Paper Two.docx - Pittman 1 Anna Pittman Professor Robert...

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Pittman 1Anna PittmanProfessor Robert Little English 110211 March 2019Social Media’s Effect on Individuality Since the launch of the first social media platform in 1997 called Six Degrees, individualsall over the world have continued to use social media to connect. From 1997 to 2001, Six Degrees peaked to about 1 million where users were able to find “friends” and put together a profile for themselves (Ahmad). All across the world, nearly 2.77 billion people have daily access to social media, sharing both insignificant and significant events in their lives (“Number of Social Media Users Worldwide”). Social media captures cultures at large, leading many to believe they are connected to the world, and in turn, disconnecting face-to-face relationships and destroying individuality by distracting them from the world in front of them and consuming themwith the artificial images and ideas online that they promise will be satisfying. Many individuals cannot imagine their lives without social media, viewing these platforms as merely a part of life. “Every day we spend 135 minutes on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Whatsapp. It's hard to imagine a world without it, and we tend to think that before Facebook social media wasn't really a thing.” (Ahmad). Furthermore, the effect of social media platforms on the development of younger generations has proven to enforce ideologies which state that conforming to others will grant happiness. Countless images, videos, advertisement, and much more are constantly put in front of people’s faces on social media, laying out underlying messages that happiness can be found in buying a certain product or conforming to a certain trend or patterns. For example, it would be common for an independent and unique individual to join a social media platform such
Pittman 2as Instagram and experience feelings that they must change themselves in order to be accepted by their culture at large. The individual may initially join to connect with friends, but almost inevitably will experience the swarming voices that push individuals to forsake their singularity through advertisement, trends, and habits. Therefore, social media boosts and encourages conformity as it leads many to go down paths of alienation and isolation.Social media and internet trends insinuate that “everyone does it” across the entire web, leading to personality diffusion. Personality diffusion can be defined as “a part of the process of a person figuring out who they are. Typically, it is the part of adolescence when a person has not yet fully realized their social identity or defined their personality traits - and they are not activelyseeking to” (“Examples of Identity Diffusion). During formative years of adolescent lives, the massive impact of social media during the 21stcentury has led to widespread issues regarding thedevelopment of individuals. With the rise of social media, individuals are faced with constant messages and trends on social media that they are urged to conform to. For example, in recent

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