The digital era and especially the internet has encouraged socialization and fostered knowledge. This is becasaue with the numerous social networks people from different parts of the world can communicate and even form lasting friendship bonds. The internet has also encouraged people to pursue knowledge, because it is readily available. The internet offers knowledge and information on virtually every topic of human interest in the world. This is positive, because the internet has hoped the world to become a small harmonies village. The digital era has also worked towards promoting peace in the world uniting people from different parts of the world. Digital era has, however, created a digital born group, which has relied on the internet for everything in their lives. This may pose problems for the society. The digital era has created selfish people in the world. As Rosen insists, the era has helped people to create portraits which are democratic and digital. This is a selfish move, because they do not live long as the paint on canvas portraits do (Rosen, Para 3). It is robbing the future generation a chance to view for themselves the earlier worlds as caught on canvas. The digital era encourages people to create digital portraits from thief point of view. Any portrait made from pixels can be altered to make it perfect and suitable for use as the owner deems right. This denies the people who view the portrait a chance to know the owner form another person’s point of view.
The digital era also aggravates the desire for attention. What with the possibility of adding one’s favourite poems, bands and brands and show of bare flesh. This is indeed very egoistic, because no one cares about what others might want to see than what they want to gain through the internet. The internet focuses completely on the wants and craving of one person as they deem right. It can be said that, everything that is done over the internet points towards gaining fame or shifting everyone’s attention to oneself (Compaine, 2001, p 254). This goes as far as posting of nude pictures on the internet for everyone to see.
The impact of digital networking is evident, because it has led to change of the language of people. For instance, it is compulsory for presidential aspirants to post their virtues on such networks a Myspace. On the other hand, a failure to use Facebook for college students is a social suicide (Rosen, para 4). It indeed erodes the need for virtues in a society by encouraging fabrication of one’s entity. Some digital burns do not care, if they get friends in their societies, because they can get them online through connectivity. The value of authenticity is thus eroded by alteration of information or even the physical look to earn friendship. The area has also eroded the need for privacy and identity. People talk over the internet with others they have never met and go as far as telling them their secrets or even their daily routines in a bid to maintain friendship.
Typically, the current generation poises itself with the use of Facebook and other social networking sites such as Twitter. Anyone not in those networks is labelled an outsider or not belonging to the generation. Personal identity has vanished and people age is identified by the social networks they use. The digital era has successfully changed the society mindset and norms by focusing on marketing oneself as Rosen calls it, rather than knowing oneself (Rosen, para 4). Friendship has become a commodity that can be collected by maintaining the status in social networks.
The social networks have increased with time. More than ten social network sites have come up since 1980, when the first social network was invented. Every social network site has been invented with personal agenda to be met. For instance, Facebook was started with the purpose of gaining friends, class mates was meant to bring classmates together, because it is effortless and easy, Friendster was started to meet attractive women and My Space was meant to share music. This is selfish, because none of the sites mentioned above was started where people could choose the main agenda of the network (Compaine, 2001, p 164). One had to conform to the motives behind the social network so as to fit in. This makes one to loose identity, because one is left with no choice on the use of the network. If one does not share the common vision of the network, then they cannot fit well into the network system.
Advertisers have taken the social network sites to show their products. This is different than the former methods of advertising, because any method necessary to gain attention sussed including use of phrases and pictures that are not censored while they should be. The advertiser wraps their hand around user’s minds to tag them along in their journey of the new marketing front (Compaine, 2001, p 164). Comments are measured and used to spice up the advertisement. Unauthorised or fictional characters are given MySpace pages to encourage advertisement. This is selfishness, because the advertisers are tapping on the fame of others to sell their wares or using manipulation to attain their means. Nothing that appears on the internet carries originality anymore or information that can be trusted. Manipulation is done to serve the purpose of a few in earning from the sites.
The social networks promote weak ties and the characteristic of human behaviour associated with them (Rosen, para 17). No one in these sites think of their networks friends as they think about themselves. The social networks, therefore, promote such human behaviour as spreading rumours, gossip, finding people and tracking an ever changing culture. This kind of worlds gives attention to the small things in life. The weak ties are favoured by people, because they are easy to break as compared to breaking ties with friends made through physical interaction in daily life. The need for people to believe in the theory of small worlds through connectivity has aided the survival of these social networks. However, Rosen insists that the closeness is defined by degree of education, location, age and religion. Even in the social networks, people conform to these divisions of ties. Rosen insists that the digital era is not concerned with this division, but rather by the degree of connectivity.
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Social networks have created a divide between the elderly and the youngsters. Communication between the two groups has broken down, because even the language used by the two groups is different. For the elderly, a friend means someone they have known and met and trust or relies on to help them when in a situation. On the other hand, friendship to youngsters is defined by the picture of the face on the internet, and the information provided by the friend. Tees’s friends can not be relied upon in times of need nor have they been met in person. This is an act of selfishness, because keeping such friends cost one nothing, such as commuting expenses or other expenses of inviting them over for dinner, for example.
When the other networks started, the users were grouped with their hobbies by formation of virtue cities relevant to one’s hobbies. One could not fake such hobbies to join a group or village/city, because they would lack material to contribute. Today’s social grouping is centred on a person and the information they provide such as hobbies, which are not trustworthy. Family role and occupation has little effect on these relationships (Rosen, para 23). There is no nee d to know a person in depth over the social networks, because even the relationships are formed for selfish purposes such as meeting people to develop one`s career other than making true friends.
The new technology, challenges society norms, where cell phones ring in church and noisy televisions make it impossible for one to talk quietly in a doctor’s waiting room. Most of them are confused to take their networking behaviour to the ordinary society norms and behaviour. This has bleached the social norms and behaviour of youngsters that are mostly governed by the norms of social networks. This is selfish, because no one should be deluded to think that all people understand and conform to networking systems and mode of behaviour. The networkers are termed as volatile and promiscuous (Rosen, para 13).
The number of friends one can collect over the networks shows his status in the networking society (Rosen, para 43). Friendship is, therefore, treated as a way of gaining social importance while friends are treated as objects towards the motives. Status seeking makes one anxious, because it is the number that matters. This may even turn in to obsession, where one instantly seeks friendship. One becomes obsessed with getting favourable results and at such a time receiving a negative comment in the real society can be “fatal”.