Jeffrey Rosen Analysis
In Jeffrey Rosen’s essay “The Naked Crowd”, he argues that people have a desire to prove and establish themselves as trustworthy in today’s society. Pressured by the public eye, many feel the need to convey personal details about themselves in order to gain this trust and feel more secure. Rosen critiques this idea, noting that if everyone exposes personal information, individuality is lost and anxiety about identity will remain. Rosen explains how individuals are constantly urged to market themselves to a world full of strangers via the Internet and its numerous social networking sites. They are expected to create a personal image that is seen as consistent and memorable. Many let out their thoughts and emotions hoping for a reassuring response from the audience. However, studies show that sharing too many personal details online may in fact have negative effects when it leads people to vent their feelings in a void, without the support of a receptive audience. Rosen also highlights how the Internet is creating an unbalanced relationship between liberty and security. He questions why people are more concerned with feeling connected than with the personal and social costs of exposure. Rosen discusses how “our conceptions of personal truthfulness has changed from sincerity to authenticity”(415). More and more people in today’s society have no problem disclosing intimate details to strangers. Some even create false images of themselves to appeal to others as trustworthy and intelligent. Rosen brings up the idea of “personal branding”, in which individuals present the best version of themselves in order to establish and maintain emotional connections with strangers. These personal branders thrive upon approval from the public, hoping to become more successful in their careers. Rosen states that amongst the chaos of everyone struggling to stand out as unique, personal branding...
Cited: Rosen, Jeffrey. The Naked Crowd: Reclaiming Security and Freedom in an Anxious Age.
Trilling, Lionel. Sincerity and Authenticity. Harvard University Press, 1972. Print.
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