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Identity and the Social Media - Essay Example

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The immediacy of the format, the control that the user has in directing his formed identity, and the counterbalance that occurs as others can shadow and change that created identity creates an unprecedented sense of self, feeding narcissism while allowing for quick paced constructions and destructions of identifying characteristics. The social media has provided a new way in which to create an identity through almost endless modes of expression which has extended the way in which self-awareness and actualization is now occurring.
Because of the nature of consumerism, Western culture has developed a great deal of power within the global community. The consumerist philosophy has begun to overtake many cultures revealing an effort through commercialized enterprise to Westernize each culture that is infiltrated (Ritzer 84). The imagery of the Western culture provides such a rich and abundant concept that the transfer of the materialistic nature of consumerist ideals seems to be the path on which to find a better life through contentment and happiness that is developed through materialistic gains (Prosser and Sitaram 12). Where the beginnings of Westernization of other cultures were once begun through colonization, consumerism from the West has become an infection that has created a desired Westernization in contrast to the undesirable state of colonization. Western companies have brought ideals to other cultures and have influenced demand, thus changing many aspects of other cultures in such a way as to equalize all of the world.
The consumerist culture has become extended through ‘new media’ which has created a state of existence in which the middle class now has access to the status of celebrity through the ability to communicate on a global level. Communications have developed in such a way as to have created great changes in the way in which people interact and pass information. New media can be defined as internet interactions, cellular communications and the technologies that have emerged from these forms of interactions (Lister 9). The concept of new media, however, is far beyond that of the tangible technologies. New media refers to the evolutionary break that has divided the world before the growth of the internet and the universe that has emerged since it has become so central to the way in which most aspects in life have been affected. The shift in the way humans communicate is profound, creating a new type of interaction that can be associated in importance with the first forms of the written word. The symbols that signify writing have changed dramatically through the new forms of media. Codified symbols are now framed for their visual impact as much for their interpretation. An example of this can be seen through the use of small letters as compared to capital letters. Small letters are seen as friendly and passive, where capital letters are interpreted for being aggressive. Receiving an internet or cellular communication that is all in capital letters can often be interpreted as hostile, the letters becoming described as ‘screaming’ or ‘yelling’, the tone inferred by the use of the capital form. This new type of visual interpretation of how something is written being emotive for the content of the message creates a form of communication that is far more complicated, even in the ways in which it has been simplified through shortening words and using only the beginning letters of words in order to communicate (Lievrouw and Livingstone 35). The complexity is in becoming part of the ...Show more


Since the 1990s, the rise of the concept of ‘new media’ has changed the way in which people communicate. Because of this shift in interpersonal communication, there has arisen a new way in which to create and express identity…
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Identity and the Social Media essay example
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