Rowan enjoying a blue lollipop and missing her left eye.

Cancer, Loss, Change

I wouldn't argue that such support is necessarily "consensus" and later in this installation I will address a particularly charged conflict within the community. Nor am I speaking for the internet here as a mass many-to-many communicative technology as much as I am speaking of social media, which I would like to frame as a particular one-to-group-and-back-again communicative technology. It's not here comes everybody all at once. Social media are not groups of everybody; rather they enable groups of particular people. One of social media's most unique properties is its ability to put us into proximity with others—to allow both patient thinking and immediate response. [Note 5]

Nor would I argue that all rhetorical support is necessarily good in a strictly moral sense. As many recent critics of social media have pointed out, these technologies and practices can just as easily support terrorism, fascism, oppression, or hate as they can justice, democracy, liberation, or love. But I would argue that such technologies open the possibility for "goodness" and ethics in a pre-moral, ontological, ethical, rhetorically supportive sense. At least they're hating together. My precise interest isn't in the hate of course, but in the potential to come together in new ways, if only because coming into contact, coming together, has the potential to help break us apart. Recalling Kristeva, the reaction to breaking apart can be humility or anger, love or hate. We, as instructors in rhetoric and composition and communication—as scholars across the humanities—have to invest our time, passion, and energy into helping determine how our technologies will determine us.