Belief and OpinionsDiscover the Impact of Technology on the Concept of...

Discover the Impact of Technology on the Concept of Identity: 5 Facts on Social Media


The impact of technology on the concept of identity is a topic of serious concern these days. Especially the development of social media has given rise to a lot of trials and tribulations. Almost no one has escaped the grasp of top-rated apps and their content. Everybody we know is on social media and they all are active users of at least one of the many popular platforms.

This interactive technological advancement only seems to make people not so interactive. It slowly assists in altering their identity. If this continues, the future will be unimaginable. How so? Continue reading to find out why.

1. The Concept of Identity

Our behaviors, thoughts, and manner of life are all governed by our sense of identity. On the surface, identity appears to be a straightforward concept. It is, but more than that, an integral aspect of who we are and how we live.

Our identity tends to form the minute we are born and stays throughout our lives to the end. In the meantime, it morphs and evolves, influenced by various occurrences in our lives.

By: Brett Jordan/Unsplash

Identity is how we perceive ourselves. It is an essential component of human existence. For instance, assume you are the CEO of a big organization. You know your title and task, which is to supervise everyone. You behave confidently and act without hesitation. This is because you have your own identity in the office as the CEO.

Imagine being hired in the same organization but not knowing your function or position. Then you’ll constantly be confused and need help from someone else. You have no idea what you see yourself as in this situation. You don’t have an identity in the company. You are lost without your role and title. 

We live in a time when identity is critical and widely debated. There are hundreds of thousands of books on the subject. Some people come out to express and celebrate their identity boldly. They accept their complex identity. Yet, there is also the issue of the definition of identity.

So, the concept of identity is mixed and varied, as we can observe in the world around us. With the existence of people from different backgrounds, a plethora of experiences, colorful ethnicities, and cultures, the phenomenon of identity as a whole is complex. On top of that, one’s identity is given such importance. Thus, the question of whether identity is affected by anything becomes significant.

2. How does Technology, mainly Social Media influence us? 

Technology is ever-evolving and mutating. Similarly, humans are struggling to keep pace with the rapid rate of these interactive technologies. Technology was first intended to make our lives easier. It was utilized to help people save time and energy.

Particularly, social media sites were intended for sharing information, and ideas in virtual communities around the globe. It made the connection between different parts of the world easier. 

Nevertheless, it appears that this is no longer the case. One cannot deny that social media has many good points to defend itself. It has its own services that benefit us. But perhaps it has grown so extensive that it has begun to dominate our lives. We’ve all heard the expression, “Too much of anything is good for nothing.” This may hold true for social media as well.

By: Mariakray/Unlimphotos

The impact of social media on our life is not limited to one level. It has a profound effect on us in numerous ways. This interactive technology has a mark on everything, from the food we consume to how we think, all without our awareness.

If we pay attention to what happens in our life for a single day, we will realize that this technology is always there. It’s almost like a shadow and an unavoidable presence. Moreover, we rely on this shadow to make our lives better and happier. 

To support this claim, the usage of message apps can be considered. We can all agree that it is nearly impossible for us to go through our day without messaging someone. Even formal and business conversations require you to have an account on these social media platforms.

These apps have become a part of our bodies. Such is the impact of social media on us. You may wonder how this affects our identity. But, think deeply and you may be able to make connections.

3. Social Media and Identity: What is the Connection?

Let us start with the most basic thing we don’t seem to notice because it has become perfectly natural. We construct new identities with the help of accounts on social media. Everyone has a username, a profile picture, and a bio. We take on different personalities on these sites. We make up new names for ourselves and worry excessively over updating our accounts with good-looking photos that have been filtered or edited.

We also tend to sound cool and technologically savvy. We think a lot about writing a few lines about ourselves in our bio, yet often write cliched ones, recalling lines we read someplace. We undertake all of this because we feel compelled to keep up with new trends and stay in touch with the wave going on in these platforms.

We see a person creating a viral video; almost instantly, other users post the recreated version of the same video. Suddenly, a new trend is created and you can see thousands of similar videos with the hashtag. 

This good-natured connectivity and fun turn bad when it modifies people’s mindsets. We can see how these social media makes people addicted to it by using several strategies. And it takes advantage of their addiction to earn more money. Big companies open social media accounts and advertise their products here also.

They create glamour and make people believe they should live the way they are portrayed on these platforms. How many of us have at least once desired to buy the latest products our favorite brands have released even if the gadgets we’re currently using work perfectly fine? 

By:Vadim Bogulov/Unsplash

Accordingly, we lose sight of our own selves while keeping up with social media. We no longer remember why we do this or what all the fuss is about. We do all these kinds of things to conform to what everyone else is doing. We want to show off and exhibit to everyone that we are enjoying our life.

We post and update stories. We take pictures wherever we go, and spend time creating perfect candid posts rather than truly enjoying our time out. We don’t seem to look around the real world around us anymore.

This fixation on social media is similar to the bandwagon fallacy. The bandwagon effect occurs when people adopt certain behaviors and styles simply because they witness others doing so. Regarding social media and technology, people can be carried away by the bandwagon effect.

How many of us read posts and content in the media that say something like, “Best movies to watch at least once in a lifetime“, “5 best things you should definitely try,” “Places you must visit before you die,” and so on? They are harmless and innocent until they become a trend, and others go to great lengths to do the same.

Moreover, they evoke envy, jealousy, and other bad emotions when we can’t do things people do on social media. Within a span of a few minutes, these apps make us feel a variety of emotions. Sometimes, people get depressed after spending much time on these platforms.

Social media use emotional and strategic appeals to persuade us to act in a certain way. We also hop on the bandwagon because we see others doing it and think they’re relishing it, even when we don’t know for sure.

What is more crucial to note here is that we do not consider whether we truly enjoy ourselves. Some may do it merely because it is in trend. So, technology acts as a fog screen, influencing our decisions and actions. We are manipulated in ways we don’t even realize or comprehend.

All of the techniques convince us to spend more time on the net, consume more content, and become addicted to technology. It is possible to think of it as a consequence of living in a capitalistic society.

To know more about the destiny of social media and how will we keep up, click here

4. The Impact of Technology on the Concept of Identity 

We use the internet to learn new things. And in the meantime, our information, including personal data and preferences, is being collected. In our haste to obtain what we want, we click allow whenever the site asks permission.

But consenting to terms and conditions without fully understanding them may mean more than you think. Once you click allow, the platform or company can do whatever it wants with your data. Third-party companies can now have access to your data.

By: ThisIsEngineering/ pexels

For instance, several websites and apps use Google services to improve and maintain their content free. These sites and apps exchange information with Google when integrating with its services. This includes the URL of the page you’re looking at as well as your IP address.

Google may also place cookies on your browser or read existing cookies. Applications that use Google advertising services also exchange information with Google, such as the app’s name and a unique advertising identifier.

According to Google’s privacy policies, the information from sites and applications is used to deliver better services, maintain and improve them, develop new services, and analyze advertising efficiency. They also promise to protect against fraud and abuse and to personalize the content and advertisements you see on Google and its partners’ websites and apps.

However, we do not read all of these before consenting to terms and conditions. It could be why you always see an advertisement or information about what you searched online.

By: Wavebreakmedia/Unlimphotos

For example, suppose you searched for shoes and then went to your social media account only to find posts about the same brand’s shoes. It is frequently shown to you and persuades you to buy it. It is ultimately a sales technique. You might not even need or want it. But, after seeing these shoes popping up everywhere, you get them the next day. So in this way, many choices are made for us. Our actions are completely manipulated in a way.

The adverts we encounter on social media are based on our searches. When they ask for our preference, it may appear to be our decision and we are in control. Nonetheless, it eventually becomes a marketing plan. We end up doing what they want us to.

5. Social media as a Fog Screen

Social media becomes a fog screen that conceals what is directly in front of us. We are programmed to think what the technology wants us to think, so we assume it is all our own thinking. Guy Debord, a French Marxist theorist, philosopher, filmmaker, and critic of work, in his book “The Society of the Spectacle“, describes how media influence our lives.

Debord saw that images in the media actively change human interactions and relationships. Every day, images influence our lives and beliefs; advertising creates new desires and aspirations. The media defines and simplifies the world for us through simple narratives. Photos and film blur time and space, creating a sense of universal connectivity. New innovative technological products alter the way we live.

By: geralt/pixabay

This type of technology is extremely useful but also shapes our behavior. It changes our lives into a daily sequence of commodity transactions. It is similar to how social media firms monetize our interactions, opinions, and feelings. Our personal ideas and thoughts are now tradable commodities.

But, people remain oblivious and ask, “Why haven’t you posted on Instagram?” and “Did you like my new post?” etc. People are encouraged to earn money by becoming popular on these social media platforms. If they have many followers and connections, they are regarded as influencers.

They post every day and do something for the sake of creating content regularly. Reality is ignored and people accept the virtual. This is the extent of the impact of technology on the concept of identity.  

6. Conclusion

The impact of technology on the concept of identity can be viewed from several perspectives. Cultivation theory describes how distorted but recurrently represented “reality” is portrayed in mass media programs. It slowly takes over frequent watchers’ worldviews, as they count on it as their primary source of beliefs and values.

Some of the most important components of cultivation research have focused on television’s influences on violence, gender stereotypes, health, family, online gaming, and psychological health consequences.

Similarly, social media has an impact not just on individual ideologies, but also on society as the major representation of mainstream culture. Despite individual variances, the relatively common viewpoints and values developed by these interactive social platforms become the dominant or mainstream culture among the users.

Agenda-setting theory, which has been widely explored and applied to numerous types of media, proposes that the media has the potential to change public opinion by determining which problems receive the most attention.

In this scenario, the media determines what society thinks and for whom society feels empathy or dislike. The most significant aspect is how the media will shape society’s agenda. This can be seen in social media too. These platforms influence people’s thoughts on what is right for them and how they should lead their lives. 

By: Gian Cescon/Unsplash

These studies, theories, and our existing addiction to popular culture only emphasize social media’s tremendous influence on us. It informs us on how we should feel. It tells us about what is good, popular, and in vogue. The use of social media is gradually molding our ideals, thoughts, and behaviors.

Everybody develops a new identity as a result of this technological impact. We would have been very different if it hadn’t been for social media development, for better or worse, it’s up to us to decide.

As a result, we can observe the capacity of social media to influence our entire identity, beginning with our interactions with other people to the things we do. Popular culture seems to define our lives completely. We rely on social media to do everything nowadays.

We look for ideas on these sites if we want to go out. Otherwise, we travel to a location recommended by popular influencers. The media influence even the brand we buy. There is no room for our individualism or self-expression. Simply put, social media has a firm grasp on us, and its impact on our identity is too great to ignore.

To know more about life without social media, click here.


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  • Gayathri

    Gayathri relishes reading since it provides new perspectives and broadens our thinking. As a literature student, she is interested in comprehending society and the world. Naturally, she is passionate about writing as it allows her to voice out things that need attention and change. Writing is a way to convey her thoughts and all that she had gathered and gleaned from life. She feels that words have the incredible ability to change people's lives. So, she writes on subjects that are significant and ones that pique her notice.

Gayathri relishes reading since it provides new perspectives and broadens our thinking. As a literature student, she is interested in comprehending society and the world. Naturally, she is passionate about writing as it allows her to voice out things that need attention and change. Writing is a way to convey her thoughts and all that she had gathered and gleaned from life. She feels that words have the incredible ability to change people's lives. So, she writes on subjects that are significant and ones that pique her notice.


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