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“Dr Himanshu Tyagi, a psychiatrist at West London Mental Health Trust, said that people born after 1990, who were just five-years-old or younger when the use of Internet became mainstream in 1995, have grown up in a world dominated by online social networks such as Facebook and MySpace.” It is said later on in the article on http://www.medicalnewstoday.com (called ‘Facebook Generation’ Faces Identity Crisis), that these children tend to act more impulsively, erratically and that the risk of suicide is increased.

Dr. Tyagi goes on to explain that not only are these children at risk for social disorders, but they are also at risk for losing the real meaning of interpersonal relationships which we as people use to build our identities. This is done through feedback on how much we disclose about ourselves and how we act around people in real life, with the internet we have a screen as a barrier and can put on facades which could lead to alterations in our personalities, (and by could I mean usually leads to alterations in our personalities). Dr. Tyagi goes on to say “A session in front of the computer was also likely to create ‘an altered perception, a dream-like state, an unnatural blending of their mind with the other person – something that rarely happens in real life. The new generation raised alongside internet is attaching an entirely different meaning to friendship and relations, something we are largely failing to notice’.”

With all this negativity, it is hard to see how the internet and these websites could even be looked at in a positive way, ruining kids’ identities and being tied to suicide? Redefining friendship? Perhaps parents should step in and introduce some old fashioned communication skills into their children’s lives.

– Gillian Holloway

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Pierre Bordeau explained that each person has different tastes and that these tastes offer distinction between the classes. This is probably true through legitimacy, and the categorizing of different forms of media. Now-a-days, though, it is hard to differentiate between the different classes and categories of media. Now, higher classes listen to artists like Michael Jackson (which considered for the lower classes) and lower classes are doing things outside of the norm like listening to Bach. Things are getting all moved around and mixed up because every type of media is now more accessible. We, as an audience, are now consuming media across cultural lines.

Popular culture in the past was something considered to be low culture and based on the study of a largely passive audience. Now, the audiences is a big part of production of this culture as the power of the amateur creative audience is taking over. We now demand what we want through how we act, what we watch, the way we portray ourslves and the identities we create on the internet. Who we follow on twitter, who we’re fans of on facebook, the list of our interests, the celebrities we draw inspiration from in our youtube videos, all let the producers know what we want. This participation in production is becoming more acknowledged and accepted as well as the new norm. It is also the reason our identities are changing so greatly, though.

Twins? No, the done up one is just who I am on the internet.

In present times it seems that the class of different forms of media have little to do with self-representation. Yes, we are labeled based on our interests, but each of the urban stereotypes of today are seemingly unrelated to class. You can see a rich hipster just as easily as you can see a poorer one. A poor hockey-jock playing on the team with a rich one. Class doesn’t matter, anymore, it’s based solely on personal-shared interests.

-Gillian Holloway

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We all have been discussing how identity can be changed and altered to our discretion but the main question we haven’t addressed is what is Identity??

According to James D. Fearon from Stanford University, “Identity” refers to either (a) a social category, deined by membership rules and (alleged) characteristic attributes or expected behaviors, or (b) socially distinguishing features that a person takes a special pride in or views as unchangeable but socially consequential (or (a) and (b) at once).
In the latter sense, “identity” is modern formulation of dignity, pride, or honor that implicitly links these to social categories.

When you read this, you realize that Identity is inevitable. You will always have an identity.There is no possible way to remove it from yourself. Your identity even stays with you after you have left this world. People remember your identity as who you were. The way you represent yourself is crucial to who you are as person.

People involved in online social networks are doing exactly what this definition is describing. We want to belong to a social category so we alter how ourselves (identity) so people will precieve us a way that will be acceptable. People create videos on Youtube in hope of other people watching them and seeing a piece of work that describes who they are as a person. The same thing goes with Facebook. People create an account to creat social networks and friendships. Their profile represent who they are and their identity.

This makes me rethink what I have published on my Facebook account. Is everything that is visible to others actually what represents me and my identity? Time to re-vamp my profile page!

-Lyara Brine

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