Paper Example. Understanding Social Media

Published: 2023-02-23
Paper Example. Understanding Social Media
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Personality Social psychology Social media Interpersonal communication
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 924 words
8 min read

Social media and electronically mediated communication have been used widely for the past few years. Through social media, many people have interacted and exchanged ideas, making it a significant form of communication. Both negative and positive impacts have been attributed to this form of communication. Despite this, many have recognized the critical role it plays in contemporary society.

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Simmel's concept of the tragedy of culture and Veblen's conspicuous consumption will be used to understand the impacts of social media and electronically mediated communication. The idea of the tragedy of culture explains that human cultures can be viewed in two ways; objective and subjective cultures. Objective culture includes all the shared social elements such as religion and philosophy, which we rely on to change or transform our lives. On the other hand, subjective culture focuses on the creative aspect or the abilities of individual beings. The tragedy comes when the objective culture dominates the personal culture of an individual.

Veblen conspicuous consumption is a sociological concept where consumers buy or use expensive goods to portray their wealth and income status rather than focus on the real needs. (Bowser,2016) These people tend to live flashy lives to be recognized and be associated with people of a higher status. The consumer choices are based on achieving aspirational status. This theory is often criticized in different contexts.

When analyzing both the positive and negative effects of social media, some specific examples of social interaction will be used. For instance, the social interaction between teenagers who often post on social sites such as Instagram and the element of comparison and consuming. Secondly, social interaction when it comes to cultural exchanges between different people. More also, the interaction between social media users in general, particularly by facebook users.Facebook users are usually associated with envy and narcissist behavior, which leads to conspicuous consumption and comparison. (Taylor et al.,2016)

The electronically mediated social interaction has its shortcomings, despite the critical role it plays in today's contemporary society. This form of social interaction has revolutionized communication between people and their social behaviors. The previously discussed concepts will be discussed in detail to show the impact that this form of media has.

This form of interaction is associated with overshadowing the subjective culture of human beings. Social media has led to a situation where the subjective culture displayed in the media platforms has robbed people of the ability to think independently and come up with ideas. The subjective culture has made it harder for people to be more creative. This has undermined the intelligent aspects of individual human beings. The effect is attributed to the significant use and dependency on social media. The less development in inner self can be associated with this phenomenon

Moreover, the tragedy of culture related to social media has also robbed people of their interpersonal relationship, which has been replaced instead by a virtual relationship. People have now invested a lot in virtual social bonds rather than physical contact. The virtual relationship has made physical communication and connection more difficult. Most people now base their interactions on social media platforms. The consequence of this is the failure of personal relationships.

Social media and electronically mediated communication have also had a positive outcome. Cultural barriers have been reduced making it easy for people all over the world to interact. Objective culture phenomenon such as music, art, and religion have transformed the lives of individuals and made social interactions better. Moreover, social interactions have therefore increased because many people can relate to different cultures across the world.

Social media has also played a significant role in anxiety among its users. The fear has affected both their physiological and sociological lives. Stress associated with false expectations that may arise due to the influence caused by objective cultures in social media leads to anxiety. Eventually, the user tends to have esteem issues.

The conspicuous consumption among individuals is attributed to their usage of social media and electronic forms of communication. In this case, social media users will try to imitate the consumer patterns of others. The internet, through social media, has heightened the rate of conspicuous consumption. Many actions of these kinds of use are mainly done to achieve the status quo. For instance, millennial customers will often buy luxurious goods even when they are not well- off, to get a higher status rather than by the products that meet their real needs.

One of the primary reasons that lead to the conspicuous consumption of goods is comparison. Users of social media are associated with trying to project better lives rather than reality. This forces the users to live lives that they cannot manage as it encourages people to spend money. Eventually, these users will suffer from depression anxiety which may affect their subjective well beingIn conclusion, social media has both negative and positive effects. The role it plays in culture is also critical when it comes to social interactions. The concepts of the tragedy of culture and conspicuous consumption show the significant impact that social media and electronically mediated communication has on its users. The social media platforms should, therefore, be used properly to promote the psychological and sociological wellbeing of an individual.


Bowser, D.J.,&Manchiraju, S.(2016).Conspicous Consumption

Simmel, G.(2017).Culture's inevitable loss: On the Concept and Tragedy of Culture.In Classical Readings in Culture and Civilization. (pp.123-137).Routledge

Taylor, David G., and Davis Strutton, D.(2016).Does Facebook usage lead to conspicuous consumption? The role of envy, narcissism, and self-promotion.Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing,10(3),231-248

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