Social Interaction, the Internet and the Self

Topics: Sociology, Facebook, Social network service Pages: 4 (1196 words) Published: November 2, 2012
How has the internet affected the way we are socialized? How might that affect our sense of self and the way we relate to one another in society? Utilize the theories/concepts you have learnt and reflect on the issues that Sherry Turkle raised in her talk.

When I first read this assignment, I immediately thought of Facebook, and my love-hate relationship with it. Facebook has become part of our culture, whether we like it or not.

One of the great accomplishments of Facebook is that it enables us to reach out to people we know, enlarging our social network, keeping us in touch regardless of time and place. In short, it makes the world a whole lot smaller than we had originally thought.

It also encourages us to reach out to people we barely have any associations with. I remember when I was young, I was taught not to talk to strangers on the street, let alone on the Internet. Nowadays, it is rarely seen as a strange act (Fig.1). That goes to show that culture is adaptive and always changing. Our generation has discarded technological aspects of meeting people and making friends as it is now “more practical” to do so online. Our attitudes about how we should form our relationships with others have changed drastically.

This new culture, of course, is not merely subject to one particular group of people. “All human societies, despite their diversity, share some cultural characteristics and functions.” (Murdock,1940) According to recent statistics, there are 183,963,780 Facebook users in Asia alone, and figures are growing (Fig.2). The effect of the Internet touches all countries, all races, all genders, and all other demographics, which all the more makes such a great impact on our culture.

Whether it is on Twitter, Facebook or Google+, users all communicate by posting status updates; photos, videos, and give feedback to each other by commenting on others’ posts, but these actions are...
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