Freud V.S Social Media
Social media and networking has erupted in the past few years - Freud V.S Social Media introduction. The means in which individuals communicate has shifted to a point where some cannot even remember living differently. This new age has brought many advances in the ways we live; it also though has hindered the ways in which humans physically function. Whether you were born in the 60’s or in the past 10 years, this impact has had a ripple effect and is now changing everyone. People are now able to communicate in seconds across the world. Businesses have made connections that may not have been possible before this new technological age.
With this new technology and cyber life, has also come many challenges. These challenges exist in the human mind. Sigmund Freud brought into play the idea that the human mind actually has a series of what can be seen as checks and balances. These checks and balances, the ego, id and superego are there to help humans maintain a stable, comfortable life. Changes though can sometimes be too much and they can actually harm they ways in which humans think and interact. Facebook and Twitter are just two of the thousands of social media sites that have embedded into our lives and changed the way we communicate, interact and the decisions we make.
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The changes that have come have cause people to become vulnerable and the minds across the world have become an open to influences both good and bad. It has been said that the ego, “perceives itself as maintaining “sharp and clear lines of demarcation” with the outside world. This distinction between inside and outside is a crucial part of the process of psychological development, allowing the ego to recognize a “reality” separate from itself. (GrAdeSaver)” Sigmund Freud developed the concept that inside of each human is something called an “ego. This ego that we have operates on the environment around us and develops “operational responses” to what is going on ((Gunner)). The ego responds in a way that are logical and it attempts to provide us with the best answers so we can lead “sane and satisfactory lives. ((Gunner))” In recent years the ego has come under immense stresses of our technological advances.
In particular the ability for the ego to recognize reality from fiction has been blurred with the help of the social networking site Facebook. The social site, Facebook, provides an insight into people’s lives through means of pictures, videos, discussions and onstant updating newsfeeds. A recent study of over 1,000 Facebook users, by Dr Andrew Stephen, of the University of Pittsburgh, and Dr Keith Wilcox of Columbia University in New York, found that Facebook may have a detrimental effect on people’s self-control (Mulla). Through research they found that Facebook users are at a higher risk of developing habits those immense effects on the judgment and decisions made by users (Mulla). Facebook provides the opportunity for people to post pictures and comments that they may never actually say to a person face to face.
Facebook gives a false sense of security and reality, and this is where the ego struggles to “recognize a “reality” separate from itself (GrAdeSaver). ” This struggle of the ego can also spur from its constant need to meet the demands of the id. The id can be seen the “raw, primitive inborn forces that struggle for gratification ((Gunner)). ” Freud believed that with the id came into play a human’s libido and aggressive urges. The libido is a human’s drive for sexual connections, as well as a drive to be kept warm, comfortable and safe ((Gunner)).
The aggressive side of the id, urges humans to dominate, fight and destroy (Gunner). These urges are often suppressed by the ego but can often seep through the cracks. This is where the social networking site Twitter comes into connection with Freud’s concept of the id. Twitter, which is a compilation of rapid fire communications are sent by people around the world (Ehrenberg). The issue with Twitter is that, just like Facebook, it gives people a false sense of reality. People are more likely to say things and become aggressive towards others through comments because there is no actual face to face confrontation (Ehrenberg).
People are allowed to express any feeling they want, and people can also decide who “follows” their words and actions. The idea playing into the libido side of the id in that it provides a comfort to the user in knowing that Twitter will not only always be there for them, but they have the option to say whatever they may please. The balance of the ego and id go hand in hand, but Facebook and Twitter both interrupt this balance, which in turn can cause issues with an individual’s “superego. ” The superego is a person’s ability to determine right from wrong (Gunner).
Right from wrong is taught from birth, in a matter of society, the demands and expectations of society has immensely changed from what it has been in previous years (Cash). The superego attempts to keep the id in check and often attempts to suppress the libido and aggression. Facebook and Twitter though provide the opportunity for an individual to take the “wrong road” and choose a path that in normal circumstances; they would not (Ehrenberg). Since the beginning there have been new reports and stories of how people are getting into situations that have lead to harm and sometimes even death.
These unfortunate circumstances may have stemmed from the feeling of power that Facebook and Twitter give. The boost of self worth that a user gets from these sites can provide a false sense of security and cause that individual to take part in actions they may not have in the past. In November of 2012 an article surfaced about groups of men who were trolling Facebook and other social sites on the internet, looking for girls to lure in and gang rape (Shaw). These girls were comfortable enough to either post pictures of themselves or talk to people that they don’t know, or even sometimes know, and fell victim to this cyber crime.
The impact social media and networking sites have on society as a whole is one that can be seen as traumatic. Freud’s theory behind the ID, Ego and Superego rests heavily on how our society functions. The influences put in front of humans have immensely shifted the ways in which we communicate, interact and function individually and as a whole. From the changes in how we speak to others to how we interact sexually has changed. Our guard that would normally be up around strangers and people we have never physically met has been ripped down.
It has become socially acceptable to have a relationship with someone you have never met, someone who could possibly not even be real. The reality behind it is that the impact of social media and networking has forever changed the way humans live; it is as though we are living in a cyber world and being controlled by an invisible virus. The ego will forever battle the id in trying to balance our violent and sex driven side with balance and comfort, while the superego will attempt to reign over both in trying to maintain a balance of good and bad.