Sociology Selfie Project Jacqueline Bengtson

The Effect of Technology and The Smartphone

I am taking a selfie while someone else is taking a selfie.

Technology has been a component of my personal journey of socialization in society. Growing up, the use of devices was implemented in my curriculum as a student. As I grew up, technology continued to become more advanced. I have been able to make discoveries through research using websites, watching videos and documentaries and viewing pictures featured for the world to see on just one screen. I have been able to communicate with people in a professional manner through emails. I have been able to access information, ask questions and get answers at the click of a button pretty much my whole life! How amazing is that!

A major agent of socialization, television and mass media, has made an imprint on the way I have developed a sense of self throughout my life. As a young girl who danced competitively, I was an innocent victim of the media’s portrayal of women. When I was just a child, I longed to be skinny and beautiful like the girls I saw on television and in magazines. Through popular childhood shows and movies, I was encouraged to conform to what was accepted as a normality amongst my peers and kids my age. George Herbert Mead’s theory on social self can be applied to this example. The “me” aspect can relate to how society and media expect you to look a certain way or wear a certain brand. The “I” aspect can relate to me choosing to conform to this expectation or creating my own unique norm to follow.

The smartphone has opened many doors for knowledge, research, global communication, discoveries, and inventions. It has allowed what seems like an infinite amount of information to just be at the screen of our phone. Human interaction has benefited from these advancements as communication has never been more possible. People are able to see their friends through a screen who are half way around the world.

The smartphone has also hindered human interaction as it has created a disconnect between people. While communication is common, genuine interactions are uncommon. Having inspiring discussions and fulfilling experiences without distractions have impeded on the powerful connection of any relationship.

Political Views

My outlook on politics and the political agenda of certain politicians have been shaped by my community and the people that I have grown up with and surrounded myself around. I do not conform to one unifying belief and I do not stand with one person. I believe in the importance of understanding and validating all ideas of all individuals and all parties. I am a strong believer in the idea that no one way is the right way.

Growing up in such a diverse community with friends and family with all different backgrounds, I have been shown and taught the vast diversity of thought and opinion. I believe that when we, as individuals, confine ourselves to one ideology, we can become closed minded to all other opinions and ideas. When this occurs, I feel as though we become digressive as a society. Followers of certain people and ideas form assumptions and stereotypes of the individuals who follow opposite or different opinions. This then creates a division in our society where positive change, which is the ultimate goal, is very hard to make.

I have featured a picture of me and a tapestry of the Hindu god Ganesh. This image represents my opened minded outlook on all beliefs whether it be political or religious. This image also represents how I am excepting of all of the diverse opinions of my community as many of my friends follow the Hindu religion and worship Ganesh by praying to him.

Family

I am the youngest in a family of six where I have three older brothers. My family values the close relationships we have with one another. We have always looked after and supported each other in all our unique interests and differences. We have also always been there for each other throughout difficult times in our lives.

My parents have instilled traditional morals and values that we all still follow today. As each of us are unique, we have branched off on the values of our family in our own way. In regards of the power structure in our family, all of my siblings and I respect our parents deeply and value their opinion. However, we do not let our parent’s opinion limit our own ideas and actions that best suit us as individuals.

Favorite Activity

Horses and riding have made a tremendous impact on me. My mother grew up on a farm and she continued her passion of horseback riding throughout her life. She introduced me to horses when I was young and I instantly found a passion for riding as well. The sport has taught me the values of discipline, resilience, determination and hard work. Training horses takes diligence and knowledge that has derived from my passion.

My love for riding contributes to values in our society. In our culture, it is a shared norm to dedicate time to activities that individuals are passionate about. We value people who are committed to strengthening their ability to perform in these activities. Our society teaches that we can grow as individuals when we commit our time to these undertakings.

Ascribe Status

An ascribed status is a social position that is assigned to a person at birth. An example of my ascribed statues is that I was born as the youngest child with three older brothers. With this role, it is commonly expected that my brothers are very protective and caring of me. This is very true! It is also commonly expected that I am a very strong willed person who can stand up for myself. This is also very true.

Achieved Status

An achieved statues is a position that people usually acquire through their own efforts. An example of my achieved statues is that I was accepted to be a counselor at the summer camp I have been going to since I was eight. It is very competitive to be selected and it is such an honor and privilege as the camp is very important to me. It is a sleepaway camp for girls and I am a counselor for girls just coming out of third grade. In this role, I am expected to take good care of children. I love kids and their innocent, honest and optimistic outlook on life. My status symbol at camp is my name tag which includes my name and my position at the camp.

Friendship

Jessica and I have been best friends since I was in second grade and she was in first grade. Her friendship has been so important to me throughout my life. Our friendship began in grade school and at a young age I learned the importance of genuine friendship and what it means to be a good person and friend. We have been through many wonderful times in our life and we have been there for each other during difficult times. I look up to Jessica as she is an inspiring individual who cares about the wellbeing of others. Our friendship will continue to stay strong as we walk together as lifelong friends.

Concord High School

The Be the Change club and its advisor, Mrs. DiPasquale, has made my high school experience memorable and influential. The multicultural club that celebrates the diversity in our school has positively shaped me as a person. In this club, I have developed powerful friendships that I am very grateful for. The stories of all of my New American friends have inspired me and taught me that we are all equal no matter who we are, what we think, or where we come from.

Mrs. D has always been there for me throughout my time at Concord High. She has supported me in all of my interests and ideas. Her office and the club’s meeting area has always been a safe place in the building for me where I was free to be myself and where I know that I was cared for. The social institution of this club has made school important to me and has also made me feel as though I am of importance to the school.

Media Outlet

My favorite media outlet that I frequently visit is Facebook. This social media cite has made an impact on my life as it allows me to communicate with my friends from all over the country and world. The close relationships that are formed throughout my life are extremely important to me. Being able to keep in touch with the significant people in my life is made so easy on Facebook.

This media outlet shapes my ideas as I am also influenced by what my friends post and share. This cite says that our culture shares the value of communication of our lives, our ideas and our opinions. Our society believes it is important to share our lives with our friends through media.

Treasured Possession

My animals are extremely important to me. This includes my two dogs Clemson and Nellie and my horse, Giselle. I am an empath and I can be overwhelmed by the emotions of others around me. When I am with my animals, life is less confusing. Who I am is understood by my dogs and my horse and they do not question my ideas and actions. They just love me because I love them.

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