The Great Distortion: Identity and Social Media

An ever-present shift has been slowly occurring on an often neglected life necessity: The forming of an identity.

The techno-era of the 21st century has, purposefully or not, collectively shifted the idea of an identity. A short thought experiment was all it took for me to begin to examine my relationship with time, technology, and social media. It goes something like this:

Seeking Out Socrates

~2000 years ago, if you were stuck in life, you may have sought out Socrates to ask: “What am I to do with this life?”

He might have told you, “Meditate and truly understand yourself.”

And if you felt this was hogwash advice, then it would have been no harm no foul. You would continue out your days, perhaps lost, unhindered by exterior forces.

In the 21st century, the stakes are higher. To not understand oneself is to be pulled along by the puppeteers orchestrating your life. If you do not understand yourself now, rest assured that there are large corporations spending a lot of money to deeply understand you.

Biotechnology, paired with our willingness to provide volumes of personal data, has made this possible. And while perhaps not created with nefarious intent, there is a reason why Amazon can perfectly recommend books for you or why the perfect pair of jeans appears on your Instagram feed.

Although hard to admit, we are not as unique as we believe ourselves to be.