Today we live in the society that has evolved for the last twenty-thirty years more than for the past two centuries. First people got the concept of creating fire – became far more independent from weather changes and time of the year; the invention of the gun powder changed the situation in the world drastically – those nations, that had enough of it, started to conquer their neighbors; the advent of steam driven machines made manual labor less needed, and people got an opportunity to develop spiritually. I believe that at that moment people started to be dependent on society and the need in being in touch all the time by any means possible.
Modern society presupposes constant connection with different people on the daily basis and the idea of being alone becomes something unacceptable for most people. It is worth mentioning that particular social actions (like visiting prom with someone or getting married and having kids, for example) become mandatory and society strongly disapproves any deviations from this course of actions. Prom is the quintessence of social pressure for any teenager. I think that prom was made up to distill the society from the early years of a person’s development and segregate it for successful, popular, strong (in social meaning) individuals and losers. It is possible that such invention was unintentional and logical, without any second thoughts, but eventually it became some kind of borderline for losers and winners. If I am not a jock or cheerleader girl – I am a potential loser in high school. If I am a loser – I have fewer chances to invite someone I like to the prom (it is not popular among students!). Therefore, the mass opinion shapes my life and greatly influences my behavior. It is not right.
We can see these ongoing changes right now. The advent of microchips created numerous opportunities for the appearance of new, previously even unimagined technologies that are so common for us today. It was information technologies that created another, virtual world that lives today its own parallel life with millions of people in it. The advent of the Internet has changed our life, transformed our understanding of the term “communication”. People got an opportunity to communicate with each other on the real-time basis, share photos and other information, gather into communities with the same interests. It was the beginning of a new era – an era of the Internet society.
We are too social creatures to ignore such capabilities of socialization that the Internet provides. Therefore, such concept as blogging came into our life not so long ago and in the lives of some of us it takes a significant place. To my belief, blogging is one of the forms of self-expression and communication with other people. Blogs allow people to write and upload any information they find interesting or important to share with others regardless of the actual value of it. Blogs allow people to think they are so special even being alone in this world, while they cannot live without appraisal of their thoughts and actions, or any form of attention, at the very least.
I am not a blogger myself. However, blogging became somewhat of a pop culture for the masses. What other tool can provide so many people with the opportunity to say whatever they want online? Blogging and bloggers became popular because of the attractiveness to be ‘free’ and share any information with others. It became even some kind of a trend. Blogs can be interesting and useful as well as absolutely useless. However, I think that any blog has the right to exist because it either becomes popular or falls into decay, obeying natural laws – the ‘strongest’ wins. It has influence on the internet audience and people around it in a rather well developed society of any country across the globe. It only proves my point – people are hypocrites in their desire to look independent and able to be alone in this world. The reality is different.
The situation with prom, for example, or socialization of both sexes in the last years of high school can be rather representative. Modern families are usually built using a considerably limited set of patterns – school dating, college dating, career, then family, or career plus family. Therefore, young people are usually pressured by the elders like parents in terms of not being alone by any means because it is not socially appropriate and other people might think that something is wrong with their children. For me, it means being under serious pressure when some social activity presupposes having a date for the event because it just has to be so by tradition.
I see this as a form of dependence from social opinion, while the declared independence from it is just a myth. People in America and in predominantly white suburban areas where parents make a huge deal about prom and social aspects are greatly dependent on tradition and social opinion. For me it is rather strange and weird considering the ideals of the free country the U.S. has been implementing from its creation. Individuality and freedom of will were the basic characteristics of the first colonist, adventurers, and luck hunters. Today, I live in the society that truly believes in the idea that a student, for example, must attend prom or dances with someone and that it would be social suicide to go alone. It is not that America I would love to live in.
There is another problem with such forced socialization – lack of individuality. People of my age become alike. They all look almost the same, eat the same, do the same, dress the same, and even think the same, following the latest trends of fashion and other stuff brought from TV shows and the internet. Future can be improved and developed by individuals only like the above-mentioned pioneers of the West that had built this country – they were individuals. Therefore, it is utterly important to find one’s personal position in this life, be individual, be somebody, be a personality and not the part of mass culture with mandatory visiting the prom with a date. The society will be stronger and more competitive; individuals will be more valuable for the society and people around. Life is individual for any of us, so there is no sense of spending it according to someone’s mindless guidelines.