According to Charles Taylor a human identity is shaped by recognition, often by the misconception of others (Taylor, 1994). In todays 21st society online consumers use their presence to build any online status or persona they see fit, some may use online status as a reflection of their exact self and others may use it as an electronic veil of anonymity. Some may even find the reflection of themselves through online viewers leads them to not recognise the face staring back.
Status can be considered a fundamental part of life, and present in “virtually every human interaction” (Marwick, 2013). Online status can be measured through technical mechanisms that signal popularity such as the number of likes on Facebook, or followers on Twitter. Medical News Today reported from a 2012 study investigating and proposing that social media platforms such as Facebook may increase a person’s feeling of inadequacy (Paddock, 2012). This ideology is a depiction of human nature where it’s considered perfectly normal to be disheartened if a photo or post one uploads gets less likes or views than that of someone else. In this respect consumers can be unconsciously measuring themselves to others to find a sense of their online status and its worth. This links to the concept explored by Tiidenberg and Cruz, which states a number of consumers consider posting ‘selfies’ as self absorbed however “the relationship between subjectivity, practice, and social use of the images is more complex than this dismissal allows” (Tiidenberg and Cruz, 2015).
This leads to the opinion that convergent media practices such as social media have the power to affect its audiences in both positive and negative ways. Comparing ones self to another could lead to feeling copious amounts of jealousy and also risk the comparison of ones own online persona to their real life and seeing a mirror of inadequacy. It’s easily debated that the jealousy doesn’t exist in all cases but it’s near impossible to avoid when being constantly bombarded with images of delicious food, amazing holidays, and dream bodies… we’re only human. The use of social media in relation to status has altered the way in which consumers view both their lives and others creating clear emotional consequences, however it is up to the individual to either look into the mirror or turn the other way.
Marwick , A, 2013. Status Update . Celebrity, Publicity, and Branding in the Social Media Age, [Online]. p. 74-75. Available at:<https://moodle.uowplatform.edu.au/pluginfile.php/598872/mod_resource/content/1/leadersandfollowers2.pdf>[Accessed 11 March 2016].
Taylor, C, 1994. Multiculturalism. The Politics of Recognition , [Online]. Available at:<http://elplandehiram.org/documentos/JoustingNYC/Politics_of_Recognition.pdf> [Accessed 11 March 2016].
Tiidenberg, K. Gomez Cruz, E. 2015. Body Society. Selfies, Image, and the Re-making of the Body , [Online]. 1, 78-82. Available at:<https://moodle.uowplatform.edu.au/pluginfile.php/607709/mod_resource/content/1/SelfiesImageandtheBody.pdf >[Accessed 11 March 2016].