Clarify Social Determinism

Social media technology is a shining example of social determinism. Because one can selectively choose which facets of his or her life to showcase on these technologies, this induces the active practice of social determinism.

What should I do today? Should I go to the pool or the beach? Which would look better on my Snapchat?”

These are all questions I have asked myself at least once each weekend. I want to be able to show my family and friends from East Atlanta, Georgia that I have escaped the small town scope that jailed so many of them to be left in the “town lost in time”. I don’t want that from life. I want to experience everything – even from the convenience of my IKEA bed from my MacBook’s screen. Perhaps I do get lazy but when I do get the motivation to get my car sandy, I go to the beach and showcase my smile so my family also have reassurance I am alive (which is a plus!).

Because each channel is unique in its own way, there are different ways to communicate. On Facebook, I would use a full sentence. On Instagram, I would use one hashtag. On Snapchat, I would use a filter that turns my face into a Roy Lichtenstein. The post might be of the same picture, but I would use different features to highlight on each platform.

In the situations seen in Latour’s seatbelt example, the engineers of each social media choose the destiny of the users. These engineers may be users, themselves, which can even help the platform grow and flourish into a beautiful bouquet of friend requests, followers, and likes. We, the people, are always in control. Perhaps the search engine suggestions do tell us what hashtag we would search on a rainy day, but we are in control of our own movements and choices.

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