Technology’s Impact On Our Personal Identities
In today’s world, we are constantly exposed to the technological advances that we are making as a society. Whether it is radio, TV, internet, or even newspapers, there is always something there in our daily lives that broadcasts itself through social media. Social media has taken over the world due to its incredible ability to connect people with each other at any given time, any given place, and with remarkable speed and precision. It is mind blowing to think that we can know what all of our friends are doing, where they are, and even the mood they are in at the touch of a screen.
Whether it is Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, or Instagram, people in this day and age are continuously connected with one another at all times. We have friends on these platforms, and for many people the number of friends on their social media accounts seem to have more importance than the number of friends they have in real life. It is very easy to accept friend requests; you only have to click yes. When we accept a friend request, it may make us feel good because somebody took the time to friend request you, but does that really make them your friend?
Stephen Marche of The Atlantic poses the question, “is Facebook making us lonely?” He goes on to claim that social media is interfering with our true friendships, which is counterintuitive to the entire point of social media. Its original goal was to connect everybody together and to eliminate that horrible feeling of isolation and loneliness, yet in reality, it is doing just the opposite. The ability to sit behind a screen and type your messages to people eliminates the necessity of meeting someone in person and speaking with them face to face. Although the convenience of social media is beneficial, it is extremely easy to fall into the trap of using it for more than what it originally was meant for.
We run into personal identity issues through social media because of how it can take over our lives going completely unnoticed. How is one able to identify who they really are when they are consistently bombarded with who everyone else in the world is? Social media can deteriorate true friendships which is a huge part of our identity; we tend to surround ourselves with people who share the same core values and interests. If social media takes these friendships away, we are left with nobody to identify with which makes us question our own identity.
Another issue with our personal identity revolves around narcissism. By posting hundreds of pictures of ourselves and seeing how we look in each one as well as constantly monitoring our status of how our virtual image appears to the rest of the world we isolate ourselves from the real world. One’s identity on social media becomes the priority which produces the consequence of losing one’s identity in reality. In extreme cases, a false identity can be developed online that a person may identify with, completely leaving their true identity behind.
In a world that is driven by social media, our identities’ fate is inevitable. Despite social media’s initial positive goals, it has drastically affected people’s ability to not only establish, but also believe in their personal identity.