The Individual on Social Media

As I read more about narcissism and social media I began to direct my thinking more toward the actual individual. Social media, however social it may actually be, really reveals something about an individual personality. A Twitter handle reveals something about someone’s character. How many Facebook friends reveal something about an individual’s social status, to an extent. Self-esteem is also extremely powerful when it comes to social media. I think it’s interesting to utilize the term “self-esteem” when talking about social media, because it is clearly about one’s self. However, social media is supposed to generate social contact with many people. In my opinion, I have come across more ways that social media benefits the self, rather than a social community.

The utilization of social media displays an individualistic portion of society. I never thought about social media on such a personal level, until now. I realize that social media and society may not go so hand-in-hand as many people think. Rather, does social media promote individualism more so than a social connection? I’m not so sure many people understand the value of social media for what it really is. I think social media should be used very differently than we see it used today. We can make important connections and contacts on social media. However, our society has created social media as a tool to represent one’s identity.

For example, Linked In is one of the most utilized social media sites for employers and employees. The intension of Linked In is to present your resume and self identify so that potential employers can find you. However, I began thinking, does Linked In promote one’s self FOR one’s self, or for someone else? This question is very deep and I will have to analyze it further. However, it seems that all of these social sites truly create a space for an individual to impress his or her self, rather than the intended audience. Social media is almost like a performance of one’s self. And, if so, are you really who you portray yourself to be online? Perhaps the greatest influence of social media can be to analyze yourself on a deeper level than ever before. It can be used to facilitate self-analysis depending on the way you represent yourself online. I have a lot more to find out about this topic of individualism and social media. I’m looking forward to finding out some new research!

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