Mirrored Acrylic

I have always been captivated by the irony of our current state of things via the relationship between society and modern technology. Moreover, I agree with the growing chorus of social critics and psychologists , that see our modern connective tools, as a driving force for isolation , alienation, and addictive preoccupation. To explain, new forms of social interaction, like social media, handheld technologies and, software were designed with the promise of access and networking. Unfortunately, more often than not, these devices and services, dissolve the need for face to face interactions and the chance for meaningful interactions. Why is this the case; why are individuals using social media, and software, as a wedge between themselves and the traditional social interactions? Claude Steele’s, an American social psychologist introduced the self-affirmation theory in the late 80’s, and I find this theorem answers this question quite well. In short, this concept explains that humans have a “strong desire to maintain a positive self-image”, and when this is threatened, one can restore self-esteem through, often unrelated self-affirmation. Meaning, one can repair their self worth, “without resolving the specific threat”, by reinforcing positive self image. Historically, people have looked to others to seek self affirmation and positive reinforcement, but the modern social networking has turn that on it’s head. In saying this, technology has prevented this human tendency, as it has allowed for elaborate immersive, and disconnective means in which to navigate one’s self perception. We now have tools like facebook, twitter and instagram as tools to reinforce ideas of ourselves; but the removal of this action, within its historical and human context, has created many problems. Narcissistic tendencies, and isolation, are the unintended consequences of these new technologies.