How Social Media Influences Cultural Identity

Topics: Identity, Internet, Cultural identity Pages: 4 (1314 words) Published: February 24, 2014
As technology continues to develop in our modern world, so does our cultural identity. From the beginning of the Internet in the early 1990s, people have already started relying on computers to store and share files within companies and shared groups of people. As the Internet’s development accelerated to the 2000s, the identity of individuals began to change. The world-wide web’s name itself tells us what it is; information constructed on a web with world-wide information. For people with access to this information, they learn about different cultures subliminally, therefore, shaping their cultural identity without physically touching or interacting with anyone. The Internet, as a whole, is part of non-essentialism, giving people different perspectives, and creating more open minded-ness.

America Online and MSN messenger are two of the most prominent examples of early interaction between people through e-mail and instant messaging. Users begin creating custom and unique “usernames”, many of which include a favourite number, a particular interest, or simply their name. Usernames are already a sign of someone’s persona. For example, if someone was an avid vase collector, their username could go alone the lines of “ilove_vases,” so that their friends and family would automatically know who that person is online. They can also put their favourite number in that username, making it become “ilove_vases11.” But the Internet did not bring on this type of identity formation; the Internet just enabled everyone to create these usernames. Comparatively, Facebook enables everyone to personalize their profiles in many different aspects, giving more room to show their cultural identities. From types of pictures a user chooses to upload, to the pages they are actively involved in, Facebook has provided the platform for fostering an individual’s cultural identity.

In our society, people generally want to feel normal. This is why different people have a certain...
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