What drives people? What do we all seek?
Above all, I think that it’s comfort. People find it in different way: through Stability, through Power over others or one’s self, or through the connection we have to other people.
In today’s interconnected world, the ties that bind are more so digital than physical. This non-physical means of connection was pushed and stretched even further in the pandemic, when some’s only means of solace in humanity was through their devices.
We long for belonging as much as we need food or water or rest.
Social Media is the easiest way to find it, with communities millions strong, with the ability to talk to people thousands of miles away, all with a single tap on a screen.
Social Media runs on people, and what connects people?
Where one works and where one lives are now the same, and where one might live with friends or family and connect through them, some live alone, and seek other means.
Work is one of the largest ways people socialize, and with COVID, many of the ways that people communicate vanished, and are only now starting to return.
The drive to connect is what drives all Social Media, and even more so Now
This is why Political movements first connect people, and then divide them just easily.
A general Ideal for Society provides a base to connect people. However, since people argue about specifics, splitting into sides or even further into individual camps, people fall apart again.
However, it’s due to the ease of connection that politics, regardless of the specifics, will in part drive the flow of Social media. Tags like #BlackLivesMatter (BLM) or #Metoo, by their nature drive people together, and by their meaning or ideal, split people as well.
Another major driver of Social Media is Cultural movements
#BLM counts as a Cultural movement as well, but that’s not what I want to focus on in this section.
Here, I’d put trends driven by songs and popular artists, or as an older example, people like the artist Banksy, who had a significant influence in changing people’s view on graffiti and other street art. That style became popular for use on clothing designs, and still is such a feature today. He wasn’t brought into his fame through Social Media, per say, but!
He put his art where as many people could see it, in as much of the public eye as possible.
Twitter, Facebook, Tiktok- these are the walls on which we paint the murals of ourselves.
by Abby Zarakovich