Is Social Media Making Us All the Same?

In modern times, even though more information is available now than ever before and multiple social media platform provides chances to people express themselves, the herd continues to beckon. A famous philosopher Immanuel Kant once said “it is not an inability to think clearly and feel deeply that prevents the common person from embracing his or her autonomy, but rather a matter of overcoming laziness and cowardice.” People from every culture background share one common characteristic called “mob psychology”. People are easy to conform to the masses, especially to the leaders in the areas. Simply by following others will in some extent make people feel safe. And most of the time, people behave like this unconsciously, followed herd mentality rules.

Under the circumstance of fast speed of social media development, the market research firm eMarketer predicts that by 2016 around 5.4 million more Americans will join the nearly 180 million U.S. users already on social media. No matter it is the social media platform from American like Facebook, Twitter or the social media platform from China like Wechat and Weibo, they all provide great opportunities for people to express their own thoughts and beliefs. But the problem is that people are tends to express themselves in person. On the social media platform, they always behave differently and follow by others.

It is fine to put our faith and believes in others. But a little bit of specialization helps everybody. We need to make good use of information from multiple social media and have the ability to stand athwart to the crowd.

Questions:

  • Do you think it is the social media making us all the same?
  • Do you think if make good use of the influence of social media, people will truly express themselves?

Link to my article:

http://www.psmag.com/nature-and-technology/i-have-never-had-an-original-thought

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7 thoughts on “Is Social Media Making Us All the Same?

  1. I think social media does not make us all the same. People post different things such as:
    -things about their day
    -entertainment trends
    -social issues
    -political topics
    -sports
    -some who hardly post.

    Looking at my Facebook friends, I can definitely group people into different categories so I would not consider everyone the same.

    • Thanks for your answering. But I don’t think the author literally means that everyone will be the same. In my opinion, people tend to follow the leaders or outstanding people in the areas rather than think by their own. Most of the time, it is unconscious.

  2. I definitely think social media makes people act in a certain and similar way. People put forth their ‘best image’ on social media – maybe that is a big wedding, or checking into a popular restaurant, etc. I think this puts pressure on people – people who would perhaps otherwise choose a different lifestyle feel that they must conform to the choices of their peers to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance. As the article mentions, herd mentality truly does rule.

  3. I agree that social media would prevent people from thinking and contemplating to some extent. For example, Facebook generates traffic by “likes” mechanic. When we see million likes posts or Fan Pages, we are likely to agree without pondering whatever the contents are delivering. This is because everyone are more likely to go with the flow than to disagree. Since flaws are difficult to reveal, these contents are prompt to influence others in an unconscious way. Life is always easier when you choose the majority side. However, should there be “dislike” button for disagreements, people might spare some time to think whether they agree or not. But this might not be seen on Facebook: Who would want to post something that would receive disagreements?
    This is why social media plays an important role and why influencers are responsible for their public speeches. Personally, I believe education is the key of personality whatever way it is transmitted.

  4. One common thing usually happens on social media is that, when one topic comes out, one idea is dominant at first, and then some different ideas comes out and becomes stronger and stronger. Then people are divided into two different groups and begin to debate. But neither group can convince the other one, so it finally becomes a fight.
    I don’t think social media are making us the same. It actually makes people with similar ideas together. However, even some people are similar in one topic, they may become enemies on some other topics. Of course, some opinion leaders have greater influence than common people, and people are likely to follow the mainstream, but it is similar to what’s happening in the real world.

  5. I think a lot of individuals on social media try to project the best image of themselves and aren’t necessarily acting authentic. Many people try to appease others and say what they believe others want them to say. I think most people are still afraid to be the odd-man-out by voicing their true opinions or taking a stand against popular thought/beliefs. I also believe that many users act similar, but I would not say the same as I could certainly point out different friends on Facebook or Twitter that are more like others and/or very different from myself or someone else in beliefs, likes, or even content that they produce.

    • Thank you for your comments! I think the word “same” is kind of warning. Also people are more likely to follow by others instead of to be the odd-man-out like you said and this kind of characteristic is in our nature. Social media platform is just a new vehicle to show it.

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