Tuesday, March 1, 2016

With All the Advances of Technology,are We Losing Individuality?

My name is Tailor and I think that social media has decreased people's ability to know me as an individual. I personally do not put up a lot of information on social media sites because I would rather people get to know me for me and not for my likes on Facebook...

Technology has an intricate part of our society in modern times. People have the ability to be heard and express themselves globally with only a few clicks on a keyboard. Is the way we use technology, however, destroying our individuality instead of making it better?

We live in a culture where everything is accessible and information is at our fingertips. We are a global culture that craves individuality and has the desire to express ourselves.

Humans have always wanted to be recognized for their individualism. Martin Luther is a perfect example. He was in a society where everyone followed the church despite corrupt practices. He did not agree and was brave enough to stand up for his individual beliefs and break away from the Catholic Church forming his own religion. 

In a TED talk given by Parul Bansal, she explains how humans need in-person interactions to develop themselves and who they are. The media gives a screen for people to hide behind so they lose the experiences that would help them develop themselves. 

We do not need to go looking for chances to express ourselves anymore. Social media instantly provides buttons for us to press and select what types of music, people, books, etc. we like. We do not have to search anymore. Individuality is easy to find and therefore means less.

In times before technology, people had to determine who they were without posting their feeling to Facebook. The novel Jane Eyre shows how a woman must make her own choices (even when everyone around her tells her to take a certain path) and fight to be her own individualistic person.

This brings me to how expressing ourselves in modern fashions can be dangerous. Cyber bullying has become a way in which people can tear down their peers for their opinions or beliefs.

Personally, I used to post my opinions on politics or big viral trends. I was personally attacked for my political beliefs and after feeling awkward so many times for offending someone who thought differently than I did, I stopped socially expressing my opinions.

A touchy example is the recent supreme court decision on homosexual marriage. Although many people are not homosexual, they supported the decision. Many of my friends who gave their support do not actually believe in homosexuality, they voted pro only because they "do not want anyone to be offended".

Technology gives us the opportunity to have our opinions seen and heard, but there are so many groups publicly acknowledged, whatever we say we will offend someone. We lose our individualism by being afraid to say anything in order to avoid contention or being cyber-bullied.

Everyone wants to be an individual but nobody is really sure how to do it anymore. Technology makes it too easy to be overlooked. Because if everyone is saying their opinions, will yours even be listened to?


  1. Hey girl. Love this topic and I have thought a lot about the same stuff that you have ... can I share with you why I think people have a hard time focusing on themselves and having real life experiences outside of social media?? I believe it's because they've forgotten the true "why" of life ... A lot of people can claim that a cool nature picture they took on social media is because they are so in love with nature and helps them feel so apart from the world ... but is that why they felt the need to share is on social media? I personally would rather find myself lost in a beautiful forest living in that moment and finding out what a sacred moment like that means to me, rather than thinking about how many likes this could get me on Facebook. Everything becomes a "like opportunity" and not a "moment to remember".

  2. Nice work! I especially loved your last notecard by referencing the iconic "thumbs-up" from facebook and giving it a big "thumbs down."

    Have you considered studying technology and social media as an addiction? It seems like a lot of the side effects of social media that you described could be considered as the result of addiction. Some people get addicted to attention. Others get addicted to being right and thus look for the wrong in everyone else. Others may long for human interaction but never learned how to get it so they scroll through endless images and posts, and become addicted to the pseudo-attention that they find there.

    Just a thought!

  3. Awesome topic. So important and relevant to our lives. I personally have seen the effect of people being afraid to share who they really are online because they are afraid it won't be liked or retweeted. Much of young people's self-esteem today come from the number of followers, friends, likes, or shares they receive on their social media accounts. I too think that it is a problem, but I am missing something... The solution.

    You have a compelling way of presenting the problem, but I would love to see more of a claim of how to fix it. Even if it is not a bullet proof argument, I want to hear your solution to this problem.