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Sexuality is decentred, Conceptualising Intimacy and Friendship 45 highlighting the flexible and changeable nature of all modes of intimacy. It opens the way to more flexibility and choice. In late modernity, intimacy is based on pleasure, autonomy and freedom from constraints. As part of this, a plastic sexuality emerges which functions as a symbol of individual identity and radical sexual choices. This approach establishes the temporary nature of relationships, the conditional nature of commitment and a disconnection of sex from reproduction and family duty.

This is approached by examining the distinctive attributes and affordances of each medium that foster an affiliation between technical and emotional dimensions of personal communication as mediated interaction. The second section provides an account of Castell’s (2009) concept of mass self-communication to highlight the changing quality of communication and develop the notion of media multiplicity. The third section extends the theme by examining the implications of the polycentrality of media.

A great appeal of this medium, then, is that it seems to be unobtrusive and can foster a strong sense of personal control over the technology in a way that immediate synchronous mediums of communication rule out. Broadbent explains that this is why people often give out their Facebook address to others more readily than their email address. Yet, as detailed in Chapter 7 on Internet dating, the News Feed feature can be especially intrusive and distressing such as when someone is struggling to cope with a relationship break-up and discovers that their ex-partner has changed their relationship status overnight and posted details and photos of their new partner on News Feed to celebrate a new relationship (see Gershon 2010).

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