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This topic can be "tackled" from many angles, but the one I will suggest is one which many of my graduate students ponder upon, and it is the "Facebook" and "Social Media Effect".
Anonymity makes us feel quite powerful. Behind a monitor, anybody can become anybody else. Imagine the grand gift that this generation has been given; we can become whoever we want by the simple click of a button. The problem is that anonymity also can make us daft, leading us to get in a tremendous amount of trouble if we happen to stumble upon the wrong person, at the wrong time.
All this being said, today's society suffers tremendously from a lack of realism. Many people create a persona which is only known to other computer users who could very well be doing the same thing at faking their lives. In this persona, the average individual can filter out to the public only what is great about the things that they do, and actually make themselves believe that all is great. Others can just focus on the negative and equally make themselves believe that the lives of others are better than their own. All this, within the realms of a world that isn't really there. Imagine how much power this social media effect has!
A great example of appearance vs. reality is Facebook. How many times have we not come across a perfectly "photoshopped" or "Instagrammed" picture of someone we know? When do people EVER post pictures of themselves looking sick, or ugly, or disheveled, unless they have a purpose with that? Never. People show themselves happy, surrounded by "friends" (many whom they may not even know that well), and always "out and about". Some show marriages that seem almost perfect, or lives that are just incredibly exciting. All lies, most of the time. Someone who is busy having a great life hardly has time to post every single thing that they do, and have the time to interact with those who "follow" or "friended" them. It is the hunger for telling themselves "all is well" that leads people to fake themselves in this manner. In the end, all we have is the person that we are, however and whoever it really is.
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