Essay on Technology Shaping Society: Establishing Identity Through Social Media

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1724 Words
Date:  2023-05-17

Culture is a fancy term that covers several aspects of society, and some of the factors that define culture include morals, beliefs, lifestyle, art, and law, among others. Several features of learning can shape a person's identity. In the current society, social media is what has been used by a majority of people to define their identity. Some of the platforms used by people in a bid to establish their identity include Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, among others. With the rise in technology, the world has become a global village where people can share information about themselves, their families, and even careers. They are rated by their viewers through what they post on social media, and they identify them with what they send to feed the world online. People have created digital galleries to post their information so that the world can identify them with what they see. It has pushed others to feel less fortunate even though people post what they want others to view and either respect them; regard them as prosperous or powerful. The paper will, therefore, analyze how social media can shape a person's identity.

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One of the ways through which social media can shape the identity of a person is through defining them from what they post. Through technology, people post about their careers, different ways of recreation, families, and businesses, among others. When they show people about how they live they are respected in society because of their excellent careers, great vacations destinations, thriving businesses, and the vast number of traffic they attract when they post such photos. Renner explains that through social media, people have defined the narratives of their lives and show people who they are and how they want to be treated and accorded respect or identity. For instance, if one wants to be perceived to be productive or successful, they will post their materials things, for example, cars, houses, and them being in great holiday destinations. As a result, people identify them with what they display on social media.

Renner further explains that people use social media to keep memories on their screens, and she explains that they do so because they have difficulty in mind and can be easily retrieved through this type of media. Additionally, the author states that the youth of today try to forge lives that they cannot be able to live in real life through social media, especially in terms of material things. There is a disadvantage to this because it makes others to live false lives and negatively affecting the esteem of others who think it is a reality and provoking them to engage in dangerous ways of obtaining money.

Another way through which social media shapes people's identity is by giving them a platform through which they can prove themselves to be robust and influential among their peers and people around them. When people create social media accounts such as Instagram, they enjoy the number of people that follow them, and the more the numbers, the higher the influence and power they feel they have over others. They seek to get global recognition and attraction from different people across the world so that they look robust and influential (Ganda 12). For instance, when a person creates a social media account and gets several followers, they are viewed as celebrities and accorded some level of treatment different from the rest with less following or none at all. As a result of they are a times approached by brands to market their products, and this makes them gain more power and influence among the people. People enjoy the power and praise that comes from different people because it makes them feel influential. Ganda states that people require textual representations and pictures to feel relevant and validated by society.

Additionally, the 21st century is regarded as the information age, and when a person has more online presence, then they are viewed as informed and belonging to the time. The current society want to be regarded as information literate, media literate, and effective in making decisions in a digitized way. As a result, social media has shaped people's identity by making them look digitized and informed on matters of technology. People in the 21st century want to be viewed notify of technology literacy and this aspect of them is reflected through social media and the reason why most individuals want to be active in the diverse platforms. Gunduz explains that the new pattern in the 21st century is to be successful in communication concepts.

Social media has not only been used as a place of entertainment and making friends but also that of showcasing one's identity through prowess information literacy. The author further explains that an individual needs others to develop themselves and establish their status in this regard they have greatly utilized social media as that tool to get validation of others and build their identity. When people are validated through social media, they feel that their psychological dimension is enhanced. Gunduz explains that they think they belong to a greater community politically, socially, emotionally, and in solidarity.

The author, however, states that any new identity that is developed has compatibilities and incompatibilities because people might represent themselves in diverse ways that are unique and in unexpected circumstances in a different stratum of communications. The different levels of communication require different identities, which brings diversity. He also states that implicit networks bring variety in society, and as a result, reflexive communities develop reflexive identities. On the contrary, Gunduz elucidates that the virtual networks bring the threat of stereotyping and giving a person a character that might not represent them in reality (Gunduz 86).

Social media has also shaped the identity of people in the society by giving them a particular form of lifestyle defines them. When an individual showcases how they live and what they love, they are creating their identity that they would like people associate them with. For instance, there are those that want to be identified with fashion, such as the Kardashians, who invite the social media family into viewing them in such a manner. They post their own designed outfits as well as those that are from other designers and get to review them regularly, and when people see them virtually or physically, they associate them with fashion. One thing however, that needs to be put into consideration is that despite the freedom and space of posting anything on social media people should not infringe on the rights of others by intruding into their privacy. There are several instances when people have experienced cyberbullying for various reasons for example they can get enemies that are virtual not because they did anything wrong to them, but because they find pleasure in trolling others. As a result, social media users should understand the threats that online identity can destroy them. They can put people into depression because, in most cases, the attack is usually meant to lower the dignity ruin a person's identity by posting mean comments and photoshopping their photos to paint them in a negative way.

Some scholars argue that social media identity is however, temporary because technology is dynamic, and there are several changes that occur in people's lives. Baldauf, Christine & Magali explains that social media identity is temporary because it is intertwined with the aspects of time and in chronological order. Baldauf, Christine & Magali state, "social media use is integrated into the chronology of social time and life, with periods of greater or lesser participation, for a variety of reasons. But a lifetime is not the limit of social media. Profiles can remain open after a person's death, and serve as a place of remembrance, or be created for persons who do not yet or who no longer have the ability to express themselves in this way" (Baldauf, Christine & Magali 43)

On the contrary, social media does not shape a person's identity because personality is something that develops gradually over a lifetime as a person evolves and not how other people from the online platforms view them. It is unrealistic to argue that social media shape identity because, through it, a person decides what they want to be identified with and not how their character and values say about them. There are values in a person's life that they can choose to conceal and others that they decide to show people. In this regard, identity is not only determined by what people see on social media but in how they present themselves through values and their principles in real life and not virtually. "As I understand and discuss it in this paper, one's identity is one's view of oneself that evolves throughout their lifetime. For many, there are aspects in themselves that one chooses to change, but there are other aspects that one has no control over. These aspects may include such things as where one grew up" (Valencia, 1). From the excerpt, it is evident that social media does not shape identity, but different other factors instead shape it.


In conclusion, it is essential to note that technology has revolutionized the world by reshaping how things are done, contrary to how they were done in the past. Previously, identity was shaped by a person's values and principles because the technology was not the order of the day. Still, in the 21st century, it is developed by social media because there is a paradigm shift in the way people express themselves, communicate, and also interact with people across the world.

Works Cited

Baldauf, Heike, Christine Develotte, and Magali Ollagnier-Beldame. "The effects of social media on the dynamics of identity: Discourse, interaction and digital traces." Alsic. Apprentissage des Langues et Systemes d'Information et de Communication 20.1 (2017).

Ganda, Madison. "Social media and self: Influences on the formation of identity and understanding of self through social networking sites." (2014).

Gunduz, Ugur. "The effect of social media on identity construction." Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences 8.5 (2017): 85-92.

Renne, Nausicaa. "How Social Media Shapes Our Identity," The New Yorker. August, 8th 2019 Accessed on 12th April 2020

Tea, Lindsey. "When we post the past: How social media shapes identity" Oak Leaf. December 12th, 2019 Accessed on 12th April 2020

Valencia, Marlon Jovi S. "How Online Social Media Persona Affects Personal Identity and Self." (2017).

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Essay on Technology Shaping Society: Establishing Identity Through Social Media. (2023, May 17). Retrieved from

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