How might I relate Facebook to Emerson's ideas of self-reliance and transcendentalism?
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In developing your thesis about Ralph Waldo Emerson's "Self-Reliance" and Facebook, you should consider whether regular use of social media makes people more or less likely to be swayed by popular opinion. In so far as constant connection to Facebook means that you are constantly seeking validation for your thoughts via "likes" and considering how other people are responding to your ideas, it seems almost a polar opposite of the quiet private reflection that Enmerson recommends for developing a sense of one's private self, and developing ideas through a process of searching deeply in one's own soul. For Emerson, since our souls are our connection to God, it is important to avoid the distractions of the external world and look inward to achieve a transcendent viewpoint.
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