Paper Example on How Social Media Creates Inaccurate Perceptions of People

Published: 2023-03-19
Paper Example on How Social Media Creates Inaccurate Perceptions of People
Type of paper:  Research paper
Categories:  Social psychology Social media Behavior change
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1898 words
16 min read

The evolution of social media over the past decade is overwhelming. The use of social media has strengthened relationships and improved connections around the world. Though society has evolved to embrace and encourage difference, users on social media are unwilling to be themselves, sharing only the happiest moments of their lives, or ones that have never even happened. Dave Eggers' The Circle and Jordan Kaseteler's How Social Media Is Influencing Your Behaviour highlight the issues that arise from using social media, emphasizing the detrimental effects of being dependent on others in a social network. American television-show Black Mirror demonstrates how social media affects self-value, as well as their values. Social media compels people to be whoever they want, therefore creating an inaccurate perception of themselves or others. As a result, social media perceptions affect how individuals reflect on their self-value and their behavior, making them live an illusionary life.

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Social Media and Inaccurate Depiction about a Persons's Value

Social media creates an inaccurate depiction of a person's value through scores. As a result, social media users become affected in the way they think, belief or perceive certain issues in the social sphere. Black Mirror highlights how a person's daily interactions with other people affect themselves and their rating, which reflects their socioeconomic status (Framke). For example, a person rated five stars will be able to purchase luxury apartments and expensive items, while a person with 1 star will be arrested and have the technology stripped from them, symbolically stripping their entire world away from them. In this regard, a five star rated individual interacting with a one start rated an individual can never be the same. However, much the one start rated individual tries to associate with the five stars rated the more they get apart. Buy being together and socializing together, the one-star rated will tend to think that they are of the same status but this is illusionary thinking that can never happen. The reality is that the two are two different individuals with different social stratification. In the worst-case scenario, the one-star rated guy becomes arrested and the arrest brings more agony, grief and depression than before. Social media creates a tendency for one to live the life of another individual. Some users may post pictures of themselves in good looking places. Such an individual will be perceived to be successful in life and the unsuccessful will envy being successful. People tend to appraise the success and achievements of their friends and peers. However, comparing the success of friends and peers with one's plain reality of life, it trickles down to discouragements.

This relates to how social media affects a person's self-value, as a person with lower ratings from interactions will have low self-value levels; as such, this person will have a tough time fitting in with the rest of society. For instance, Brad narrated how he posts things on his profile that he does not know are true. As a result of his posts, people treat and judge him based on the posts and this burdens him a lot. As much as Brad tries to become himself and honest, he simply cannot resist the temptation and end up making the wriong impression,. Hence, people believe that what he post is the right impression whereas it is the wrong imnpression about him. In this regard, people who follow his posts and are unaware about him are deceived and possess wron perceptions about him. People who borrow from him will certainly possess the wrong perceptions.

The Circle incorporates a similar ranking system called "Circle Score" with the interactions on campus or "extra-curricular" activities such as barbeques or yoga sessions, which are outside of work. These evaluations/scores reflect a person's value within The Circle and must be treated seriously.

People's Behaviour Changes on Social Media

People's behavior on social media changes in various ways. The Circle mentions that using real identities on the internet cleaned up the message boards, with a significantly less amount of hate and racism, and more positive messages being shared. According to Kasteler, the circle indicates the difference in behavior that people exhibit on the internet. There are things a person may never say in real life but will say on social media thanks to the anonymity granted by the internet. In the social media, users post their prettiest pictures avboutb themselves and caption their best news. In this regard, people live like online avatars where what is displayed is just a representation far from the truth. People updates their profile pictures that depict them as the best but will never post pictures in their worst moments. Hence, users want to display themselves as the best creatures but not as bad or disadvantaged. Ejnhancing the status of oneself creates a bias of life and leads to inflated ego-net perception. At times, people post pictures of themselves after the berst celebration they have ever had but will never post when not in their worst celebration. The self-enhabncement behavior and habit aids in maintaining a self-esteem and a certain sense of happiness among oneself and the followers on social media (Ertan, Siciliano and Yenigun 3). This form of displayal in social media depicts that life is all fantasy since the most revealings ways do not capture the real representation of who people are but who they want to be. The post of what one would likje to be is not a real representation of oneself and this is an illusionary. While people will look at the post and become delighted, and inspire to be as such, they are compelled to like fiction and fantasy. According to Thomas, social media use creates an habit where people compare themselves to each other.

The behavior of comparing onselfe to another is dangerous since it makes one become the person he is not. For instance, Ertan et al. posited that the beliefs that people hold about themselves and others, cultivate their behaviours and decisions (3). Hencem, people who aspire and identify themselves with certain prominent actors become perceived as as true or actual reopresentation of such characters. Besides, such individual behave similarly irregardless of the reality they represent or who they are. In thias regard, the social media make them live a dillusion about themselves. Over ttime, people can become fully absorbed and enculturated to the new way of life but for sure, they will be living a lie. Their living will be an inaccurate representation of themselves and they will most likely influence others making a chain of people living a fiction life not based on reality.

The article "How Social Media Is Influencing Your Behavior" by Jordan Kaseteler mentions how a temporary disconnection will lead to emotions like sadness, anger, similar to the people who are addicted to drugs. This is shared in the book with the constant connections between the characters through the use of social media. The main character Mae mentions the tear in her soul when she is alone for a few hours as she gets private time. Her behavior shows the dependence that she exercises when using social media.

Social Media Encourages Groupthink

The use of social media encourages groupthink/discourages critical analysis. Groupthink (herd mentality) is common on social media, as many people perceive the information that they see on social media to be the truth. There are several social media platforms that people use to communicate, share and make fun. Social media platforms such as Facebook, have artificial intelligence that evaluates what one searches mostly and what the circle of friends like reading and sharing. Based on this, Facebook is likely to show the content that matches what one clicks, shares and likes more often (Saiidi).

Moreover, it also shows content that the peers view often. In this regard, one is only likely to get only one side of the story, beliefs and headlines. One becomes obstructed from the opposing views or the other side of the debate. For instance, if the searches feature hatred towards President Trump, one is likely to get most of the posts on hate towards him (Saiidi). Such posts create the notion that what is written is true since almost everyone is talking about it and is inclined towards the same viewpoints. The perception becomes that the entire generation hates him. Besides, people tend to like posts from people they share the same views. Social media users requests and accepts friendships from people they share similar ideologies. The likes and shares are directed towards what one likes. This behavioral trend tends to create groups of people ion the social media. Users are, hence stratified based on their beliefs, thoughts, ideologies and thinking. Therefore, the users are forced to get exposure to beliefs, news and thoughts they possess. The Google search becomes tailored to one's thoughts and beliefs and through this, one becomes inclined towards one side of the story (Saiidi). The social stratification creates groups of people that can be termed as groupthink since they share the same ideologies, beliefs and their posts and storyline match one another.

The circle's (company) ability to control the people of the internet is fascinating. They can place cameras everywhere without consent, mentioning that they are doing this for the greater good; thus, the people of that world never once question The Circle and allow themselves to be monitored at all times with zero privacy, as they believe that secrets are lies. By activating location in one's device, the social media platform and the Google search can monitor the movements. However, one perceives that location tracking is aiding in making the usability better. The reality is that at the end of the day, the social media platform such as Facebook, brings a series of friends from the regions one visited and whom they may have interacted.

This is a severe example of corporate groupthink, as the employees and citizens in the story never once question the companies decisions, and they agree without a doubt. The social groupings by the social media platform are something that users may never control since the companies have coded their websites to behave in certain ways that even the users do not know about. In this regard, the user has non control over the content and the social media companies can even compromise the privacy of the user. For instance, there has been cases of

In conclusion, social media compels people to be whoever they want, therefore creating an inaccurate perception of themselves or others. As a result, social media perceptions affect how individuals reflect on their self-value and their behavior, making them live an illusionary and fantasy life. People do not live their real lives on social media platforms such as Facebook, and Twitter among others. Users tend to post pictures of themselves in theuir best clothes, moments, and occasions but never on their worst moments. The habit creates the perception that the person lives a happy life while in essence in lamentations and fears.

Works Cited

Ertan, Gunes et al. "Perception Accuracy, Biases And Path Dependency In Longitudinal Social Networks". PLOS ONE, vol 14, no. 6, 2019, p. e0218607. Public Library Of Science (Plos), doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0218607. Accessed 21 Dec 2019.

Framke, Caroline. "Black Mirror's Season 3, Episode 1:"Nosedive" Is A Social Media Nightmare Dressed Like A Pastel Daydream." Vox, 2016, Accessed 19 Dec 2019.

Kasteler, Jordan. "How Social Media Is Influencing Your Behavior" Search Engine Land, 2010

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