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Where have all the Snowflakes Gone?

on May 9, 2012

The latest craze, for a while now, has been to a part of some kind of social network, whether it be Friendster, mySpace and now FaceBook.  The amount of participants on facebook is astounding, but few have questioned why such sites are so popular. It was mentioned that Facebook’s popularity has to do with the idea that people think they are these unique snowflakes and individuals with their own thoughts, thereby choosing Facebook as the mode of self-expression.  I find this reasoning very believable, as I’ve heard several people say that this (Facebook) is a place where I can express my identity and be myself.  But it bothers me so much that these people do not see the faultiness in such reasoning.  If everyone is using the same social media site to show off their “individuality” or “self-expression” then doesn’t the fact that everyone else is using the same site/ doing the same thing totally defeat the purpose of anyone doing something unique?  So even in our attempts to be unique, one can see commonplace conformity.

I do admit that I like the idea that facebook can connect you with people you haven’t seen in a while and with the friends you have now.  My sister is always telling me about the people she found on facebook.  BUT if you do not see or interact closely with any of your online “friends” for a long then one might argue that these people are not really a friend, but more of an acquaintance, in which case its not extremely important to see/ interact with these people.  In other words, if someone was really your friend then wouldn’t you make the time to see those people IN REAL LIFE or at the very least talking to them in person over the phone.  I think in such a way, social media is making friendships/ interactions artificial.

Another interesting thing that I have seen people on facebook do is blog about what they did today.  Is this really necessary?  REALLY!  I just don’t see the reasoning why people who are again not necessarily your friends, need to know every aspect of your life.  Has the concept of privacy lost all meaning?  Sometimes the details are so boring too.  I’ve seen people say, so brought my laptop to school today.  So what!  Do people who post these little details about themselves, love themselves that much?  Or is it because of the uniqueness again?  Do those people think that no one else is bringing their laptop to school too? Maybe its just me, but when people feel the need to tell everyone, every little detail of their life, where they’ve been, what they’re doing and who they’re dating, etc, I feel like these people are fulfilling a need to brag/ sell/ show off about themselves. In many ways, people are posting these comments about themselves because they think that their comments/ experiences are unique.  But when a person looks closer at the comments & the pictures one can see similarities, (it’s reasonable to expect that there are bound to be similarities, there are how many thousands of facebook users?).  But when similarities are seen, doesn’t that end notions of individuality?

A few years ago, I heard a relative saying, “What is it about young generations, why are they so self centered and feel the need to tell everyone about themselves on the internet?”  I didn’t consider younger generations as being self-centered, especially since I am part of the younger generations.  But when I thought about it, this comment is very true.  I’ve heard similar comments about the millenial generation, those born between 1980- 2001.  In a book called the Trophy Kids Grow Up, millenials are described as being characterized as the “It’s All About Me” generation.  Through facebook, will young users show that their one contribution to the world is talking about themselves?  I certainly hope not.


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