Human behavior is affected by electronic media in the way that people feel lonelier now than they have in the past and they desire to be liked by others. Baym says that “the rise of visible social media metrics, such as followers, likes, retweets, subscribers, shares, and so on can become a measure of self-worth,” which impacts the emotions of society (Baym, 2015, New relationships, new selves, 140). This showcases the aspect of desire to be liked that has become embedded into human behavior.
In the “Black Mirror” episode, titled Nosedive, society rates others and this rating is what structures social classes. The desire to be rated highly and to earn a high ranking has led people to present themselves differently, both in person and online. The main character has become obsessed with her ranking that one bad review made her confront the person. However, she realizes that she must remain calm because if she were to go any further in the confrontation, then she could get an even lower review or someone could be watching her and post another bad ranking. This ranking system, though, has led the main character to do whatever she can to get the highest ranking. This is the way that most of this society thinks, the higher the ranking, the better the opportunities and the better the person.
Another impact of electronic media that has altered human behavior is the aspect of loneliness. People have become lonely even though they are more connected than ever before. The clip, “The Innovation of Loneliness” depicts the creation of loneliness. The narrator says that social media is one reason why loneliness has become part of today’ society because people need to devote their time to their followers and improving their profiles to build reputations to be involved in personal promotion. With this, the narrator also says that “we get to edit, which means we get to delete” and this has a major impact on how we can present ourselves through social media platforms. Since human behavior has become driven by attention, the ability to alter what is posted gives the power to the poster to receive the most attention possible. He also says that “we’re sacrificing conversation for mere connection” which creates a paradox in which we “claim to have many friends while actually being lonely,” therefore, people would rather have a greater number of friends than having ones that are true friends, which is why they find themselves being lonely. The aspect of human behavior of being lonely is attributed to the emotional aspect of human behavior. Being lonely is something that has become more common in a world where electronic media is supposed to bring people together.
“Black Mirror” is available through Netflix, follow the link to sign up: https://www.netflix.com
Follow the link below to watch the “The Innovation of Loneliness”:
Here is a quote from “The Innovation of Loneliness,” the photo, which describes the many people who use social media today.