How Class Antagonisms Influence Life Online

1156 WordsSep 29, 20145 Pages
How Class Antagonisms Influence Life Online In S. Craig Watkins’ essay, “From The Young and the Digital,” he examines how class variances influence social-networking usage according to modern day times. With technology usage at an all-time high, social media usage is sparking in popularity making communication become more virtual than it has ever been. Many predicted that with this shift from real face time to virtual face time, existing social inequalities would dissipate. However, this is not the case. Watkins, a professor of radio, television, and film, suggests that a divide exists between both race and class on social networking sites that parallels real world divides in social inequalities. The topic of social class is…show more content…
Since high levels of education are often associated with higher levels of employment and income and, in turn, are directly correlated with social class, lower class is linked to Myspace. Watkins reasoned that social-networking site preference relates to preservation of social class and privilege. The way college students distinguish between social classes simply imitates the way they distinguish social-networking sites. It enables middle-class cultures to not only reinforce their position of privilege and taste, but also their social status, all through the use of specific social-networking sites. Watkins also suggests that the shift from Myspace to Facebook it is directly correlated to a search for homogeneous people. It is natural human nature to associate with like-minded people. This has become ordinary in geographic sorting where the vast majority of people choose to live with similar people who do not challenge their ethnic or social prospects. Since social divisions of race, lifestyle, and ideology are already a commonplace, Watkins suggests that social-network sites are not to blame for causing these divisions. He states: The vast majority of young people we meet go online to have fun by sharing their lives and communicating with their peers. And yet, the choices they make regarding who they interact with online are not immune to the social forces that are shaping their off-line lives. Like the Big Sort, the online sorting among young Facebook
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