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General News

How Social Media Shapes Our Identity

[newyorker.com – 8/8/19]

The Internet constantly confronts us with evidence of our past. Are we losing the chance to remake ourselves?

Humans have always tried to cope with the difficulty of memory, to turn it “from an intolerable horror to something which is reassuringly innocuous and familiar.” Social media just makes us more adept at it.

On the other hand, Eichhorn writes, such media can prevent those who wish to break with their past from doing so cleanly.

This is of particular import for those who yearn to establish new identities. People who transition, for instance, often rely on having a clean break, visually, with their previous appearances; as Eichhorn points out, one of the early promises of the Internet, when it was just “texts and clip art,” was that it “presented itself as a safe place [for transgender youth] to try on an aspect of their identities they could not explore in their material lives.” Now that the Internet is more permanent, and more pervasive, it’s hard to avoid the relics of past identities.

There are moments, elevated not by the fact of being recorded but by the impossibility of being erased, that become traumatic.

Read the full article

Join the discussion

  1. Terrance

    Who says deriding individuals is ok !
    Or who condones a supposed Democratic Legal/Justice system that allows, promotes, establishes …
    All Human, Civil and Constitutional Rights VIOLATIONS and yet DECLARES IN THE PROCESS OF ALL THIS THAT IT IS ADMINISTRATIVE, IT IS NECESSARY IT IS ACCEPTABLE IT IS NOT PUNITIVE IT IS PROTECTIVE FOR COMMUNITY IT IS NOT EXCESSIVE IT IS PERFECTLY LEGAL TO CONTINUE RESTRICTIONS OF ANY/ALL KINDS WHETHER, SOCIAL, LEGAL BINDING, PRIVATE ..SUCH AS EXPOSER TO HARM BY VIGILANTE OR RETALIATION FROM GROUPS OF INDIVIDUALS OR ABUSE OC LAW ENFORCEMENT OR BIASED COURTS/JUDGES !!
    HELL !!
    CAN’T ANYONE SEE Any wrong IN THIS Madness !!
    Why can’t any LEGAL GROUNDS BE FOUND AND A TITLE WAVE OF ARGUMENT BE EFFECTIVE AND FUTILE TO DISPUTE !!!
    WE MUST STOP/OVERTURN THIS SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY NOW PEOPLE !
    HELP RCs fight the battles where they live, work and go !
    PLEASE CHANGE TACTICS AND EMPOWER RC TO DO MORE TOGETHER AND WITH OTHER ORGANIZATIONS !
    Help them fight their ways and times and Support them not RUN another ORGANIZATION !
    THANKS !

  2. Tim in WI

    Isn’t SOR a peculiar type of identity theft?

    An informed citizen is a safer citizen only if the citizen knows all of the whole truth? Does SOR tell the whole truth. No. But it does impose affirmative restraint. Increasing corporate platform control of those with law making votes has lead us to MN>HN~null. All done by database and human subservience by law for benevolent moral grounds?

    Well least that what they claimed when they did it. You can see results.

  3. Facts should matter

    Shapes? More like destroys your identity. The Internet causes undue and irreparable harm to one’s credibility, integrity and reputation. There’s no such thing as damage control, much less damage repair once your name is publicly listed. It’s one and DONE with these draconian sex crime laws. So.. it’s probably not prudent to have big plans for your future when your past is only a keystroke away. Doesn’t matter what you did, you can’t explain away the totality of the LABEL when people don’t want to understand and would rather shun because of the liability it represents.

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