Emerson’S Opinion Of Social Media. Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Emerson’s Opinion of Social Media

Ralph Waldo Emerson is a well-known writer, particularly credited as one of the most influential people in the creation of the transcendentalism philosophy. Transcendentalists, including Emerson, believe in the inherent good of people and nature. Main themes in Emerson’s writing also show his beliefs and opinions on nonconformity, society, and the individual self. Considering what Emerson writes about these topics, we can imagine how he would react to some of our modern inventions, such as social media. Social media is defined as “forms of electronic communications through which people create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content” (“Social Media”). Social
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He believes that when adults conform to the behavior of a baby, which is generally seen as juvenile and naive, they, in essence, “become” a baby, which is to say they become juvenile and naive. This shows that Emerson believes that to conform is to be childish and stupid, and that, because the baby does not conform to the adults, it has the power to make the adults conform to it. Therefore, Emerson is obviously against conformity and, so, strongly advocates for nonconformity.
Based on Emerson’s views of nonconformity and conformity, what would he think of the power of conformity in social media? A study done by the Pew Research Center observed how people talked about a news event on social media. They expand upon something called the “spiral of silence,” which is described as the “tendency of people not to speak up about policy issues in public- or among their family, friends, and work colleagues- when they believe their point of view is not widely shared” (Hampton). This “spiral of silence” caused people in the study to be “less likely to share their opinions…[which] was especially true if they did not feel that their Facebook or Twitter followers agreed with their point of view” (Hampton). The Pew Research Center explains this hesitancy to voice an opinion as a causation of “the broad awareness social media users have of their networks [that] might make them more hesitant to speak up because
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