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Although this is an opinion question, I think there are some good arguments that show that today's society is less individualistic and self-reliant than in the past. Our obsession with social media, technology, smart phones, and other conveniences demonstrates our need to have everything at our fingertips, to stay in touch with each other, and to be constantly entertained. Our lives are no longer simple, but are "full" of devices that allow us to multi-task and stay constantly connected to the world around us. We dress like the models in magazines, want homes like the rich on TV, and crave acceptance from our peers in society. Although we want to be individuals, we also find comfort in being one of a group. I think Emerson would agree with this assessment of our society today, as one of his tenets was to embrace simplicity in one's life. We are not a society based on living simple lives, but we surround ourselves with things that will keep us reliant on others for our joy and identity.
However, if you have an argument on how we are more individualistic and self-reliant, go for it! I'm sure you can make some good points that contradict my description of society today.
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