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Becoming Social Beings Via Social Networking

In Gandy’s article, “Matrix Multiplication and Digital Divide”, he quotes Fuchs saying “social networking has an ideological character: its networking advances capitalist individualization, accumulation and legitimization.” By this Gandy is pointing out how social networking has set the ideals of what people should be and how they should go about being this certain way. It is achieved through the use of these SNS sites by allowing us easy access to products shown specifically for us, by creating this idea that we are showing who we are, even though many times we show how we want to be.  Social networking sites give users the sense that they are forming their own individual self, and through those individualized self’s, we set ourselves up for being targeted by products and other “preferred” beliefs.

2013-04-08_13-47-57The other day I came across this picture on Instagram. I found it very sticking because of how accurate the image is. The media itself is able to show viewers whatever it deems appropriate. They can distort everything we see. With that in mind, the image got me thinking about what I see on Instagram daily. I had never consciously realized how commercialized Instagram actually is. When I go onto this photo based social networking site, I see brands being photographed and some users even going as far as providing links to the products that are being shown.

With Instagram, users are able to follow whoever they want. With my account, I follow a various amount of people, some friends, some art pages and some that show outfits and accessories that are “trendy” of some sort. With this social networking site, I am unintentionally setting myself up for the commercialization of products. I choose to follow these people because of the pictures they post, and for some people, if they like the objects in the pictures, they might even go out and obtain those products themselves.


However this is just one SNS site. I set aside this blog post for a few days because I was struggling with it, but then yesterday I was once again on a social networking site, this time, Tumblr. When I was on Tumblr, I saw this image. I was struck by how accurate this picture depicted the people and the society we have become. It shows how we have become people of products. The fact that this image was posted on Tumblr even shows me how this is true.


With SNS sites, we get the idea that we are a part of a community in ways. I saw this more than ever today as I logged onto Tumblr and dozens of users were spreading news of the Boston Marathon bombings. Through this event, Tumblr has brought the idea of community into play. People on this SNS site are warning other users of where potential bombs are being found. It allows for users to participate in events such as these. I remember seeing similar reactions after the Newtown shooting on December 14th. We all stay connected to what is happening in our world through these SNS sites.

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