Date of Award

Fall 12-18-2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

George Pullman

Second Advisor

Mary Hocks

Third Advisor

Ashley Holmes

Fourth Advisor

Dianne Bragg


This dissertation discusses social media as it relates to human communication and connection. Topics covered include digital identity, personality development, expectations, friendship, and intimacy. The project will also address the phenomenon of short-form composition, and will relate this original term both to social media and to composition pedagogy. The dissertation also seeks to correlate the widespread usage of social media with an evaluation of whether society is more or less free because of its proliferation. The information presented and conclusions drawn are based on a small-scale research study, secondary research, and the personal observations and experiences of the author.


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