Our identities, the manner in which we define ourselves as well as how we see ourselves as unique people, play important role in describing the kind of people we are. The identity incorporates the totality of understanding knowledge which we gain about the people we are as well as help develop attributes such as aptitudes, personalities and capabilities, intellectual as well as physical attributes, relationships and interests (Savage 176-178). There are two main ways in which people gain identities. First, as people develop their self-awareness, they observe as well as evaluate their thoughts, feelings, and behavior depending on past experiences, future goals and current needs (Berruecos 208-214). They also look out to the world that they live in such as academic, social and physical worlds for feedback which shapes their identities. Since humans are basically societal and a vital part of their progress includes discovering their place in the society as well as traditional settings that they live, response obtainable from the social environment is important in identity change and the same is subject to technological dynamics.
Since the social world of humankind has dramatically expanded in the past few decades from neighbors, friends, families as well as schools to a limitless universe of people as a result of the proliferation of social media and internet, it is not easy to visualize the manner in which external forces are getting disproportionate effect over identities of people as in relation to generations of the past (Berruecos 208-214). The social effects, increased by the latest developments in know-how could be determining the characteristics in a manner that most people are not aware of.
The first way in which technology is stealing our identities is by shifting us from being intrinsically driven to being extrinsically driven. Social aspects have an impact on the establishment of people’s identity. However, the situation recently changed with the people’s individual internal contributors to identities. The sheer ubiquity, as well as forces of the technological advancements, have not only taken the influence but also turned its level to deafening roars.
In the past generations, the majority of the social forces which influenced the identities of people were positive. The forces include schools, parents, communities, extracurricular activities and media. They all sent healthy messages concerning who people were as well as how they were required to perceive themselves (Neville 88-90). In as much as negative influences were available, their effects were quite overshadowed by the helpful factors. The forces functioned as mirrors that reflected back on the people, the images of themselves hence resulting in affirmation instead of a change in attitudes. However, the plumb has currently oscillated to another thrilling end in the society in which the most admired rules, as well as beneficial influences, are majorly droned out using the cacophony of the modern technology. Our identities in the current generation, as well as all those who are immersed deeply in popular media and culture, are stolen through shaping by the external forces in two different ways.
First, the popular tradition through latest media and old school are not holding any mirror for reflecting the human identities anymore. Likewise, there are no feedbacks concerning how grounded the human identities are in an actual sense (Hicks 1-9). Selecting the most fundamental needs for good feelings about one, acceptance and attractiveness are the focus created by the use of technology. As such, the identity which is shaped by paramount cultures serves its best interest instead of the interest of the owners of the identities. Technology as such steals our identity since the identities no longer have meanings that are derived from within individuals but instead, the identities are projected on people by the prominent cultures as indicated by technology. The identity thus fails to reflect the people we are accurate.
Secondly, the continued use of social media has led to change from the expression of our identities as well as the construction of facades pegged on answers provided by technology. The main issues that most people are concerned about when using technology are how people will look at them and the way they should ensure that they are positively perceived. The objective of most people currently, as they use social media, concerns the manner in which they can carry popularity, acceptance, status as well as self-esteem by extension through postings and profiles. Self-expression, as well as self-awareness, provides the way to the management of impression and self-promotion (Hicks 1-9).
In eventuality, people end up picking identities that they believe the others want to see rather than the ones that the identities of their actual personalities. They then have the compulsion to not only market but also to promote the identities using technology, particularly the social media. The existing line between persona and person, public and private identities becomes erased or blurred. The individual identity then becomes a way of acceptance as well as status.
Paradoxically, through seeking approval from the social world through technology as well as striving for uniqueness which enables us to outstand the rest in the populated cyber environments, we tend to unwittingly, give up our identities and reshape them to be in line with that which the views of the digital world accept as the right identities. In so doing, people tend to relinquish the uniqueness as well as specialness that they are supposed to hold quite dear.
Most people are not aware of the dramatic transformations which slowly occur yet inexorably in them. Moreover, change in individuality from being intrinsically driven to extrinsically being driven, cannot be aiming for our advantage. The continued use of emerging technology has guided us into adopting identities which are not ours thus leading to the disappearance of our true identities.
Finally, identities are stolen by technology through the use of adoption of names that are not actual names of users especially in social media. Most young people use profiles that do not depict their true identities. For instance, some people prefer to use names and portraits of celebrity figures in social media. As such, the actual identity of the person is not exposed to the world instead a copy of another individual’s identity is made.
In conclusion, the use of technology has transformed the world in various ways. Notably, technology is stealing the identities of people mainly by transforming the drive of identity establishment from being internal to being external. Most people are presently basing their identity formation by what the digital world expects of them rather than what they are.
Berruecos, Luis. “Seeking Identity, Changing Identity.” Perspectives on Global Development and Technology 16.1-3 (2017): 208-214. Web.
Hicks, Deborah. “Information Technology, Change and Information Professionals’ Identity Construction: A Discourse Analysis.” Proceedings of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 51.1 (2014): 1-9. Web.
Neville, Audrey. “Tourism Social Media: Transformations in Identity, Community, and Culture.” Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change 12.1 (2014): 88-90. Web.
Savage, David A. “Identity Economics: How Our Identities Shape Our Work, Wages, And Well- Being.” Economic Record 87.276 (2011): 176-178. Web.