In The Present Age, Kierkegaard laments the absence of action and the elevation of endless discourse, which he calls reflection. Action springs from faith, but reflection, which nurtures indolence, is the defining feature of a public made in the image of the media. Drawing on qualitative research conducted in Ghana, I interrogate how well Kierkegaard’s public is recognisable within the digital cultures emerging on social media. I argue that while social media can promote faith-based action as in online church, its logics of commodification and consumerism impinge strongly on the faith-minded pursuit for authentic selfhood.
Agana-Nsiire Agana is a PhD candidate at the University of Edinburgh School of Divinity. He researches the relationship between social media and personhood through a theological lens.