As technology continues to develop in our modern world, so does our cultural identity. From the beginning of the Internet in the early 1 9905, 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 asses, 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 ultra identity without physically touching or interacting with anyone. The Internet, as a whole, is part of non-essentialist, giving people different perspectives, and creating more Open minded-news- America Online and MS 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 “surnames”, many of which include a favorite number, a particular interest, or simply their name.
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Surnames are already a sign of someone’s persona. For example, if omen was an avid vase collector, their surname could go alone the lines of “I love_vases,” so that their friends and family would automatically know who that person is online. They can also put their favorite number in that surname, making it become “love_vases 1. ” But the Internet did not bring on this type of identity formation; the Internet just enabled everyone to create these surnames. Comparatively, Faceable 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, Faceable 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 identity of themselves that is unique, but they fit in to other people as well. Faceable is one of the most popular sources of human interaction through the medium of a computer or smartened today. As a user’s friend count increases, so do the information these new friends give out on a regular basis.
Passbook’s news feed gives people instant updates on what other people post on their pages, for their friends and acquaintances to see. It also gives people the option of turning off notifications and hiding certain information the user themselves post. For example, let us say that the vase lover has posted a link of a coupon for ceramics classes in her area. Any of the vase lover’s friends on Faceable will see this coupon, and perhaps try this class, giving them the opportunity to be exposed to new culture.
This is exposure to the vase lover’s cultural identity, and when Other people see and acknowledge this, their minds open up to other people and other things. The vase lover’s friends may also upload pictures from the class to display their creations, drawing an even wider audience and spreading visual awareness of their activities. Nowadays, users are engaged in not just one social media platform, but many more. Twitter and Webb are two very similar social media platforms. They give people instant updates from different companies, celebrities, and people – similar to Faceable.
But Twitter and Webb are more focused on “status updates” and a new phenomenon called “hash tags. Hash tags are links that connect a certain topic for people to discuss and write about. They would be culturally non-essential to Twitter and Webb because it is what defines their social media website, yet the topics are not based off of what ethnicity anyone is. For example, Nikkei created a campaign that targeted people who want to lose weight and be fit. They created a hash tag called “make it count,” which looks like this: #magnificent.
Yin (2012) quotes the CEO of Nikkei, that the use of this hash tag was another mode of communicating to the public ND to encourage a healthy and active lifestyle. Yin (2012) also wrote that “social media is helping us unite and expand,” meaning all the efforts of hash tagging is helping users of any culture unite together. This campaign encouraged users to tell the public how they “made it count,” or how they exercised and made a difference in their life. The introduction to these tags gave people with inter-related problems and ideas on Twitter and Webb to communicate with each other using (at) tags and (hash) tags.
This creates a conversation with different people at once; people of different grounds and different identities, creating an online community. Trending topics are usually found on a user’s home page. Anything trending in their area, or an area of their choice, will be shown on the side bar. This will give them their area’s cultural trending topics, but given the choice that they get to choose the area, they will be able to explore different cities’ trending topics as well. When tracking these tweets, in 24 hours, Yin (2012) writes that the 1 ,500 had generated over 900,000 impressions, which reached over 600,000 followers.
The great thing about the Twitter and Webb is that you can be of any nationality, any ethnicity, and have any viewpoint on a certain topic. Cultural differences or ethnicity have no bearing in the way users agree or disagree with a point of view. It is the gathering of common interests and communication using online platforms that brings various viewpoints together. Pinsetters, a new scrapbook styled website has a variety of different topics that can be covered. This upcoming website is extremely non-essentialist, mainly because it is content based off of different people’s interests.
The website is a great example of non-essentialist because people are more focused on the formation of the content, rather than the social norm of who is pinning, or posting different topics on to their scrapbook. There are certain categories like architecture, art, fashion, do-it-yourself, and science and nature, which show topics to discuss and re-pin onto their scrapbooks. Regardless of national or ethnic background, the site runs mainly on content. Users simply scroll through the scrapbook-styled website to see which pictures are most appealing to them.
By clicking on the pictures, it will take them to the source of the link where they can learn more about that object. From the name itself, Pinsetters is about sharing people’s interests. It is a tool that collects cultural pieces of art, design, cuisine, ideology, and much more, and displays everything on its website. The user has much to delve into and can easily be exposed to new things. Godson (2012) suggests that Pinsetters could overtake Faceable as a form of digital creation, meaning users may collect and maintain digital assets using this website.
This being very similar o Faceable, uses somewhat anonymous browsing. Instead of having to be friends with someone on Pinsetters to look at their profiles and interests, users can simply click anyone’s website, giving them full access to all the content on the website. This enables users to explore diverse topics, opening up their minds and expanding their own cultural identity. Ultimately, the growth of the internet has shaped many of our cultural identities as it is today. Social media platforms have mainly done so by expanding our minds and sparking discussions throughout different people of different grounds.
The internet promotes non-essentialist subliminally because as a user, people tend to want to be anonymous on the internet and only share their interests to other individuals. Even though there are some essentialist parts to the internet, it is more observed that people on the internet will be more open minded to new ideas. In all, there is never one certain categorization of one’s cultural identity when surfing across the world- wide web. The internet itself may be defined as modern globalization, without any physical social interaction.