It is indisputable that we, being humans, are as Aristotle put it “naturally social animals”. We yearn to belong, by constantly seeking social acceptance from those around us. Yet in our constantly changing geo-social environments, and rapidly increasing digital age, what does it now mean to be social?
In the worlds transforming social realm, apps such as instagram thrive on our primitive need to socialize, allowing users to interact and exchange their specific tastes, preferences, experiences, insights and feelings. By personally selecting, transforming and posting photos onto public forums such as instagram, users create cyber-incarnations of their identities. The growing popularity of these social media avatars, can substantially highlight the cultural shifts occurring within our generation. Yet like the chicken and the egg scenario, has this app provided a platform for behavior that was already present within our human psyche, or has it infact completely shifted the way we now think and behave?
Like the colloquial term “Facebook stalking’, Instagrams searching and viewing capabilities allow users a new widely accepted cultural voyeurism. Our instinctual interest in ‘the other’, now feeds instagrams growing popularity. More extensively than facebook, we have all become “followers’ rather than friends. Behind closed doors, we are now allowed the freedom of complete voyeurism with the ability to remain substantially anonymous. Miraculously, it seems, we have fused the illusion of distance with the illusion of intimacy.
Interestingly, on the publishing end, users are also becoming increasingly aware that they actually have an audience. This concept fuels, the now well-oiled instagram machine. Yet
With this awareness, one has to ask themselves are we now all narcissists, seeking to feed our growing ego?