worst of all the one person you want to perceive you as beyond flaws.
I quite agree with Vetere when he states that intimacy is a crucial element of domestic life and many interactive technologies have been appropriated for use in intimate relationships. Today’s digital devices and networked society have provided us a new way of experiencing intimacy, a new medium for intimacy. These technologies, as described by Gaver, provide a feeling of the presence of remote lovers.
although Vetere’s research argues the material and background intimate relationships that make intimate acts are ephemeral and transient making it difficult to study and different from other kinds of relationships typically studied

according to Lauren  Berlant Intimacy build worlds; it creates spaces and usurps places meant for other kinds of relation. Its potential failure to stabilize closeness always haunts its persistent activity, making the very attachments deemed to buttress “a life” seem in a state of constant if latent vulnerability

While the informational content of intimate acts may be low and seemingly trivial to outsiders, the act itself can be laden with emotional significance for those involved. Intimate acts often entail self-disclosure, and thus privacy is a concern. Much of what passes between intimates is unsaid and premised on deep knowledge and understanding of one another and occurs in the context of a rich, shared and sometimes idiosyncratic view of the world that may be difficult for others to fathom and comprehend. Intimacy also involves assumptions about commitment and mutuality. It carries nuanced expectations for reciprocity and exchange that are negotiated and arrived at over many years, yet remains fragile and is occasionally misjudged leading to misunderstandings and conflict.(Vetere 2005)

This brings to mind the famous Freudian Psychoanalytic theory of the Id, ego, and Super-ego.  According to Freud’s model of the psyche, the id is the primitive and instinctual part of the mind that contains sexual and aggressive drives and hidden memories, the super-ego operates as a moral conscience, and the ego is the realistic part that mediates between the desires of the id and the super-ego.Although each part of the personality comprises unique features, they interact to form a whole, and each part makes a relative contribution to an individual’s behavior.

in a networked society, the id is represented by the physical/real, the ego can be glimpsed in social media constantly asking us to compartmentalize and conform to popular trends, while the super-ego played by online avatars which mediate between the appetites of this “post-human” Id and super-ego

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