Hi, my name is Katelyn Dalton, and social definitions and online interactions matter to me because I'm a college student trying to learn how to market myself in a world where our digital footprint says more about who we are than we ourselves can. Here is my idea:
In Plato's allegory of the cave, Plato describes a situation in which several individuals are chained to the ground in a way that they can only face the wall ahead of them. On this wall, they see several shadows. Some of these shadows they see so frequently that they begin to name them. In reality, these shadows come from people and objects passing in front of a fire behind the imprisoned individuals. However, because the shadows are all they can see, they believe the shadows to be the reality. For more information, click here.
Similarly, our perception of reality is leaning more and more towards a virtual reality.
How do you define yourself? How do you define other people? If you're going to go on a blind date with someone, what's the first thing you do? #facebookstalking
"There is no hiding offline; with or without you, people are talking about your organization online and on social media...the digital footprints you leave behind...write your corporate history." (Matejic, Nicole. Social Media Rules of Engagement: Why Your Online Narrative Is the Best Weapon during a Crisis.)
Average activity per second on various social media sites. This is how we communicate! Opportunities for interaction have skyrocketed.
"Say you want to say something that is not based on a fact, pick a fight or ignore someone you don't like. Theses are all natural human impulses, but because of technology, acting on these impulses is only one click away." -Wael Ghonim
Where interactions centuries ago occurred face to face with people we knew, we can now, with minimal effort, interact with thousands of people at the touch of a button. And more interaction = more opportunities for conflict.
"It becomes really hard to change our opinions. Because of the speed and brevity of social media, we are forced to jump to conclusions and write sharp opinions in 140 characters about complex world affairs. And once we do that, it lives forever on the internet, and we are less motivated to change these views, even when new evidence arises."-Wael Ghonim
When the main source of information we have regarding individuals is their social media profiles, of which there is a plethora, we tend to categorize and label people.
While social media facilitates communication, it also makes it easier to stereotype. We start to define people based on what they say on the internet--but is that such a bad thing?