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Social Ceiling: Discrimination on Social Media


by Leaf Secrets

I recently read a Mashable article by Zoe Fox entitled “38% of Children on Facebook are Younger than 12.”  Even though the subject matter of this blog is somewhat irrelevant in comparison to the content on Mashable, the associative nature of it in juxtaposition with society’s need to be surrounded by uniformity has me questioning the future diversity of America.  My question is the following: Can self-segregating on social media lead to a life of bigotry in race relations outside of it?

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Fox mentioned that, of 1,000 participants in her Facebook survey, 40 individuals–who were on this social networking site–where  under six years of age.  Her study revealed that 30% of children under 12-years-old spent more than two hours per day on Facebook.  Besides the dangers of sexual predators and cyber bullying, should we view a segregated society maintained by social media as a threat?

At the end of March 2012, Anderson Cooper reported on race relations and a child’s attitude on perception of race.  He recognized that color blindness began to fade around age five and that white children, in comparison to black children, thought the scene displayed was a negative portrayal between the two races.  The percent of those children who thought the story told a negative narrative was 70%.  Only 38% of black children viewed the image negatively.  Please watch the video for better understanding.

The reason I used Fox’s article was because it showed the power of social media.  Engagement on the internet and on social media is sparked at younger ages the years continue; with this comes the power to virtually share.  However, with whom and what we share is a completely different story.  I agree that a positive in social media is discovering more rapidly racial biases in the judicial systems through social media highlights; but, are we only sharing until we have reached our appropriate, social ceiling?

As Anderson continued, he spoke about children keying in on subtle, lifestyle hints and social cues from their parents.   They notice friendships and interactions outside the home. The issue, I believe, is that because the children are infrequently introduced to diversity in their home lives, there is no innate desire to pursue it through social media. There is no color blindness to eradicate  when everyone is the same shade on a chosen social outlet.

We have to ask ourselves these questions because social media is how society cultivates and influences circulating conversations. Does self-segregation, anchored by a type of implicit bias, void colorblindness and/or the innate desire to integrate through social media? Let me know what you think.

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About Leaf Secrets

Nappy by Nature. Master's Degree Seeker. Free spirit and teacher but can humble my mumble and learn from any creature :-) But, seriously. My name is Melahnie Springfield. I am a master's student at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. I am studying advertising and plan to discuss self-segregation in social media. The Dalai Lama was asked what surprised him most about humanity. He replied... “Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then, he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And, then, he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present--the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die and, then, dies having never really lived.”

2 thoughts on “Social Ceiling: Discrimination on Social Media

  1. Pingback: Tumblr has its own world – SoshiTech

  2. roadwax

    This is an absolutely outstanding post and I truly congratulate you. If I understand your final question correctly (and I’m not sure that I do) then my answer is “yes”. However, your preceding points alone and the issues you highlight shine more brightly and deserve much greater exposure in themselves. Your post is a masterpiece of brevity yet also suffers as such. I would love to read a more expanded version of your article.
    America’s cultural dilemmas are not identical to those of other nations and I believe that this fact in itself provides pointers towards the answer. The broad trends in social self-segregation experienced in America are not necessarily being duplicated around the globe.In many countries, religion, ethnicity and cultural identity are more important than skin color. Although your post is a vital warning beacon, history books are full of evidence that rulers thrive precisely by the process of encouraging division. A society that fragments and self-segregates is less likely to provide a united front against authority.

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