Social Media And Identity Essay

991 Words2 Pages

Identity is defined as one’s personal characteristics or attributes and their membership of a social category. In today’s society it is important to note how social media impacts upon our individual identities. To begin with, we technically are not born with identity; it is a socially constructed attribute. Identity is a transient thing, which changes over time as we grow and mature. The self-concept, which is our own personal understanding of who we are, combines with self awareness to cultivate a cognitive representation of the self, called identity (Aronson, Wilson, & Akert, 2010, p.118). In other words, who we are is controlled by internal and external factors that combine to make us who we become. Bring new media outlets into the equation, such as the internet, and media is now regarded as an "extension of everyday life and a tool of cultural change" (Singh, 2010). Thus, identity formation, as a social concept, is being transformed in new and even more global ways. When we talk about social media and identity, what comes to mind? We all know they have a pretty complicated relationship, but how exactly is social media related to identity? In exploring the connections between social media and identity, we have realised there has been a gradual but obvious transition within the social media- identity relation. Within this essay I am going to take a look at how the linkage between social media and identity has evolved over the course of my studies. Whether consciously aware of what is being displayed or not, media plays a substantial role in influencing consumption patterns and lifestyle. Researchers noted television's power to influence even people who are illiterate. Smith-Speck and Roy (2008) explained that even individua... ... middle of paper ... ... by creating alternative personas –her different facebook profiles serving as a manifestation of the life she wished she could have had; media was a way out. The television series of this show “Catfish” shows us that there are many individuals out there like Angela, who create completely fabricated identities, for many different reasons. Whether it is malicious or a release for the person; It is an escape from reality in most cases. This alerts us to the dangers of social media, and makes us wary of meeting new people online, as all may not be what it seems. In a way, this creates a suspicious environment in the world of social media. If we don’t know the individuals we befriend on social media sites personally, how are we to know if they are real people or fictional characters produced out of the mind of someone else. In this way, a sense of identity is destroyed.

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