• Social media and society: a generation transformed and transforming consciousness and culture

      Rupolo, Marisa (2019-12)
      The purpose of this thesis is to analyze the scholarly literature regarding social media use and the effects it has on human communication, consciousness and culture. Social media are ubiquitous; thus, our mediated and non-mediated interactions are being affected and transformed because of it. After analyzing myriad studies, it is possible to conclude that the literature tends to surmise the implications of media are either all good or all bad but fail to acknowledge the complexity of the impacts on transforming consciousness and culture and how they exist on a continuum. One dichotomy that appears in the literature is that people are either being selfish or selfless in their motivation for sharing on social media, but not both. In this paper I analyze two case studies that explode this dichotomy. Stoneman Douglas activists and Greta Thunberg and youth climate activists use their social media for activism both in their own self-interest and in the interest of the greater good of society at large. The literature review suggests this dichotomy can only exist exclusively. Yet, integrating and analyzing current examples it is possible to conclude this dichotomy is false. Moreover, the reality of this false dichotomy is exactly what has shaped this generation to be transformed by, and transform, consciousness and culture.